Australian-Israeli Pundit: Netanyahu’s ‘Important, Timely’ Historic State Visit Down Under Cemented Already Tight Bond, Threatened Only by ‘Problematic Elements in Labour Party, Far-Left Groups’
On the occasion of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s state visit Down Under, a renowned Australian-Israeli pundit told The Algemeiner that the only thing he sees as possibly threatening “historically outstanding bipartisan” Canberra-Jerusalem ties is the strengthening of problematic elements within the country’s Labour party and far-Left groups.
Otherwise, Isi Leibler — a former World Jewish Congress official who made Aliyah in 1999 and resides in the Israeli capital — gave rave reviews to what he called Netanyahu’s “extremely important and timely trip,” particularly in the context of global events, “which cemented an already tight bond.” This was evident, Leibler explained, in the “warm support” that Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull extended to Netanyahu.
Equally noteworthy, said Leibler, was the “united Zionist front” exhibited by Australia’s Jewish community, all of whose members – “other than those on the far Left and lunatic fringe – were thrilled with Netanyahu’s visit.”
Compared to the rift among American Jews, about which Leibler has written extensively, he said that such a schism among Australian Jews is marginal when it comes to Israel. Indeed, he said, “Australian Jewry is unique, probably because of its high proportion of Holocaust survivors.”
Netanyahu “can only dream of having such a reception at home,” Leibler quipped about the discrepancy between the Israeli leader’s internal political battles and investigation into corruption charges, and the ovation with which he was greeted by 2,000 people at the Central Synagogue in Sydney’s Bondi Junction on Wednesday evening, at an event attended by prominent business people and dignitaries, including former prime ministers John Howard and Tony Abbott.
During the first day of his four-day visit — the first-ever of a sitting Israeli prime minister to Australia — Netanyahu stressed the country’s role in the establishment of the Jewish state in 1948, and in the much earlier liberation of Beersheba in WWI, the 100th anniversary of which Turnbull will be coming to Israel to celebrate later this year.
Watch Netanyahu address the Central Synagogue in Sydney’s Bondi Junction below: