Without an understanding of the Jewish Question, Jewish political behaviour is inexplicable to most mainstream political observers. That was my reaction upon reading yesterday’s headline that Anthony Pratt, once Australia’s richest man (now dropped down to 4th place) has donated a sum of $1,000,000 to the Indigenous Voice to Parliament “Yes” campaign.
Pratt, a strange looking fellow with his mop of bright orange hair, must appear no less strange in his political behaviour to those uninitiated in the goings-on of the tribe. What will the Sky News after dark viewers think of a Donald Trump supporter throwing his weight behind the Yes campaign? According to political reporter Anthony Galloway, the donation will be seen as a “political shift” by Pratt, “who became one of Donald Trump’s biggest supporters and in 2019 helped bring the then-US president together with his Australian counterpart Scott Morrison at his recycled paper and packaging factory in Ohio.”
Of course, no such shift has actually occurred. Pratt’s support for the Yes campaign is in truth perfectly consistent with his previous political record. Jewish political activism is concerned with matters well beyond party lines or simplistic ideological demarcations of Left and Right. Pratt’s response to the Voice offers us one such example, as does the recent release of the latest party donation returns by the Australian Electoral Commission.
A review of the records on the AEC Transparency Register shows that in the leadup to the previous federal election in financial year 2021/2022, Pratt donated overall $1.7 million to the Liberal/National Party whilst simultaneously donating $1.8 million to the Australian Labor Party. Pratt’s $1.5 million donation to the ALP in May 2022 and the $1 million to the Liberal Party in January 2022 were the single largest individual donations to both major parties prior to the election.
Pratt repeated this in financial year 2018/2019, in the leadup to the 2019 federal election, with $1.5 million to Labor and $1.2 million to the Liberals. In fact, exclude the Liberal party owned entities (the Cormack and Greenfields Foundations) and you would be forgiven for thinking the Liberal donor list that year was actually a donor list of the Zionist Federation of Australia, so ubiquitous are Jews amongst those who contributed more than $100,000. Jewish property developer Isaac Wakil’s whopping $4 million dollar donation to the party played no small role in Morrison’s “miracle” election victory that year. Pratt’s donation returns over the last decade show a consistent split of donations to both parties, with admittedly a more generous approach to the Liberals on non-election years.
Why does one of the richest men in Australia donate such large sums to both the ALP and the LNP? Isn’t it strange that the largest individual donations to either party came from the same person? When it is discussed in mainstream political articles, this fact is presented and glossed over without any commentary. I have posited both questions to a number of politically knowledgeable Australians over the years, from an anti-capitalist inner-city Greens voter, to a Sky News watching self-proclaimed “forgotten Australian.” None of the answers offered ever made much sense: Does Pratt really just love politics so much that he will splash millions of dollars on both major parties for no political benefit? Is our political system just so corrupt? Do all Australian capitalists support both sides to keep the capitalist system going?
Other Australian billionaires don’t seem to make such enormous bi-partisan donations. Atlassian duo Cannon-Brookes and Farquhar limited their donations to Climate 200 (the funding group for the teal campaigns), Clive Palmer donates to Clive Palmer. Gina Rinehart sticks to the Liberal party, making proxy donations via mining groups, and Andrew Forrest courts both sides but largely avoids political donations. The only other prominent Australian billionaire who seems to cross party lines in making large contributions is, unsurprisingly, Harry Triguboff.
For staunch Zionists like Pratt, donating such huge sums to both parties ensures that no matter who wins the election, the new government will stay friendly to Israel and will include the interests of the Jewish community in all their political considerations. Whilst Liberal support for Israel has never really been questioned, a number of Labor Prime Ministers over the years (notably Whitlam and Rudd) have had their doubts. The last thing Jews in Australia want is a Labor party led by the likes of a Jeremy Corbyn.
When it comes to the Yes campaign, Pratt is just making the same political calculation that he always does. Whether it be cosying up to Donald Trump – in Pratt’s own words “the most pro-Israel president” – or hosting lavish fundraising parties at his Melbourne mansion for Victorian Labor premier Daniel Andrews, a leader who combines strong support for Israel and the Jewish community with aggressive attacks on Christianity and “hate speech”, the calculation is simple: “will this benefit the Jews?”
That is the question to which the majority of Jewish political decisions are orientated, and any attempt at understanding Jewish behaviour in the political realm without this key will necessarily leave your answer lacking.
Pratt’s donation is a donation in support of “tolerance” and “diversity” and the Jewish moral imperative of Tikkun Olam, to eradicate White Australia and heal the country of its racially exclusionary past that also excluded Jews. It is a donation to create an Australia where reactionary forces, which they claim will always come for the Jews next, are further marginalised and rendered out of date. It is a donation to ensure Australian Jews remain in the good graces of the Aboriginal activist clique, to stop them from making an obvious alliance with the Palestinian cause.
In all, it is a donation in support of the constitutional enshrinement of a radical “Blak” power block at the heart of our political nexus, one that will permanently disfigure our country in its quest to “decolonise” and to eradicate so-called White Supremacy. Will this be to the benefit of Australians or even to ordinary Aborigines who struggle to simply find employment and a meaningful life? Of course not, but for people like Pratt and the wider Jewish community that’s not what counts.
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