Top 10 Non-Jews Positively Influencing the Jewish Future

August 29, 2011 12:22 pm 12 comments

Prime Minister of India Manmohan Singh. Photo: World Economic Forum.

Last year, following the release of the Jerusalem Post’s first annual list of the world’s 50 most influential Jews, I was inspired to create a list of my own, not of Jews, but of non- Jews, specifically those that are having the most positive influence in shaping the Jewish future.

A year later, much has changed, new figures have emerged, others have faded, some have remained, but the importance of bringing attention to this group is constant. For this reason I have sought to make this a regular endeavor, as such I present the 2nd annual list.

Similar to the criteria used by other list makers, I chose my candidates from around the world, and all walks of life, the list includes, politicians, activists, business giants and more,  all of which have made a significant constructive impact on Israel and the Jewish world. Last year I only listed the top 6, but wanted to make the list slightly more comprehensive, so it is now expanded to include the top 10.

Although by no means an exact science, my aim in this compilation, is to provide some insight into the playing field of this unique yet modest group. Additionally I aim to provide a glimpse at their often courageous, sometimes unacknowledged activities on behalf of Israel and the Jewish people.

10. Julie Burchill
Columnist and Novelist.
Currently a columnist for The Independent she has written for newspapers such as The Sunday Times and The Guardian. The Jewish Chronicle described her in 2008 as “Israel’s staunchest supporter in the UK media.”

9. Jon Voight
Actor
Supporter of Jewish causes, most notably Chabad, Voight is also a prolific spokesman for Israel. A rarity in Hollywood circles, he has advocated for Jewish values, consistently reaching an often indifferent audience.

8. Patrick Debois
Founder Yahad-In Unum.
Roman Catholic priest, Debois is head of the Commission for Relations with Judaism of the French Bishops’ Conference and Consultant to theVatican. He is the co-founder and President of Yahad – In Unum, an organization whose mission is to document the murder of the 1.5 million Jews of Ukraine, shot dead by the Nazis and buried throughout the country. This work is vital in ensuring that the memory of these victims will not fade with the death of the last witnesses.

7. John Hagee
Founder, Christians United for Israel.
Hagee’s Christians United for Israel continues to experience rapid growth, now boasting upwards of 600,000 members. The group makes significant contributions to Jewish causes, and has become a potent political force in support of Israel. Author of a Jerusalem Countdown, and in defense of Israel the Pastor from San Antonio has met with every Israeli prime minister since Menachem Begin and his ministries have given more than $8.5 million to bring Jews from the former Soviet Union to Israel.

6. Warren Buffet
Investor
The famed investor has been a strong supporter of Israeli innovation, and has bought into it significantly. Last year while visiting the country he famously said that ”Israel has shown that it has a disproportionate amount of brains and energy.” Buffet’s strong statement of confidence has gone a long way in encouraging significant foreign investment in the Jewish State.

5. Jose Maria Aznar
Former Prime Minister of Spain.
In 2010, Aznar founded the Friends of Israel Initiative, with the stated goal to “counter the attempts to delegitimize the State of Israel and its right to live in peace within safe and defensible borders.” Referring to the ill-fated takeover of the Mavi Marmara by Israeli commandos, Aznar said in 2010 that the world must support Israel because “if it goes down, we all go down.” His unique organization provides a strong voice of reason in circles where it might otherwise not be heard.

4. Manmohan Singh
Prime Minister of India.
The largest customer of Israeli military equipment and Israel’s second-largest economic partner, Indian ties with Israel are now stronger than ever and advanced Negotiations for an extensive bilateral trade pact are well under way. Singh is largely responsible for cultivating and developing this crucial alliance that is vital to Israel’s economic stability and continued growth.

3. John Boehner
Speaker of the US House of Representatives.
Among the many friends of the Jewish community in the US Congress Boehner’s recent actions have made him stand out. Centrally involved in the recent invitation of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to address a joint session of Congress, Boehner provided the platform for the Jewish narrative to be conveyed to a pivotal audience at an important time.

2. Rupert Murdoch
CEO of News Corporation.
At an American Jewish Committee dinner honoring Murdoch he opened his acceptance speech by saying that, “over the years, some of my wildest critics seem to have assumed I am Jewish. At the same time, some of my closest friends wish I were. So tonight, let me set the record straight: I live in New York. I have a wife who craves Chinese food. And people I trust tell me I practically invented the word chutzpah.”

As CEO of News Corporation, Murdoch has continued to ensure that the outlets under his direction including The London Times, Fox News and The Wall Street Journal are fair and honest in their coverage of matters relating to Jews and Israel.

1. Stephen Harper
Prime Minister of Canada.
Recently winning a majority government for his conservative party, Harper has been a great friend To Canada’s Jewish community as well as an outspoken supporter of Israeli positions in the international political arena saying last year; ”When Israel, the only country in the world whose very existence is under attack, is consistently and conspicuously singled out for condemnation, I believe we are morally obligated to take a stand.”

His recent blocking of a G8 resolution in support of President Obama’s Middle East policy speech that would mention the call for a Palestinian State based on the 1967 lines, while not incorporating other elements of the speech earns him the top spot this year.

12 Comments

  • Another great friend of Israel and Jewish people is Rush Limbaugh. He was very critical of Obama’s plan for Israel to return to the 1967 ”Auschwitz”borders. He has defended Israel throughout the years and has attacked her enemies with truth, (and ridicule, most of it quite hilarious)

  • Why is John Bolton included? He has been a strong supporter of Jews and Israel.

  • Why is Glenn Beck not included in this list? He should be!

  • Thank you for compiling this list. We certainly need to recognize positive support from Gentile communities.
    I think this list is missing a very significant supporter. That would be Glen Beck. Mr. Beck is a staunch supporter of Israel and the Jews. He has taken a lot of heat for his position;he never waivers; He has the courage of his convictions. I think many Jews can take a lesson from Mr.Beck.

  • In the political world as it is today – fearful, politically ‘incorrect’, ignorant of the truth of history – it is so good to have these staunch friends of Israel (a nation that dwells alone)and their impact, brought to our attention and acknowledged. Thank you!

  • Excellent choices, but I too would include Glen Beck. The Left, by and large, have not only turned their backs on Israel, worse, they have all too often, stabbed Israel in the back with their apartheid blood libels and boycotts against the only Jewish State and Democratic State in the Middle East.

  • We love our Christian Zionist friends. Glen Beck should have been included. He is better friend of Israel than the leftist managers/leaders of our Federations.

    John Ruskay, the head of the NY Federation supports groups that call for the boycott of Israel to march in the Israel day parade. Our Christian Zionist friends would never speak up and support boycotters. John Ruskay gave over one Million dollars to the Soros front group, Jewish Funders for Justice. They spent thousands to run a full page ad in the WSJ attacking Glenn Beck. The leftists work against Israel.

    I support our Christian Zionist friends. Bless You!

    • Glenn Beck was fired from Fox News for good reasons. He thrived on FEAR AND SMEAR AS DID THE REPUBLICANS THAT RE-ELECTED GEORGE W BUSH. Glenn Beck had a new conspiratorial fact free story made up every day to put his listeners into a frenzy. He was responsible for the murder of a Doctor in the doctor’s own church because he kept calling him Killer. He also inspired the murder of a security guard at the Holacast Museum in DC. He hated the President and imitated his children in a racial way. If he convinced some Jews that he is a friend of Israel……….God help you. He is psychotic.

  • you can have your right wing christian zionists wierdos….the rest of the list make sense.

  • Whether you like him or not I would certainly include Glenn Beck.

    • I agree…Mr. Beck has been maligned by the Left and my not so intelligent Liberal friends have real difficulty with GB. Some progressives have characterized as GB as an Anti-Semite…Hogwash…He plainly calls out the inconsistencies of the Jewish liberal community. Many of them are spiritually disconnected from our faith(and I am not writing about only traditional Jews)and Israel…just look at some of the supporters of the various flotillas…

Leave a Reply

Please note: comments may be published in the Algemeiner print edition.


Current day month ye@r *

More...

  • Arts and Culture Theater US & Canada New Play Explores the ‘Arrogance’ of American Jews Critical of Israel, Playwright Says

    New Play Explores the ‘Arrogance’ of American Jews Critical of Israel, Playwright Says

    In his new play Mr. Goldberg Goes to Tel Aviv, playwright Oren Safdie tackles an issue that he has a major concern with: the relationship between Israelis and left-leaning Diaspora Jews with their “I know better” critical views. At the heart of the one-act play is Tony, a Jewish and gay Palestinian sympathizer who expresses strong anti-Israel sentiments when the play begins and at one point even sides with a Palestinian terrorist who holds his captive. Tony, who is also an [...]

    Read more →
  • Music US & Canada Hassidic Parody of Taylor Swift Song Apes Long Jewish Holidays (VIDEO)

    Hassidic Parody of Taylor Swift Song Apes Long Jewish Holidays (VIDEO)

    A Jewish comedy troupe released a parody video on Wednesday of Taylor Swift’s hit song Shake It Off in which they joke about taking extensive time off from work for Jewish holidays. “And the goyim gonna stay, stay, stay, stay, stay. And the Jews are gonna pray, pray pray, pray, pray. I’m just gonna take, take, take, take, take. I’m taking off,” goes the chorus for I’m Taking Off. Menachem Weinstein, the video’s lead singer, is the creative director at [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Jewish Literature On 75th Anniversary, Looking at the Jewish Influence on Gone With the Wind

    On 75th Anniversary, Looking at the Jewish Influence on Gone With the Wind

    JNS.org – The 75th anniversary of the premiere of “Gone with the Wind” on Dec. 15 presents an opportunity to examine the Jewish influence on one of the most popular films of all time. That influence starts with the American Civil War epic’s famed producer, David O. Selznick. Adjusted for inflation, “Gone with the Wind” remains the highest-grossing movie ever made. It earned the 1939 Academy Award for Best Picture, the same honor another Selznick film, “Rebecca,” garnered in 1940. Selznick [...]

    Read more →
  • Featured Music US & Canada EXCLUSIVE: Matisyahu Provides Most Extensive Analysis Yet of His Religious, Musical Evolution (INTERVIEW)

    EXCLUSIVE: Matisyahu Provides Most Extensive Analysis Yet of His Religious, Musical Evolution (INTERVIEW)

    Matisyahu got candid in an exclusive interview with The Algemeiner on Monday about his religious and musical journey – after shedding his Chassidic skin, yarmulke, long beard and all – from the start of his career in 2005 when he became a reggae superstar with hits King Without a Crown and Jerusalem. The singer-songwriter embarks on his Festival of Light tour this month, an annual Hanukkah event that stops in Montreal, New York, and other cities before ending in San Juan, [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Personalities ‘Sheriff of Mars’ Unveils Endearing Life of Jewish Music Star Hidden in the Fields of France

    ‘Sheriff of Mars’ Unveils Endearing Life of Jewish Music Star Hidden in the Fields of France

    JNS.org – It was an era of steel strings, guitar heroes, and storytellers—high on heroin, rebellious. Outlaw country music, the hallmark of Nashville’s powerful and angry music scene of the 1970s, was the brew of greats such as Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, and Townes Van Zandt. But there is another, little-known music hero of that era: Daniel Antopolsky. A Jewish lad from Augusta, Ga.—the son of immigrants who settled in the south and ran a hardware store on Main Street—the [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture US & Canada Iranian Actress Replaces Israel’s Gal Gadot for ‘Ben-Hur’ Remake

    Iranian Actress Replaces Israel’s Gal Gadot for ‘Ben-Hur’ Remake

    Iranian actress Nazanin Boniadi replaced Israeli star Gal Gadot as the female lead in the new Ben-Hur remake, Hollywood.com reported on Tuesday. The Homeland actress will play Esther, a slave that Ben-Hur sets free and falls in love with. Gadot quit the movie when it became clear that filming conflicted with her schedule for the Man of Steel sequel. The Israeli actress plays Wonder Woman in the superhero film Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. Actor Jack Huston takes on the [...]

    Read more →
  • Book Reviews Personalities Biography Sheds New Light on David Ben-Gurion’s Place in Jewish History

    Biography Sheds New Light on David Ben-Gurion’s Place in Jewish History

    JNS.org – There is one sentence in “Ben-Gurion: Father of Modern Israel” that made me sit up in surprise. I thought that I knew the basic facts about how Israel came into being, but while describing what it was like in the days and hours before the state was declared, author Anita Shapira provides one important anecdote I was not aware of. On the 12th of May, the Zionist Executive met to decide what to do. Moshe Sharrett had just returned [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture US & Canada ‘Death of Klinghoffer’ Actress Compares Met Opera to ‘Schindler’s List’

    ‘Death of Klinghoffer’ Actress Compares Met Opera to ‘Schindler’s List’

    An actress starring in the controversial Met Opera The Death of Klinghoffer defended the show on Tuesday by comparing it to the 1993 Holocaust film Schindler’s List, New York Post reported. “To me, this was like [the movie] Schindler’s List. We make art so people won’t forget,’’ said the actress, who plays a captured passenger in the show and asked not to be identified. The Met Opera focuses on the infamous murder of Lower East Side Jewish resident Leon Klinghoffer, 69. The wheelchair-bound father of [...]

    Read more →



Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.