AIJAC meets Alex Hawke

April 8, 2021 by J-Wire Newsdesk
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The Australian Federal Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs,  Alex Hawke hosted representatives of the Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council at his Sydney office on Yom HaShoah.

Dr Colin Rubenstein, Alex Hawke and Jeremy Jones

On the day the Jewish world commemorates those who perished in the Holocaust and the Heroes who Resisted, the Minister discussed the challenges of how to best address racism, political extremism and terrorism.

In a wide-ranging discussion they considered the issue of far right-wing groups operating internationally and in Australia, terrorist organisations and the specific challenges they pose to the Jewish community, the success of varying strategies to combat racism and violent extremism, as well as how Australia can play a constructive role globally in stopping the continued growth and activities of racist movements.

The Minister agreed that it was important that Australia’s values, including democracy, freedom and aspirations for a better future were vital to blunting the impact of extremist organisations, while Government leaders have a responsibility to be unambiguous in their opposition to bigotry and discrimination.  The proposed National Anti-Racist Strategy and the contribution AIJAC can make to its success was discussed in this context.

Dr Colin Rubenstein, AIJAC’S Executive Director, said “The Australian Government has a crucial role to play in combatting the growth of both extremist regimes and organisations. This was a constructive meeting in which we were able to discuss how this can best be done.”

AIJAC’s Director of International and Community Affairs, Jeremy Jones, noted that “Antisemitism and other forms of racism have, unfortunately, are an ever-present challenge for the Jewish community. We were grateful that the Minister listened to our concerns and recommitted himself and his Government to strengthening the defences of multicultural Australia from its challenges.”

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