Conservative donors coordinate Kaminski letter by “Jewish leaders”

A letter from "Jewish leaders" to the Daily Telegraph appears to be little more than a coordinated effort by a series of Conservative party funders & supporters

A letter from “Jewish leaders” to the Daily Telegraph appears to be little more than a coordinated effort by a series of Conservative party funders and supporters.

The letter, reported in today’s Daily Telegraph, says:

“Many people in the Jewish community have noted with concern the recent attacks on David Cameron’s allies in eastern Europe … It has become increasingly obvious that these accusations are unfair, baseless and politically motivated …

“Anti-Semitism is far too grave a charge to be used as a political football. We call upon those responsible for making unsubstantiated allegations to withdraw them.”

But many of the signatories appear themselves to be “politically motivated.” For example, the top four signatories all have links to the Conservative party. Lord Young of Graffham was President of the Board of Trade under Margaret Thatcher; Flo Kaufmann donated £4,950 to the party; Howard Leigh is the party’s senior Treasurer and has made a series of donations; and Benjamin Perl was a friend of John Major from his constituency of Huntingdon.

Among the other signatories, Dr Alan Mendoza is a Conservative party councillor in Brent and Executive Director of the neo-conservative think tank, the Henry Jackson Society. Meanwhile, Richard Harrington is Chair, and Stephen Massey sits on, the Executive Board of the Conservative Friends of Israel. The Telegraph’s accompanying article only lists Lord Young’s link to the Tories.

UPDATE 16.13

Total donations from signatories of the Telegraph letter amount to £135,683:

Flo Kaufmann – £4,950 + £350 (non-cash)

Howard Leigh – £72,620 + £600 (non-cash)

Richard Harrington – £19,350 + £4,313 (non-cash)

Stephen Massey – £33,500

UPDATE 09.02

I have amended the entry relating to Benjamin Perl as to the comment below.

Like this article? Sign up to Left Foot Forward's weekday email for the latest progressive news and comment - and support campaigning journalism by making a donation today. 

18 Responses to “Conservative donors coordinate Kaminski letter by “Jewish leaders””

  1. Albert Shanker

    Pathetic. How their argument falls apart at the first ray of sunlight. However, it’s just about enough for the likes of the Telegraph etc al to run a story.

  2. Will Straw

    Total donations to Tories from signatories of Telegraph "Jewish leaders" letter = £136k http://bit.ly/Gxn0V

  3. Adam Bienkov

    RT @wdjstraw Total donations to Tories from signatories of Telegraph "Jewish leaders" letter = £136k http://bit.ly/Gxn0V

  4. sunny hundal

    RT @wdjstraw: Total donations to Tories from signatories of Telegraph "Jewish leaders" letter = £136k http://bit.ly/Gxn0V

  5. Tim Ireland

    RT @wdjstraw: Total donations to Tories from signatories of Telegraph "Jewish leaders" letter = £136k http://bit.ly/Gxn0V

  6. amol rajan

    RT @pickledpolitics RT @wdjstraw: Total donations to Tories from signatories of Telegraph "Jewish leaders" letter= £136k http://bit.ly/Gxn0V

  7. Jeremy Rowe

    RT @AdamBienkov: RT @wdjstraw Total donations to Tories from signatories of Telegraph "Jewish leaders" letter = £136k http://bit.ly/Gxn0V

  8. JewishLabourMovement

    RT @leftfootfwd Conservative donors coordinate Kaminski letter by “Jewish leaders” http://bit.ly/Gxn0V

  9. Clay Harris

    RT @AdamBienkov: RT @wdjstraw Total donations to Tories from signatories of Telegraph "Jewish leaders" letter = £136k http://bit.ly/Gxn0V

  10. Liberal Conspiracy » Telegraph omits political ties of signatories attacking Miliband

    […] Will Straw at Left Foot Forward points out that several of the signatories to the letter attacking David Miliband themselves have […]

  11. David Cameron

    How dare our opponents misuse anti-semitism! Only we can do that: http://bit.ly/Gxn0V

  12. Snag

    “and Benjamin Perl was John Major’s constituency agent in Huntingdon.”

    “He was introduced in the early 1990s to Peter Brown, Mr Major’s constituency agent, by Benjamin Perl, a friend of Mr Major. Mr Perl runs a picture- frame factory in the Prime Minister’s Huntingdon constituency, but Mr Nagel has no connection with the constituency.”

    I know socialists have comprehension problems, but didn’t realise they lack basic reading skills.

  13. Peter Koroly

    In Hungary politicians of the Fidesz (belonging to the association of people’s parties)are collaborating with the extreme right Jobbik party in many local coalitions. Fidesz declares itself to be a conservative party, but in reality it is a völkisch-nationalist party. One of their MPs Oszkár Molnár, who is also mayor of Edelény said in a TV interview: “Jewish big business wants to occupy our land, with our agriculture, drinking water, hospitals and schools. One has to be quiet about that in Hungary”
    Probably those gentlemen warning: “Anti-Semitism is far too grave a charge to be used as a political football. We call upon those responsible for making unsubstantiated allegations to withdraw them.” Will explain us, that “conservatives” can never be antisemites. But the fact remains, an MP of the Fidesz has made racist, antisemitic and homophob declarations, but his party has not excluded him, and party leader Viktor Orbán said that Molnár’s declarations are “embarassing”.

  14. Arthur

    Stop Press: ‘Conservative Party is attacked, Conservatives defend themselves.’

    What on earth is the implication of this post? That somehow it is wrong for Conservatives to defend themselves when they are attacked by their opponents?

  15. willstraw

    Arthur – The point is that the letter was written up by the Telegraph as coming from “Jewish leaders” rather than from “Conservative donors and hacks who happen to be Jewish”. If it had been the latter, as you suggest, it would never have been a story for the very point you raise.

  16. FT.com | Westminster Blog | Further Reading

    […] Defenders of Kaminski include donors to the Tories […]

  17. John77

    This sounds like a “Dog bites man” headline. You have identified six out of twenty-six signatories as Conservatives and one as being a friend of a Conservative (now that is a REALLY Stalinist comment). Even including the friend that is only 27% of the signatories while 40+% of the adult population support the Conservatives. A statistician or an impartial commentator would title this “ONLY 27% of Kaminski supporters are known (or suspected) Conservatives”.
    You should rewrite your reply to “Arthur” as it implies that the other 22 are poor-quality journalists who support the conservatives and there are libel laws in this country

  18. The Jewish Labour Movement » Blog Archive » JLM adds weight to ‘Tory friends’ charge on Telegraph letter

    […] a hat tip to the Left Foot Forward site, who worked out after some not too time-consuming research, that most of the signatories weren’t neutrals in the […]

Leave a Reply