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Top 10 Non-Jews Positively Influencing the Jewish Future 2012

August 9, 2012 11:17 am 47 comments

Mitt Romney posts a note in a crack in the Western Wall. Photo: Screenshot.

Two years ago, following the release of the Jerusalem Post’s first list of the world’s 50 most influential Jews, I was inspired to initiate an annual list of my own.  Not of Jews, but of non- Jews, specifically those who are most positively influencing the Jewish future.

Since last year’s list, much has changed.  New personalities have emerged, others have faded, some have remained, but the importance of bringing attention to this group is constant. For this reason I am committed to publishing and developing this list as a regular endeavor, and as such I present the 3nd annual list.

Similar to the criteria used by other list makers, my candidates have been chosen from around the world, and all walks of life.  The list includes world leaders, journalists, activists and business giants among others, all of whom have made a significant and constructive impact on Israel and/or the Jewish world.

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

10. Pilar Rahola
Spanish Journalist, Politician.

As a writer, and former politician, Rahola is active in combating anti-Semitism and what she labels the ‘hypocrisy’ of left wing politicians with regards to Israel and Zionism.

Sportscaster Bob Costas (right) interviews President George W. Bush at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Photo: White House.

9. Bob Costas

Costas came out front and center to highlight the request of Israeli widows of the Munich ’72 massacre. They had called on the International Olympic Committee to hold a moment of silence during the opening ceremony of this year’s games to acknowledge the 11 Israeli athletes and coaches killed by PLO terrorists. His advocacy earns him a special mention on the list.

Former Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar at an EU-Russia summit in 2002. Photo: wiki commons.

8. Jose Maria Aznar
Former Spanish Prime Minister.

Aznar founded the Friends of Israel Initiative in 2010 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.”

This year he has been an important voice for Israel in Europe, penning an op-ed in the London Times last month entitled “How Dare the World Shun Israel on Terrorism.”

His unique organization provides a strong voice for Israel in circles where it might otherwise not be heard.

7. Michael Gove
British Secretary of State for Education.

A rising star in British politics, Gove had already shown his colors as a great friend of Israel and the Jewish community in his former role as a London Times Editor.

Speaking at a UJIA fundraiser last year, he said, “I will defend Israel’s right to exist as long as I have breath in my body.”

In his current role he has been particularly active in stamping out curriculum anti-Semitism that appeared on more than one occasion, and he has shown support for Jewish education.

Eric Schmidt, Executive Chairman of Google Inc. Photo: wiki commons.

6. Eric Schmidt
Google Chairman.

Among the world’s most respected technology industry leaders, Schmidt’s praise of the Jewish state during a visit this past June could not have been more emphatic. “There are no disadvantages to investing in Israel – just advantages,” he was quoted as saying. “Israel has the most important high-tech center in the world after the US.”

Glowing reviews and endorsements of the Israeli economic experience from leaders such as Schmidt go a long way in inspiring global investor confidence in Israeli markets.

5. Ayoob Kara
Knesset Member, Deputy Israeli Minister.

A member of Israel’s governing Likud party, Kara is a Druze Israeli who has been recognized as the Knesset’s most pro-Israel Arab, serving as a role model and example to other Arab Israelis.

In his position as Deputy Minister of the Development of the Negev and the Galilee, he has worked to build the development of Jewish communities in these areas and has championed a strong stance against the Iranian threat.

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

4. Manmohan Singh
Prime Minister of India.

As I write, four of India’s top naval warships are docked at the Haifa port as part of a four-day visit to Israel to “strengthen service-to-service linkages.”

Indian officials said that the warships, which are equipped with advanced electronic sensors and missile systems, show “the importance India attaches to the growing Indo-Israeli relations, and continued cooperation and engagement between the two countries is expected to grow.”

A rising world power, this relationship remains among Israel’s most important, and as India’s Prime Minister, Singh is largely responsible for cultivating and developing this vital alliance.

3. Stephen Harper
Prime Minister of Canada.

Ranked number one on last year’s list, Harper’s support for Israel and friendship to Canada’s Jewish community has been unwavering.

In June of this year it was revealed that his Defense Minister Peter MacKay told Israel’s top military commander at the time, Maj.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi, during a 2011 visit to the Middle East that “a threat to Israel is a threat to Canada.”

Notably, last year he blocked a G8 resolution that would have supported President Obama’s 2011 Middle East policy speech, mentioning the call for a Palestinian State based on the 1967 lines, while not incorporating other elements of the speech.

Rupert Murdoch. Photo: wiki commons.

2. Rupert Murdoch
CEO of News Corporation.

It has been a rough year for Murdoch as his News International faced public inquiries and scandal. He remains however, the patriarch of an unparalleled international media conglomerate that has stood out for its overall fair portrayal of Israel in related news items.

Murdoch, and his right hand Roger Ailes, were honored in May of this year at Manhattan’s Museum of Jewish Heritage where he said, “To my mind, that is the grand promise of Zionism: that Israel exists so that Jews can protect themselves.” He concluded, “I believe that it is no longer just Israel’s survival at stake but our own.”

Mitt Romney greets Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Photo: Zeev Rubenstein.

1. Mitt Romney
U.S. Presidential Candidate.

Love or hate his politics, Romney’s vocal support for Israel as a contender for the world’s top job, has challenged the incumbent and many Americans to rediscover their own understanding of the United States’ special relationship with the Jewish state.

His tough stance on Iran has put the Ayatollahs on notice.  In his recent trip to the Holy Land, he acknowledged Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and cited the historic connection of the Jewish people with the land, which has gone a long way in underlining the Jewish narrative regarding Israel on the world stage, thereby earning him the top spot this year.

The author is the editor of The Algemeiner and director of the GJCF and can be e-mailed at


  • God bless you

  • excellent unknown information. many, many thanks.

  • I actually want to give each one of these men a hug and shake their hands, assuming everything written about them is true of course. Whether you’re a Jew or not- if you support Israel you deserve nothing but the best! Thanks for this great article, keep it up

  • I actually wanna give a hug to each one of the men on this list – whether u r a Jew or not, if u support Israel u deserve the best. Thanks for this great article, keep it up!

  • Oh, gosh. I strongly disliked -and even hated- José María Aznar as a Prime Minister of my country, but I cannot deny his relevance. But Pilar Rahola??? In Spain she is mainly considered a failed freakish politician and a talk show character whom nobody takes seriously.

  • alberto fernandez

    Aznar is an assassin!!

  • I live in the UK, and I would like to know more about the anti-semitism that Michael Gove supposedly excised from the British school curriculum, because this is news to me.

  • Romney does not deserve to be on this list and his presence at #1 is obviously a partisan attempt to gain him votes. He is merely less hostile to Jews than Obama is, and he has shown himself to be clueless about Middle Eastern affairs given his stated support for the Wahhabi conquest of Syria. He won’t even recognize the fact that the PLO launched a war on Israel in 2000 and has refused to negotiate since then, according to Dan Ephron’s report in the Daily Beast:

    Of the Presidential candidates, Romney is the least bad on Jewish affairs, closely followed by Gary Johnson’s complete lack of awareness or policy. That does not make him good for the Jewish future. Rather, things are turning like a ratchet with Romney’s slightly anti-Jewish stance now defining a new limit of what society will allow to be considered pro-Jewish without being considered “extremist”. The positions of being neutral or actually pro-Jewish on Jewish affairs are already considered to be “right-wing” “extremism” (despite these having been the policies of the American left and liberals from the beginning of the Zionist project until the 2003 Iraq war), and Romney is of no help in pushing back.

  • We do need people like these. And unlike many who mouth friendship in public and a knife in the back when nobody is looking, these people mean what they say.

    Have you noticed that with all the opression in the world, Dadur, Congo, China, with millions dead and oppressed, It is Israel, tiny democratic Israel that is the target of all this hate. The Kurds, a real and ancient people, deprived of a state by four nations, get not a whisper. Yet the manufactured people of “Palestine” are the darlings of the world. Could the real reason be: this hate is only aimed at Jews?

  • The support of The State of Israel is needed in days of growing Islamist impact on world opinion. We cannot ignore decent individuals taking up issues of critical importance to world Jewry. Rogue states threaten Israel on a regular basis, and horrendous verbal utterings, which years ago would be considered off topic, are today mainstream without disguise. The sinister midget, Ahmadinejad is the person who most resembles earlier days Nazis. Even his physical appearance resembles the image of the late minister of propaganda in the Third Reich. Both are little men, with a massive inferiority complex disguised as megalomania.
    Dovid Efune keep up the excellent service listing concerned individuals to the right course. I would like to ad a politician from the Danish, new National-Conservative Party: Soren Espersen, MP. The current Danish government, a mishmash of Social Democrats, Socialists, and a center group with help of an extreme left wing party is not agreeable to anything what Israel does in relation to the Arabs. The only calm voice in that parliament is that of Espersen and his opposition party. Again and again is he standing up for Israel’s position and powerful when it comes to the Jewish State’s right to defend itself. Look for him, do some searching.

  • As an 87 year old Polish Jew, survivor of the Holocaust, active participant in the armed struggle against the german barbarians during the Warsaw Uprising and also a partisant in in an armed unit of National Armed Forces in the Polish forest and an escapee from
    Montelupich, a gestapo prison in Krakow, Poland I would like to recommend for an honorable mention 4 of my trusted, non-Jewish friends from my hometown of Poznan, who proved by their acts and words to be active supporters of Israel and Judaism.
    They are: Janusz Marciniak, Professor at the Poznan Academy of Fine Arts
    and:: Andrzej Okinczyc, Uniquely talented artist
    and: Jaroslaw Przyborowski, successful industrialist and great art patron
    and: Prof. Dr. Lech Muszynski, Autor of bopks & scientific articles.

    Baruch Bergman

    • May G-d bless you, Mr Bergman, with good health and long life, and may your faithful friends also be blessed similarly! The blood of all my grandparents, uncles, aunts and cousins soaked the ground of Poland, along with that of millions of other Jews. It gives me some comfort to know that a few of your countrymen from Poznan had/have the courage to stand up for what is right.

    • Judy Gelman Myers

      Dear Mr. Bergman,

      I offer you my humblest thanks for writing this post.

      My parents left Russia before the revolution and I grew up in America, but I gratefully assume the task of passing such stories as yours on to my children.

      May God grant you and your noble friends a long and healthy life.

      Strength and courage,

      Judy Gelman Myers

    • Anna Niewodniczanska

      Szanowny Panie Bergman.
      Przeczytalam wlasnie wywiad z Panem w Gazecie Wyborczej
      i zrobil na mnie ogromne wrazenie.

  • Stephen Harper, the PM of Canada, has clearly shown, over several years, his support, political and non-political, of Israel. He should be first on the list. Romney has only talked about his support. Let’s see what happens when and if he becomes president.

  • Great list, but you had better enlarge it to at least 20 names as some of your readers have suggested several more names that really should be counted.

    I would like to see this list sent to all the famous self hating Jews that we in America know and do not love, Woody Allen,Barbra Streisand,etc……


    This goes to prove that you don’t have to be Jewish to love the Jewish People, only to be a decent fellow human being.

    • George A. Schmidt

      Herman..Romney doesn’t love Americans nor Jews nor anybody, nor he’s decent nor human being..the only thing he really loves is his ill-gotten gains and the opportunity to profit from anything vile he possibly could, for which Israel would be just another transaction if he’s given the chance to profit from it, and trust me, he will profit from it if he’s given the chance.

      • are you insane? your problem is you lack the power of reason but not the power of speech, if you want to embarass jews maybe you should be writing on the huffington post

      • Are you sure you’re not channeling Debbie Blabbermouth Schultz?!? Good grief, NOW we know the source of all this Romney’s-the-Devil nonsense – and LIES – that have emanated from the Obama war machine cesspool in Chicago, run by another “self-hating” Jew, David Axelrod, and formerly linked with ballerina Ron Emanuel…

        I will grant you this, however: A man is known by his actions – and Romney has yet to (1) win the WH and (2) do something substantive for Israel! Putting him at numero uno on this otherwise distinguished list is sort of like giving Obozo the Nobel Peace Prize for “wishing might make it so!!”

      • Spoken like a true Obama Democrat! the worse kind there is!

        • So being a supporter of Democrats and stuff like national health care makes us the worst kind of people…. but, I don’t know, converting folks after they are dead to a religion that has Jesus talking to a guy named Joe Smith is superduperifically wonderful.

          Fairy dust for everyone!

      • we did not give him the chance and never will again. let him go the the planet his mormon “god” is from and learn that israel is the land given by Hashem to the Jewish people, Am Israel Chai.!

  • George A. Schmidt

    To the author of this article, Dovid Efune…I could even agree with Murdoch’s nomination, despite the fact that he’s biased and twisted, but worked in favor of Israel’s interests, but Romney?? ROMNEY?? Are you sure about that?? The guy is nothing but a personal war profiteer (Salvadorean civil war money laundering, to which he even admitted), besides loan shark lending, vulture capitalism (against American companies) and off shoring everything from jobs (against America’s workforce) to all of his money to tax heavens in order to skip US taxes and supporting foreign economies by doing so (instead of paying taxes in America, as any Jew will lawfully do).

    And on top of everything, he’s flip-flopping as fast as it can benefit his personal interests to the detriment of America and Americans, and he will surely flip-flop about Israel if opportunity provides…so, if any of you guys here ever came to see the real picture in America, would you ever in your senses favor someone as vile and dangerous as Mitt Romney???…..come’ve got to be kidding me!!!!

    • Mr. Schmidt, You are either a “vile and dangerous” liar or you have been indoctrinated by others vile and dangerous. Mitt Romney is a man of commendably high morals and character. He does not cheat on his wife, his taxes, or his countrymen. To believe anything else about him, is to be deceived. You, Mr. Schmidt, are deceived.

      • We don’t know about his taxes. But we sure do know that Mitt likes to lie.

        I think lying is against the Commandments.

        But, please, consider my message part of the “vile and dangerous” campaign at making a multimillionaire with but one term as a governor look like a goofball Presidential candidate.

        I just hope that, when I die, I get to the place that you aren’t.

  • Fredric M. London

    G-d bless them all. Israel needs all the friends it can get, as politically-coerced censorship gets further and further away from any form of reason.

    I AM a liberal, and proud of it. I believe that government’s main purpose is to protect its citizens from enemies foreign (terrorists) and domestic (greedy self-serving corporate executives). I believe in free speech PERIOD. I loathe theocratic right-wing censorship and the politically-coerced variety. I believe that the rich should pay more than the poor in taxes, as, after all, they receive most of the benefits, and, from a moral standpoint, the opposite is indefensible. I find Romney’s policies, for the most part, repugnant; but greatly appreciate his support of Israel. I find Obama’s domestic agenda admirable, but his solidarity with terrorism alarming.

    So, Sandra, I agree with you about the demonization of progressives. No conservative, and certainly no right-winger, ever accomplished anything positive. However, as isolated as Israel is, and as much as the virulent loathing of Israel increases, those who hate Israel need to be exposed naked, regardless of their other political beliefs; and those who support Israel, regardless of their other political beliefs, need to be thanked.

    • Thanks for your illumination on the differences of the friends that Israel needs, irrespective of “liberal” or “conservative”. Perhaps, though, you forgot about Menachum Begin (Likud, a ‘conservative’, made ‘peace’ with Egypt and got first flights of Ethiopian Jews to Israel (Operation Moses)) or Ronald Reagan (Republican, a ‘conservative’, his policies broke the Soviet Union and destroyed the Berlin Wall) or George H.W. Bush (Republican, a ‘conservative’, responsible for Operation Joshua (about 12-14,000 Ethiopian Jews) and Operation Solomon (about 35,000 Ethiopian Jews) brought to Israel) or even Abraham Lincoln (Republican, a ‘conservative’, who went into a Civil War over slavery, see Emancipation Proclamation, Gettysberg Address, and Second Inaugural Address). You can’t use political philosophy as a means to determine actions for the benefit of Israel or anything else, unless that political philosophy is specifically against the ‘Greater Good’ you are seeking. You can think, don’t throw away your right to do so by not thinking.

      • Excellent rebuttal to the otherwise fine remarks by Mr. London, who obviously suffers from Lib Prog Regressivism, which, as some would say (e.g., that rascally Conservative Jew, Michael Savage, nee Weiner or Weinstein, I forget which) is a “mental disorder…”

        And you took the words right out of my mouth re Ronald Reagan! I wasn’t a huge fan at first, but gradually came to realize that he was one smart cookie and NOT an anti-Semite!! And, of course, in retrospect, he was a GIANT compared to Obozo!

        Anyway, as a life-long Conservative (now in my early 70s), I’m proud of my patriotism, my charity work, my moral compass (although my shaky finances would make Romney pull out his nice hair!!) and my Jewish religion. So, I say to Mr. London, how DARE you slander me in such a churlish fashion?!?

        • I should qualify that “life-long Conservative” handle by saying that, for me, Conservatism really began in college and was probably “officially” launched as a Goldwater Girl…

  • I thought Bob Costas was Jewish….

  • I would definitely add Glen Beck and Sean Hannity… whether or not you like their politics, there’s no debate (or “daylight” Mr. President) as to there support for the Jewish state

  • Steven, there are enough “thinly-veiled left-wing” mouthpieces, out there, n’est-ce pas? No room in your world for another side of the coin?

    I find the left-wing intolerance for dissenting views troubling, but also fascinating…and so deliciously hypocritical.

    Who’s the close-minded one here, dude?

  • Mihai-Robert Soran

    God, is this all ridiculous. To be clear: They have probably no influence, and certainly not a positive one on the Jewish future.

    On the contrary: They contribute to making our Diaspora Jewish future bleaker.

    No, I don’t count Israelis to be “Jewish”. They are Israelis. We, JEWS, live in the Diaspora and will continue to stay there, where we feel home.

    • You know, there is a lot of time to criticize, but little time is taken to separately appreciate the contributions that we make and that others make to us. I for one am grateful for this authors thoughtful reflection. Its not about politics, its about Jews right to exist and Israel’s continued existence. Martin Luther King once said ” one cannot be anti-Israel and not also be anti-Semitic”, and the Lubavitcher Rebbe, when asked why he didn’t encourage all American Jews to leave immediately for Israel, replied “HaShem put us here in America for a reason, perhaps its to support Israel and our fellow Jews”. These are thoughts you may wish to reflect on this Shabbas and not on the polarity of politics and religious leanings

  • And once again Algemeiner proves to be a thinly-veiled right-wing mouthpiece…

    • And u r a big got, far left wing selfhating Jewish cappo

      • Issac, some people are so steeped in their own sense of self that they cannot see others viewpoints for what they are. Just pity Steven and hope or pray for his enlightenment that he may see reality is more balanced than his narrow bigotry.

      • Stay classy, Issac.

    • better than a valium

      Perhaps Steven, you could name some (or even one) left wingers who are ‘positively influencing the Jewish future’ ?

      • Seems to be a loaded question. But if you want one, I would suggest Alan Dershowitz. Ed Koch seemed very pro-Israel. I think in some cases Michael Bloomberg is considered a liberal. Sacha Baron Cohen is a proud Israeli.

        In terms of non-Jews, I’d start with Charles Johnson of Little Green Footballs. Then I would continue with Daniel Inouye, the senator of Hawaii. The Australian PM may or may not be Jewish; she supports Israel.

        Anyways, that’s 7 people off the top of my head, Dr. Valium. All are considered straight up Libs.

  • I would add Mike Huckabee and Jon Voight to the list.

    • Good thoughts, if the list were vlonger I would concur also

    • Hear! Hear!! I love Jon Voight – he’s so darn earnest and forthright about his lovee & respect for Israel. When he started feeling this way and/or became more politically Conservative, I don’t know, but I still love hearing this older “midnight cowboy” when he speaks about Israel!

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