I used to feel scared and guilty when I wrote about Jewish donors. But other journalists recognize the importance of the issue. “Jewish donors” is in the headline of a report in the Guardian on a memoir by a former foreign minister. Writes Lenore Taylor:
Former [Australian] foreign minister Bob Carr has suggested [Australia Prime Minister] Julia Gillard’s dogged insistence on supporting Israel in a controversial United Nations vote was because Australian foreign policy had been “subcontracted” to Jewish donors….
Bob Carr: Diary of a Foreign Minister includes a detailed account of a period in October and November 2012 when Carr campaigned against Gillard’s insistence that Australia should support Israel and vote against Palestinian observer status in the United Nations.
[Former Australian PM Kevin] Rudd’s had a “morbid interest” in the issue which had the potential to impact both on Australia’s fate in the upcoming vote for a seat on the UN security council and on his own chances to return to the prime ministership.
“How much of this is about money, I asked him,” Carr writes. “He said about one-fifth of the money he had raised in the 2007 election campaign had come from the Jewish community.”
Carr concludes that “subcontracting our foreign policy to party donors is what this involves. Or appears to involve.”
He describes how nine ministers spoke against Gillard when the issue was discussed by cabinet, and only two in favour of her position.
“Jewish donors” of course doesn’t discriminate between Zionist ones and non-Zionist ones; but the fact is that the Jewish community has been so homogeneous on this issue till lately that the politicians didn’t have time to discriminate on that basis. That’s why former Congressman Barney Frank said to Jeff Halper, You’ve convinced me; I’m against settlements, but I won’t come out against them till you find 5,000 Jews in my district who will come out against them too. Otherwise it’s political suicide.
This is also the importance of John Judis’s book on Truman. He reports similar division inside Truman’s braintrust as there was in Gillard’s cabinet –overwhelming majorities against Partition. And he says domestic political concerns drove policymaking in ’46 and ’48, and in 2011, too: Truman deferred to Abe Feinberg on foreign policy, as Obama later deferred to Haim Saban. So long as journalists won’t talk about a real effect in our politics, then these rich rightwingers and politicians won’t be embarrassed, the public remains uninformed, and nothing changes.