Key Swept to Victory in New Zealand

November 27, 2011 Agencies
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John Key, the son of a Jewish refugee who escaped Austria to Britain on the eve of the Holocaust, was re-elected Prime Minister of New Zealand.

Prime Minister John Key

Key’s conservative National Party defeated the opposition Labour Party on Saturday to win a second term in office in a landslide. He will likely still require the support of several minor parties to form government although he appears to have polled 60 seats in the 121-seat parliament.

Relations between Wellington and Jerusalem have been largely cordial since he took office in 2008. His predecessor, Labour’s Helen Clark, suspended high-level diplomatic relations with Israel for a year following a passport scandal involving two alleged Mossad agents in 2004.

Relations have also been aided by the reopening of Israel’s embassy in Wellington last year following its closure in 2002 due to cost-cutting measures.

Key’s late mother, Ruth Lazar, fled Austria in 1938. A refugee in Britain, she married an Englishman before emigrating to New Zealand in the 1950s.

Key’s father died when was six; he and his two siblings grew up in government-funded housing. Before entering politics, Key became a millionaire, working in London as a currency trader with Merrill Lynch.

Leader of the Opposition in Australia, Tony Abbott, said:  “I congratulate Prime Minister John Key on his convincing election victory yesterday. Prime Minister Key has successfully led New Zealand through difficult times.He has a record of strong economic management while maintaining a cohesive society.

John Key is a very good friend of Australia and we wish him continued success.”

Stephen Goodman, president of the New Zealand Jewish Council said: “The New Zealand Jewish Council congratulates those elected in Parliament and looks forward to working with them and the Government to ensure that New Zealand remains a country where we, as Jews, are free to fully practice all aspects of our religion away from threats, dangers and discrimination.”

The Executive Director of AIJAC, Dr Colin Rubenstein, added: “The Australia/Israel&Jewish Affairs Council has congratulated Prime Minister John Key on the return of his Government.

“While many factors would have determined the voting preferences of the New Zealand public,

John Key’s resounding victory certainly vindicates the reinvigoration of New Zealand’s solid ties with Australia and the Western alliance more broadly which has occurred under his stewardship. As part of this larger achievement, it also reaffirms his Government’s principled support for Israel and for a genuine two-state peace  at a time of great volatility in the Middle East.The warmth he has shown toward the Jewish community has been very much appreciated by AIJAC and, we are sure, throughout the Jewish world.”


2 Responses to “Key Swept to Victory in New Zealand”
  1. maria says:

    Congratulations! watch God bless New Zealand! My prayer is that Australians will have the same wisdom when electing our next Prime Minister – one who loves Israel as God does – May New Zealand prosper , be safe and happy with their perfect choice. May our amazing Jesus always protect Mr Keys and his family and may they all have a most personal and true relationship with Jesus.
    Halleluyah! from a grateful and happy Gentile.

  2. DavidL says:

    Mr Keys – it’s shameful that under your watch, shechitah in NZ was placed under threat for the first time ever. Please remember your Jewish roots and respect the rights of Jews to live as Jews in a wonderful country like NZ!

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