The Philo-Semite Twenty-Five

I know, I promised fifty, but this is hard. The list might very well grow to fifty -- keep your suggestions coming -- but for now, here are twenty-five top philo-Semites. A couple of notes: I did not include Kabbalah goofballs such as Madonna, despite demands from numerous readers. More seriously, I did not include Righteous Gentiles, non-Jews who saved Jews during the Shoah. That is a special category that represents something much greater than simple affinity for,  and support of, Jews. Some of you might question the presence of Malcolm Gladwell on the list; he is there because he is the greatest philo-Semite I know personally; because he introduced me to my wife, with whom I have had numerous baby Jews; and because he inspired this list. There are numerous others whose inclusion will provoke criticism, I'm sure. Criticize away!

Here is the preliminary list, presented in no special order.

1) Winston Churchill
2) W.H. Auden
3) Orde Wingate
4) Harry Truman
5) Maurice Blanchot
6) Cyrus the Great
7) Johannes Brahms
8 James Carroll
9) Henry "Scoop" Jackson
10) Dennis Leary
11) Rembrandt van Rijn
12) Paul Johnson
13) Daniel Patrick Moynihan
14) Denis MacShane
15) Vladimir Nabokov
16) George Eliot
17) George Orwell
18) Emile Zola
19) George Washington
20) Sir Walter Scott
21) Thomas Cahill
22) Pete Townshend
23) Mark Twain
24) William Butler Yeats
25) Malcolm Gladwell

Presented by

Jeffrey Goldberg is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and a recipient of the National Magazine Award for Reporting. He is the author of Prisoners: A Story of Friendship and Terror. More

Before joining The Atlantic in 2007, Goldberg was a Middle East correspondent, and the Washington correspondent, for The New Yorker. He was previouslly a correspondent for The New York Times Magazine and New York magazine. He has also written for the Jewish Daily Forward and was a columnist for The Jerusalem Post.

Goldberg's book Prisoners was hailed as one of the best books of 2006 by the Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Slate, The Progressive, Washingtonian magazine, and Playboy. He received the 2003 National Magazine Award for Reporting for his coverage of Islamic terrorism and the 2005 Anti-Defamation League Daniel Pearl Prize. He is also the winner of the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists prize for best international investigative journalist; the Overseas Press Club award for best human-rights reporting; and the Abraham Cahan Prize in Journalism.

In 2001, Goldberg was appointed the Syrkin Fellow in Letters of the Jerusalem Foundation, and in 2002 he became a public-policy scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C.


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