American Jewish Committee delegation in Australia

November 1, 2014 Agencies
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An AJC senior leadership delegation has concluded a five-day mission to Australia. The visit included stops in Melbourne, Canberra, and Sydney.

 

Dr Colin Rubenstein, Prime Minister Tony Abbott and David Harris

Dr Colin Rubenstein, Prime Minister Tony Abbott and David Harris

 

Earlier, the group traveled to Japan, Indonesia, and Singapore.

The program in Australia was coordinated with AJC’s longstanding partner organization, AIJAC, led by its executive director, Dr. Colin Rubenstein.

The visit to Canberra was highlighted by a private meeting with Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott.

In the capital, the delegation also met with the Leader of the Opposition, the Minister of Defense, Permanent Secretary of Foreign Affairs, Permanent Secretary of Defense, Shadow Minister of Defense, Shadow Attorney-General, and both the Israeli and U.S. ambassadors.

Additionally, the group met with several top journalists and think tank directors, and had a dinner with many members of the Australia/Israel Parliamentary Friendship Group, one of the largest such groups in the Parliament.

“We came to Australia, first and foremost, to express our heartfelt gratitude and admiration for the country’s indispensable alliance with the United States and steadfast support for Israel,” said AJC Executive Director David Harris, who has visited Australia five times. “This is truly an exceptional nation, one that has stood with us shoulder-to-shoulder time and again. We are inspired by Australia’s regional and global partnership in an increasingly turbulent world. And its Jewish community is among the most impressive, vibrant, and dedicated in the world.”

The visits to Melbourne and Sydney included meetings with leaders of the local Jewish communities, state parliamentarians and journalists, as well as several groups of young Jewish advocates.

The principal topics discussed during the mission were: Australian-U.S. and Australian-Israeli relations; the Iranian nuclear challenge; Asia-Pacific regional developments; and Australia’s efforts to help combat the surge of ISIS in Iraq.

AJC maintains close ties with Australian diplomats in the U.S. through its Asia Pacific Institute, led by Shira Loewenberg, who also joined the mission. The institute, the first of its kind, was founded 25 years ago to address the growing importance of the region to the U.S. and the Jewish people.

Colin Rubenstein said: “We came to Australia, first and foremost, to express our heartfelt gratitude and admiration for the country’s indispensable alliance with the United States and steadfast support for Israel,” said AJC Executive Director David Harris.

This is truly an exceptional nation, one that has stood with us shoulder-to-shoulder time and again. We are inspired by Australia’s regional and global partnership in an increasingly turbulent world. And its Jewish community is among the most impressive, vibrant, and dedicated in the world.”

We very much appreciated the Prime Minister’s receptiveness,warmth and encouraging response to our concerns, as well as the ongoing support of the Opposition Leader”Dr. Rubenstein said.

The visits to Melbourne and Sydney included meetings with leaders of the local Jewish communities, state parliamentarians and journalists, as well as several groups of young Jewish advocates.”

J-Wire asked Harris if deteriorating relations between Israel and the United States would impact on the affiliation of American Jews to the community. He said that this is not happening.

Comments

10 Responses to “American Jewish Committee delegation in Australia”
  1. Adrian Jackson says:

    In Australia the word “Permanent” is not used as a prefix for Secretaries of Departments either.

  2. Adrian Jackson says:

    So what came of the “private” meetings with the Prime Minister, Opposition Leader and others other than a number of greet and grin session?

  3. Kevin Herbert says:

    Harris is kidding himself if he thinks deteriorating relations between Israel and the United States are not impacting on the affiliation of American Jews to their community.

    Hasn’t he heard of CodePink, Muzzlewatch, J Street, Jewish Voices for Peace, Not in My Name, the student protests at Brandeis etc etc etc….this movement is gathering pace at an alarming rate particularly since the recent Gaza conflict.

    The extraordinary June 2013 protest against Israel by 10,000 Orthodox rabbis in Foley Square NYC, fed into this trend away from blind support for Israel.

    As US Jewish academic Norman Finkelstein emphatically establishes in his book ‘Knowing Too Much: Why the American Jewish Romance with Israel is Coming to an End’, under 40 Jews no longer automatically adhere to Zionism.

    My experience in Australia says the same thing…younger secular Jews are questioning who’s in control in Israel & why should they support them.

    It won’t be long until young Aussie Jews start making their views publicly known.

    • Otto Waldmann says:

      As you wallow in statistical nonsense, the “alarming” comments are just a smoke screen for the NIF kind of rubbish.
      Where did you get the “data” about the under 40 Australian non-observant Jews leaving Zionism in droves !!!! In addition the Foley Sq. demo was a typical Szatmar idiotic display and not 10,000 but some 2,000 Rabbis, the rest were nut cases under the same vicious spell. Nothing new and/or endemic in relation to the “depletion” of the massive support American Jews and their Government provide Israel, hard core Zionism. The other deranged mobs( Jstreet, indeed NIF etc.) make a lot of noise, sure, but their actual effect is nil by an American political system ( now with the Republicans in full control of the Houses ) which is not at all likely to cease giving Israel all it needs to continue in a radical way against its foes. GOOD LUCK TO THEM !!!
      ( you ‘talk” as if you hold exclusively info. re these issues and the rest is made of schlemils….It makes me laugh and then some.)
      Incidentally, it is so heartening to see that NIF was born in Australia a mongoloid and now is all but a dead cretin infant.Otherwise, you can keep Messrs. Lowenstein, Slezak, Porzsolt, all just as putrid.

      • Kevin Herbert says:

        Otto Waldmann:

        You conveniently avoided commenting on Norman Finkelstein’s scholarly work on the demise of support for Israel by US Jews under 40, as mentioned in my above post. Care to remedy that omission?

        Also, you mistakenly claim that I said Australian Jews under 40 “…were leaving in Zionism in droves”. Huh? you must be confusing me with another source. I said nothing of the sort.

        FYI, there is currently a move underway to give the increasing number of young Aussie Jews the chance to voice their opinions on all & sundry in their community including Israel. Keep a look out for it.

        As a general comment, your post has the hallmarks of someone who mistakenly thinks they’re lecturing from on high…and maybe you are…. and that’s the problem.

        Also, your reference to dead disabled infants is unnecessary, insentitive & tasteless in the extreme, and I’m surprised J Wire allowed it.

        Finally, as for your ad hominem jibe re schlemiels (this time spelt correctly), I wanted to say that it takes a schmendrick to know, but my cultured upbringing prevents me from doing so.

        • Otto Waldmann says:

          No ad hominem, ay !!! Who’s climbin’ up some moralistic imaginary ladder pontificating to the cynical smirks of the addressee….
          Anyway, I am very happy that I was so right when ad hominem you re the NIF and the reference to those unfortunate infants is made strictly to NIF and not to the actual people affected by the condition. Let’s be clear , once again, NIF is verifiable as described by me and this stays solid in the context of our discussion.
          Your bibliographical suggestion can well also stay on your bookshelf, I have me own sources. One does not have to be specific re Australia, as, by extention, considering comprehensive similarities with Amerike, Australian same generational segment is inferred, so being pedantic here is really redundant.
          A minor point , but just to jolt your confidence a bit, shlemils, as in any transliteration of Yidish in particular, is open to almost any orthography and if strictly “Doych” I could go for schlemill rendering yours way out of wack. As about cultured upbringing, what are we talkin’ about, cultured maschrums !!!!

          • Kevin Herbert says:

            Well well Otto Waldmann:

            Given the paucity of content in your responses, you’re clearly a prime example of why there’s an emerging schism in international Jewry.

            You’re clearly far too clever to engage in meaningful discourse, so why don’t you simply address your future views to a mirror.

            • Paul Shulman says:

              Kevin, you’ve hit the nailhead right on the head. Await for the deafening silence or a one on one debate in the mirror response.

            • Otto Waldmann says:

              Meaningful you say !!! And why should I entertain aimless roasting of nutty notions, such as your ontology of……schisms among the Jews !!!!!
              Last time I checked my mirror there was amazement watching me, conveying: “what could possibly that bloke KH be talkin’ about !!!”

  4. Adrian Jackson says:

    In Australia Defence is spelt with a “c” not an “s”. We are not Americans

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