Jerusalem Prize for Danby

October 25, 2011 by  
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Michael Danby MP, Federal Labor Member for Melbourne Ports, has been awarded the prestigious Jerusalem Prize at the Zionist Council of Victoria’s Annual General Assembly for his contribution to the Australian Jewish Community and Israel.

Amanda Mendes De Costa, Michael Danby MP, Israel Ambassador Yuval Rotem, Parliamentary Secretary Dr Mike Kelly and Shelly Sakker-Kelly

Mr Danby was introduced by the Israeli Ambassador Yuval Rotem and Parliamentary Secretary for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Dr Mike Kelly.

Before more than 250 guests, Ambassador Rotem honoured Mr Danby’s contribution to the Jewish community and Israel saying:

“Your long-held commitment and dedication to my country are proof of your values and your passion. Channeled into the Parliament of Australia, your insights and positions have been substantial and of great value.”

Ambassador Rotem continued, “Michael, the causes you champion year-after-year are not always popular. They do not always receive positive public reception. But this does not deter you. The torch of justice you carry burns fiercely, bringing light to some of society’s darkest pockets. This light illuminates prejudice, injustice and marginalization. It does not flicker in the face of challenge. These qualities make you an outstanding messenger of hope – not just for the people of Melbourne Ports, but also for the people from Lhasa, Tibet, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and many more invisible peoples in those distant places that no one else seems to bother about,”

Ambassador Rotem also spoke out against those who seek to boycott Israeli goods and commerce outlining that, by doing so they boycott Israel’s ground-breaking innovations, life saving medications and grand contributions to mankind.

The Ambassador explained that in 5 weeks time, Professor Daniel Shechtman from the Israel institute of Technology in Haifa will be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for Chemistry;

“Professor Shechtman represents the finest among us, the brightest we have to offer the world. His work pursues that goal, to which we all aspire-to become stronger people, working towards the betterment of humanity.  Of the nine Nobel Prize winners this year for academic accomplishments, five are Jewish. 42% of all Nobel Prize winners for Economics have been “members of the tribe’; as have 27% of winners for medicine and 25% for physics. Yiddeshe mamas around the world must be bursting with pride!”

Philip Chester, Israeli Ambassador Yuval Rotem, ZCV President Sam Tataka and Michael Danby . Photo: Peter Haskin

Parliamentary Secretary Dr Mike Kelly praised Mr Danby’s contribution to the Australian Jewish Community and Israel speaking of the bond between Israel beginning with the Light Horse Brigade actions during World War 1 to today’s cooperation in Defence.

Mr Kelly said, “Michael has his own version of the maxim: speak less, more action. Michael has the more action, but the speak less part often comes hard to him. Michael wears his heart on his sleeve, whether it be advocating for the Jewish community, or for the people of Tibet.”

Michael Danby thanked his family and close friends and surveyed some of the highlights of his parliamentary career. He stated that “If I am getting this prize for being a Jewish enzyme that brings out the better angels of Australian natures that is reward enough.”

He explained the reasons why he “never equivocated, never fled a flight, never sought to sideline his Jewish-self…There is never a day where I don’t think of the fate of my grandparents. The academic who most influenced me at university my Professorie , the late Frank Knopfelmacher explained that it was the role of all those who survived the Churban and their descendents: that it is our  sacred duty to defend the Jewish State, the patrimony of the dead.”


2 Responses to “Jerusalem Prize for Danby”
  1. DavidL says:

    Onya Michael, but when are the powers that be in the ALP going to recognise his worth and give him a ministerial portfolio? He’s served many years with distinction as a backbencher and it’s time that he became a member of the government’s leadership team.

  2. Sol Salbe says:

    And the source of this objective report is…?

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