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  • Shocking news: David Abrahams is Jewish!

    by Leon
    7th December, 2007 at 12:15 pm    

    It’s incredible that the media coverage of the dealings of David Abrahams has any ethnic angle at all. To be clear, it never occurred to me that he was Jewish and even if it had it wouldn’t have mattered; if someone is a corrupt s.o.b they’re a corrupt s.o.b in my eyes no matter the religion, skin pigment or racial ID.

    However the tone of the allegations of a ‘Jewish conspiracy’ (whatever the hell that is??) involving Israeli money is verging on racism. If there is any wrongdoing by David Abrahams it’s his ego driven desire to be noticed and to gain what all big donors to political parties want: influence.

    This issue isn’t just a Labour party problem; it’s a party political one. The fact that it costs millions to run a General Election campaign these days means big money will be sought. As the average voter doesn’t have £5000 to splurge on a political party it’s the wealthy that’ll come into the breach. Of course donations relate to outcome, would you invest for no return? Even if you’re not seeking direct influence over policy or government contracts merely donating means you want the party to continue as it is.

    So, back to Abrahams, he’s just another donor caught up in yet another scandal (he won’t be the last) and the fact that he’s Jewish has no relevance to his actions. Why should his ethnicity be a factor at all given the economic nature of his political activity?

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    Filed in: Media,Party politics,Race politics

    11 Comments below   |  

    Reactions: Twitter, blogs

    1. Rumbold — on 7th December, 2007 at 1:03 pm  

      Excellent article Leon. It is just an excuse for people to have a go at Jews under the cloak of something else.

    2. Kulvinder — on 7th December, 2007 at 1:12 pm  

      I was about to do an article on this :)

      I agree the way that the coverage has been presented has been a little disconcerting. Although i didn’t think there was any anti-semitism in the cash for peerages investigation; some of the articles in the press during this scandal have in my opinion veered that direction.

      The Telegraph questioning whether Abrahams has the money he claims and ‘helpfully’ putting up a picture of the Israeli ambassador isn’t exactly subtle.

    3. bananabrain — on 7th December, 2007 at 1:41 pm  

      the jewish chronicle has, i understand, got evidence that abrahams told them he gave his money through intermediaries in order to be anonymous enough to avoid being accused of being part of said jewish conspiracy. as if that would actually help. for a start, if you see jewish conspiracies everywhere it’s going to look just as suspicious if not more so and on the other hand, if you see antisemitism everywhere it’s going to be equally clear that They’re Out To Get The Jews. as usual, everyone is having their previous points of view reinforced and nobody is learning anything new.



    4. rupahuq — on 7th December, 2007 at 3:09 pm  

      Was this a reason why he felt he had to ues the name David Martin as well? Or was it to distance himself from his overbearing dad? Either way it feels a bit like someone is now out to smear him

    5. Sid — on 7th December, 2007 at 3:22 pm  

      You mean that this has nothing to do with the fact that the Daily Mail has reporeted him as “a confirmed bachelor who enjoys musical theatre”?

    6. swaraj — on 7th December, 2007 at 3:45 pm  

      This has been going on for years. The Tories have been at it since god knows when. There was the Asil Nadir case in the early 1990s and how come Ashcroft got a peerage (could it be that he bankrolled the tories for the best part of 10yrs)?

      What’s really annoying is that david abrahams is made out to be this shadowy fiugre buying influence with his money. The politicians could have turned him down! It was their greed that gave him the opportunity in the first place. Harman, Hain, Alexander should all resign. They took moeny illegally and admitted it. There’s no wiggle - room there. Labour have admitted that they helped Abrahams work out ways he could donate to the party thru loopholes in the law.

      What’s even more upsetting is the PM (who I thought was at least honest)so wants to stay at the top of the ‘greasy pole’ that he tries to wash his hands of it saying he didn’t know anything about it!

      The Electoral Commission should be do a lot more to punish political parties and individuals but it doesn’t have the will or the teeth to be able to. If our politicians want us to trust them again then they have to give full independence and full set of sanctions to the Electoral Commission. No more of this ‘I intend to investigate and publish recommendations’ rubbish. Investigate and punish. Simple!

      PS Leon, great article

    7. Random Guy — on 11th December, 2007 at 3:05 pm  

      So if there really is a more sinister reason behind his donations, and if it is linked with his Jewish identity and therefore a possibility that he supports Zionism and illegal setllemenets, basically his actions should not be scrutinised because this is anti-semitism?

      I would say that this is a load of tripe. AIPAC in the U.S has a very powerful lobby, most of which is related to money flow and influence.

      I call double standards. If you support freedom of speech, the last thing you should be crying out is “anti-semitism” until you have exhausted all other avenues of inquiry.

    8. bananabrain — on 11th December, 2007 at 3:58 pm  

      i think it’s a bit more basic than that, random guy; all lobbies are about money flow and influence, not just jewish and israeli ones. i think it’s the *implication* that anything involving jews and money must *by definition* be suspicious and that anything involving israelis in addition must *by definition* be about supporting zionism and illegal settlements - that’s the anti-semitic bit. imagine a female donor - the implication would be that she had somehow bestowed sexual favours in favour of advancement. it’s the idea that the mind leaps immediately to the stereotype. that’s what constitutes prejudice.

      the thing that is particularly nonsensical about david abrahams in this context is that he’s been involved with labour friends of israel, a parliamentary lobby group which is no friend of the settlement movement! it’s not like the guy is a big donor to *right-wing* zionist causes! whether it is credible that he didn’t know what he was doing was dodgy is however somewhat more in question.



    9. Sunny — on 11th December, 2007 at 4:10 pm  

      I would say that this is a load of tripe. AIPAC in the U.S has a very powerful lobby, most of which is related to money flow and influence.

      Yes, and your point is what? There are Arab and Muslim lobbies in the USA, as there are in the UK. So if a Muslim businessman was caught giving illegal donations and people thought it was some sort of an Islamist conspiracy, you wouldn’t call it a witch-hunt?

    10. Random Guy — on 11th December, 2007 at 11:21 pm  

      If right off the bat I called it a witch hunt, without looking into whether or not the claims held any water, then that would be just as despicable on my part. Is that what you are saying Sunny? Do you agree that people are already calling it a witch hunt?

    11. Random Guy — on 11th December, 2007 at 11:32 pm  

      My point is also that AIPAC is using its influence to subvert U.S policy into doing things that are not necessarily in the U.S’s best interests, and are actually illegal. Now if you are saying that it is not credible that a similar thing can happen in this country - if it already hasn’t - then I think you need a reality check. There is a world of difference between being anti-jewish and questioning someone who has clear political biases towards Israel/Zionism and is donating large sums of money to the ruling party.

      Of course Sunny, in your hypothetical case that it was an ‘Islamist’ (whatever the eff that means) conspiracy, this post would be resembling something like a witch hunt by now and you know it. But thats neither here nor there, anyway. In any case, anyone who called me anti-semitic would probably get a slap in the face from my father-in-law.

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