A visit to Israel

August 7, 2018 by J-Wire Newsdesk
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Queensland Senator Anthony Chisolm and New South Wales’ newest voice in the Senate Kristina Keneally have shared their impressions of Israel at an Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council (AIJAC) event in Sydney.

Jeremy Jones, Senator Anthony Chisholm, Senator Kristina Keneally and Dr. Colin Rubenstein

Senator Keneally is a former NSW Premier.

The pair recently visited Israel and the Palestinian Territories on AIJAC’s Rambam Program, together with Senators Amanda Stoker(Qld), Jonathon Duniam(Tas.), Stirling Griff(SA), and New Zealand MP Alfred Ngaro. The group was  accompanied by AIJAC’s Director of International and Community Relations, Jeremy Jones.

Senator Keneally expressed appreciation in having been exposed to an extraordinarily diverse range of views on many complicated topics, as well as the personal significance of the trip to her given her academic and theological background. The Senator addressed challenges Israel faces in maintaining its Jewish and democratic character while being faithful to the rule of law and guaranteeing the nation’s security in the region.

Praising  the remarkable accomplishments of Israel, Senator Chisholm  said he expects the future  to yield similar achievements, as well as continuing challenges . Diverging from his experience on the tour, Chisholm commented on the Labor Party policy positions related to Israel, the Jewish State vis-à-vis Australia and the importance of formulating policy based on Australia’s national interests with regard to its continued good  international standing.

The two Senators indicated that they were grateful for the opportunity to visit the Middle East and explore a range of complex issues relating to Israel, Palestinian society and regional affairs with top analysts and a range of community figures and leaders.

Jones noted that the Senators not only had a wide variety of briefings, but also visited well-known geopolitical locations on the Syrian and Gaza  borders while also meeting in Ramallah with leading Palestinian figures.

During the visit , Jones said, the Parliamentarians took every opportunity to explore how their  respective nations can play a constructive role in matters and issues of common concern relating to Israel and the region.

The event was chaired by AIJAC Executive Director Colin Rubenstein, who warmly introduced and welcomed the Senators’ participation in the Rambam program.

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