Celebrating Israel

December 1, 2011 by Dalia Ayalon Sinclair.
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Celebrating Israel 2011 was hosted by the NCJWA NSW Division and ZCNSW marking the passing of Resolution 181 by the UN General Assembly on 29 November 1947, which called for the establishment of a Jewish State alongside an Arab State in the historical land of Israel, leading to the establishment of the State of Israel. 

Dalia Ayalon Sinclair, Kate Millward and Jonathan O'Dea pic: Zohar Izenberg

Doc Evatt, Australian Minister for External Affairs and Ad-Hoc Committee on Palestine was the mastermind of the partition plan, with Australia being the first country to vote “yes”. As the President of the UN General Assembly in 1948, he was directly responsible for the resolution to admit Israel as a UN Member State.

“Australia has played a very special role in the short history of Israel, and with this continued support, relations continue to grow onward and upward. Doc Evatt is the example of just one man who stood strong for Israel when it seemed we stood alone” said Kate Millward, the youngest guest speaker to address Celebrating Israel events.

She “I myself have been fortunate enough to grow with a ‘stable’ sense of daily life. Others have not been so lucky, and as Australia was one of the first to come in and support Israel as an independent state, I stand strong knowing that with the kick start I have been given in life, our society is willing and trying to help those who have been less fortunate”

Growing up in Albury,  17-yr-old Kate Millward has already received recognition for her excellent achievement in many areas, academically, in the arts, sports as well as extra curricula involvement. For her outstanding contribution to the community some of these awards include the Order of Australia Association Medallion and Certificate of Commendation Award; The Marie Bashir Peace Award by The National Council of Women NSW; The Australian Defence Force Education Award and the Queens Guide Award.

It is through her involvement with UN Youth that she found her love and passion to search for social justice, to engage in society and be socially aware of the consequences of the decisions we all make.

“Australia and Israel have a strong, substantial and unique relationship with a rich political history” said The Hon Jonathan O’Dea, Member for Davidson, who co chairs the ministerial Consultative Committee for the Jewish Community at the NSW Government.

“Australia supported Israel economically in its early years…Australia benefits from Israel’s expertise in information technology and agriculture through the importation of telecommunications equipment, agricultural technology and scientific knowledge.” said O’Dea and added “The recent situation in the Middle East, where people have risen against dictatorship, gives some hope that what the Arab nations failed to recognise and accept back in 1947, may yet come to peaceful fruition.  Surely this acceptance would have saved many lives on both sides of the conflict now ongoing for 64 years.

Richard Balkin, Jonathan O'Dea and Dalia Sinclair pic: Zohar Izenberg

“I believe women can play a special role in the settlement for peace” said Kate Millward who quoted Isabel Allende ‘I can promise you that women working together – linked, informed and educated – can bring peace and prosperity to this forsaken planet’ “ and added “Women can raise children to see peace as prosperity, in comparison to war and hatred as unsuccessful and damaging.”

Peace initiatives come in many forms.  Our guest speaker, Tanya Oziel, Executive Director, Peres Centre for Peace Australian Chapter, yet another inspirational speaker on the night, bridged the political, historic, geographic and cultural divide as she brought together Israelis and Palestinians as team mates  to play the Australian Rules Football in 2008 with a repeat visit to Australia in August 2011.  These shared experience resulted in great ambassadors for peace on both sides of the conflict.

Tanya’s unique contribution to the peace efforts was featured in a film that screened worldwide and has claimed many awards. She too made the impossible possible.

“Change does not have to be on a large scale, one secure brick at a time makes for the strength of the home.” Said Millward. “To gain peace, especially in Israel and the surrounding areas, many small contributing factors WILL make the difference.   With a common goal, and respect for each other, we CAN find peace.

“The act of individuals, initiatives such as that of Peres Centre for Peace, and the NCJWA Celebrating Israel events highlight the need for ‘working towards peace’ so that peace prevails ”  said Dalia Ayalon Sinclair, convener of NCJWA Celebrating Israel event.

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