New Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott Known as Outspoken Israel Supporter
JNS.org – Australians elected Tony Abbott of the conservative Liberal Party as prime minister in a national election on Saturday. Abbott is known for supporting Israel, and said during his election campaign that he is “firmly committed to restoring the Australia- Israeli friendship,” according to the Jerusalem Post.
Abbott and his party defeated Kevin Rudd’s Labor party with a majority of 30 seats in the 150-member Australian parliament. Australian Jewish voters turned away from the current administration after Rudd’s foreign minister, Bob Carr, in a speech at the Lakemba Mosque, Australia’s largest mosque, said that “all [Israeli] settlements on Palestinian land are illegal under international law and should cease.”
“That is the position of Kevin Rudd, the position of the federal Labor government, and we don’t make apologies for it,” Carr said, according to Israel National News.
Australia’s election was originally scheduled to fall on Yom Kippur, but was rescheduled.