Jewish 100, 2014: Tony Abbott – Government
Prime Minister of Australia
“The problem in the Middle East is that in the end so many people are not prepared to accept Israel’s right to exist.” With that statement, delivered to a local radio station at the height of the summer 2014 war in Gaza, Australia’s Liberal Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, uttered a truth that too many politicians in the west are unwilling or outright afraid to acknowledge. Elected in 2013, Abbott has continued the policy of previous administrations by strongly supporting Israel. In December 2014, Australia, in marked contrast to European governments, was the only country, along with the United States, to vote against the Palestinian statehood resolution at the UN Security Council. Such actions will not necessarily translate into electoral success – Muslim voters in Australia outnumber Jewish ones by five to one – but Abbott has made it clear that this is one issue on which principle won’t be sacrificed for expediency.