Keeping the Israel lobby close to the PM’s heart

What will this leading Australian Zionist lobbyist do? The poor dear. He’ll still be helping the Labor Party back every Israeli policy in such a noble act of benevolence. One day, and soon, such figures will be seen as the worst friends of Israel imaginable:

Tim Mathieson, the partner of Prime Minister Julia Gillard, has quit his job with ALP benefactor and prominent Melbourne property developer Albert Dadon.

A senior Jewish business figure last night told The Age his resignation had been ”inevitable” and that moving away from any such employment was ”the right thing to do”.

Last month, The Age reported that if Labor won the election, Mr Mathieson would resign, with senior figures in Labor and the Jewish community concerned about his position with Mr Dadon’s Ubertas property business.

The ALP increasingly regards Mr Dadon as a conduit to donations, including from the Jewish business community. On the last Sunday before polling day he hosted a large breakfast function at his home, where Ms Gillard met members of the Jewish community.

The Prime Minister’s spokeswoman said Mr Mathieson had decided to resign from his job only because he wanted to pursue more advocacy and charity work, in line with his responsibilities ”as the partner of a Prime Minister”.

During the election, Mr Dadon said the function at his home was not a fund-raising event and told ABC Radio that media coverage of his links with the ALP and Tim Mathieson were because of his [Mr Dadon’s] Jewish heritage. ”I feel that this whole thing is simply because I’m a Jew. And that’s what I resent.”

Business sources have told The Age that donations were not collected at the campaign function, but some attendees would later be asked for contributions.

The Prime Minister’s office says Mr Mathieson will spend his time working with groups such as beyondblue and in other roles related to indigenous health.

Since 2008, Mr Mathieson has been national charity ambassador with Kidney Health Australia. The charity’s chief executive, Anne Wilson, said she was contacted on August 31, more than a week after the election, about a possible significant donation from Mr Dadon. His company Ubertas has donated a mid-level apartment from a soon-to-be-developed city site, which the charity will auction or raffle to raise funds.

Mr Mathieson worked selling apartments for Ubertas, responding to inquires from potential buyers and dealing with existing customers.

Text and images ©2024 Antony Loewenstein. All rights reserved.

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