The UK Labor party is looking at mass desertion by its Jewish donors and supporters in response to Ed Miliband’s anti-Israeli position on Gaza and Palestine, calling it “toxic, ” the Telegraph reported.
Last week, Jewish actress Maureen Lipman said she was ending her five decades of support for the Labor Party. Now it appears that many other Jewish supporters, who normally give serious money to Labor, are not returning party calls.
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Another said: “I speak to people. I know what’s going on in the party. And they are finding it tough going. Look at their reports on what’s raised and look at what they’re getting from the unions. They are finding it very difficult raising money.”
According to the Telegraph, Miliband has been warned that Jewish money is leaving the party en mass over his “aggressive pro-Palestine policy at the expense of Israeli interests.”
One wealthy Jewish Labor supporter told the Telegraph he no longer wished to “see Mr. Miliband in Downing Street or Douglas Alexander as Foreign Secretary.”
Considering the fact that Ed Miliband is the first potential Jewish prime minister since Benjamin Disraeli, this is pretty ironic.
A senior Labor MP warned that Miliband now faces an “insurmountable challenge” to keep the same Jewish supporters who helped fund Tony Blair and Gordon Brown’s campaigns.
It appears that Labor’s fundraising is flat. So much so, that the party leadership is doubtful they could raise the full $30 million they are permitted to spend according to election laws between now and May, when the vote takes place.
The same party elders are worried that the drop in funding would force them to turn to the unions for more support, which would mean an end to the party’s ability to govern effectively, should they win.
“We will have to pass the begging bowl round to the unions, ” they told the Telegraph, warning it would “send a bad signal. In return, they [the unions] would demand to call the shots on policy.”
Jews donate hundreds of thousands of pounds a year to Labor Party. The Independent on Sunday cited Jewish donors who said they’re taking their money and their votes elsewhere.
“There aren’t that many donors to the Labor Party these days, and certainly not the same number of Jewish donors. There is a lot of worry, ” one donor said. “I have been a Labor supporter all my life and I would like to see a Labor government, but, on the other hand, I’m not entirely sure I want to see Ed Miliband in Downing Street or Douglas Alexander in the Foreign Office.”
Labor’s position is that Miliband’s position on Gaza and Palestine is “principled, ” and he also believes that Israel has a right to defend itself, which is nice. But Jewish supporters say that Miliband changed Labor’s principled policy on Israel, so let him go to the Palestinians for money.
Jewish fundraisers have been refusing to go nera Labor, as one of them told the Independent: “I was going to do a couple of dinners and invite prominent members of the community, who are quite wealthy, to raise funds. They just wouldn’t touch it. It was too toxic for them to even consider. There is a lot of reluctance to support Miliband financially, unfortunately.”
Finally, former Jewish Labor supporters have been comparing Miliband’s position on Gaza with PM David Cameron’s, and they simply like the latter a whole lot better.