Top 10 Most Influential Jews in Politics
Shalom Life compiles a list of the most influential Jewish politicians in office worldwide
The political arena hasn’t always been so friendly to aspiring Jewish politicians. Today however, Jews from across the globe hold political positions in their respective governments, including even some in the top jobs in U.S. President Barack Obama’s administration.
Shalom Life has compiled a list of who we believe to be the top 10 Jewish politicians currently in office. The list ranges from our home and native land of Canada, to the Arab country of Bahrain, and of course, Eretz Yisrael.
Let us know whether you agree or disagree with our choices bellow. Enjoy!
#10: Houda Nonoo
Nonoo is the Bahraini Ambassador to the United States. A member of Bahrain’s 36-member Jewish population, Nonoo is the first female Ambassador from Bahrain, a country with a 99.8 per cent Muslim population, and the first Jewish Ambassador of an Arab country in Washington. Prior to her 2008 appointment to the position by King Hamad ibn Isa Al Khalifah, the 47-year-old served as a founding member and president of the Bahrain Human Rights Watch Society, where she worked to promote awareness of the plight of domestic workers and other foreign labourers while also supporting the rights of women and children. In 2006, she was appointed to the Committee for Finance and Economic Affairs on the 40-member Shura Council, Bahrain’s main legislative body, replacing her brother Ibrahim, the first Jewish member of the council.
#9: Irwin Cotler
Cotler has served as a Canadian Member of Parliament for the Liberal Party since 1999 and was the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada from 2003 to 2006. During his time as Justice Minister, Cotler was responsible for the appointment of two female justices to the Supreme Court of Canada, making it the most gender representative Supreme Court in the world, while appointing the first ever visible minority and aboriginal justices to appellate courts.
The 72-year-old Montreal native also initiated legislation for the Protection of Children and other Vulnerable Persons, the first ever legislation to criminalize trafficking in persons and initiated the first ever prosecution under the Canadian War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity Act for incitement to genocide in Rwanda. He also issued the first ever National Justice Initiative Against Racism and Hate. Prior to his political career, Cotler served as counsel to former prisoners of conscience Nelson Mandela in South Africa and Natan Sharansky in the former Soviet Union. He has testified as an expert witness on human rights before parliamentary committees in Canada, the United States, Russia, Sweden, Norway, and Israel.
#8: Peter Feldmann
Feldmann is a German politician who was elected Mayor of Frankfurt in March 2012, assuming office at the beginning of this month. A member of the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD), Feldmann is the first mayor of a major German city since the Holocaust after receiving 57 per cent of the vote to defeat Boris Rhein of the Christian Democratic Union of Germany. Feldmann joined the SPD in 1974 and is one of the founders of the party’s Jewish wing. The 53-year-old describes himself as a “liberal Jew,” as his election platform advocated a sustained fight against “elderly and children’s poverty” and housing to ameliorate the apartment crisis in Frankfurt. His electionended a 17-year drought, in which not a single SPD candidate was elected mayor of Frankfurt. Feldmann is a strong advocate of Israel’s security and a supporter of continued relations with Tel Aviv, a partner city of Frankfurt.