A new look at the Australia-Israel relationship

August 18, 2015 Agencies
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Australia and Israel’s complex relationship has received a fresh public examination with the release of the new academic collection, Australia and Israel: A Diasporic, Political and Relationship.


Julie Szego, Suzanne Rutland, Dashiel Lawrence and Shahar Burla

The collection, co-edited by emerging researchers Shahar Burla and Dashiel Lawrence and featuring contributions from Emeritus Professor Suzanne Rutland and Israeli-academic Fania Oz-Salzberger, was launched in Sydney and Melbourne last week.

“We’re very pleased to bring this research to the public debate and discourse. We know that some in the Jewish community may not like what they read. It will shake the tree. But it’s clear that the Australia – Israel relationship needs to be examined,” said Dr Burla.

The collection features chapters from political scientists, historians and anthropologists among other researchers. It questions the ineffectiveness of Hebrew education in Jewish day schools and draws critical attention to the media coverage surrounding the death of Ben Zygier and the use of hasbara in Australia by the state of Israel during the Gaza flotilla.

It devotes special attention to the diasporic connection between Australian Jews and Israel.

“We’ve received a strong response to our diaspora section. Australian Jewry is clearly one with a special, unique connection with Israel. What the book does is it begins a process of re-examaining that relationship,” said Dr Lawrence.

Dr Burla and Dr Lawrence were joined by Emeritus Professor Rutland together with other contributors at the Sydney Jewish Museum and the University of Melbourne where over 100 people celebrated the launch of the collection.

Both launches sparked discussion and debate about a range of topics from the failure of Jewish communal bodies to integrate Israelis into the Jewish community in Australia to the place of boycott campaigns of Israel in Australia.

The collection draws particular attention to the failure of Jewish community leadership and Zionist bodies to modify their vision for the Jewish community and relationship with Israel in the twenty-first century.

“We hope the research in this collection bring forward more action from the leadership. They need to be more inclusive, not just of Israelis living in Australia but they need to recognise that a new generation of Australian Jews have a different connection with Israel.

“Our research shows that many of these young Jews want a more direct, unmediated relationship with Israel. In turn the State of Israel is equipping these community bodies with out-dated methods of hasbara,” said Dr Burla.


2 Responses to “A new look at the Australia-Israel relationship”
  1. John Evans says:

    It would be great if the Jewish community in Australia would make ways for Christians in Australia to support Israel and Jewish community’s because pretty much all connections i make with Israel and Jewish people goes though America which is disappointing only because i would like to support Israel though the Australian Jewish community.Thank You

  2. Erica Edelman says:

    I sincerely hope you consulted with Dr Colin Rubenstein
    And some of the talented academics who contribute
    To AIR journal – these ppl are worthy of consultation
    Your publication needs to contain reliable information
    – not just opinions from your cohorts

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