Memories of Israel

April 11, 2016 by J-Wire Staff
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NSW Premier Mike Baird has returned to Sydney following an eight-day trip to Israel…the first time for him and the first time for a premier in office.

Premier Mike Baird is patron of the Australian Friends of Surf Life Saving Israel. He visited the nippers on Ashdod beach.

Premier Mike Baird is patron of the Australian Friends of Surf Life Saving Israel. He visited the nippers on Ashdod beach.


Mr Baird led a trade delegation, including NSW Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione, NSW Chief Scientist Mary O’Kane and medical cannabis advocate Lucy Haslam, to Jerusalem and Tel Aviv  focused on medicinal cannabis, cyber security and innovation.

“I want to make NSW the ‘startup state’, and this week we have helped this goal by engaging and establishing formal partnerships between our businesses, universities, researchers, and their counterparts in Israel,” Mr Baird said.

“Israel is one of the world’s most innovative economies, and by creating a new corridor between Israel and ourselves — on issues such as cyber security, financial and medical technologies, and innovation — we can increase NSW’s competitiveness in the future digital economy.

Premier Baird took time out to visit the Kotel otherwise known as the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem

Premier Baird took time out to visit the Kotel otherwise known as the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem

“It was also a privilege to visit the West Bank and hear from Palestinians themselves, as well as from officials of the UNWRA, about the challenges they face on a daily basis.”

Mr Baird was invited to the home of President Reuven Rivlin, where they discussed the strength of the NSW-Israel relationship and a willingness to increase cooperation into the future.

The NSW Government is eager to learn from Israel’s experiences as a start-up nation, and Mr Baird signed a new agreement with Israel’s Chief Scientist Mr Avi Hasson in Tel Aviv.

The Agreement on Bilateral Co-operation in R&D and Technical Innovation commits NSW and Israel to invest $2m into co-operative startup and innovation projects – particularly those focused on cybersecurity, agribusiness and water management.

NSW’s exploration of the use of medicinal cannabis for sufferers of chronic pain and the terminally ill was discussed, and formal collaboration established, in Mr Baird’s meetings with Health Minister, Mr Yaakov Litzman, and world-leading researcher, Professor Raphael Mechoulam, from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Mr Baird also announced the NSW Government would contribute $2.5m toward the construction of a new facility at Dubbo that will house a brand new flight simulator purchased in Israel by the Royal Flying Doctor Service.

A new partnership between Sydney’s Garvan Institute of Medical Research and Israel’s Weizmann Institute of Science will pave the way for Australia’s first cellular genomic research facility.

The Centre for Genomics will be based at the Garvan Institute in Darlinghurst after Mr Baird announced the Government would provide $5m toward its establishment.

While on the West Bank, Mr Baird met with Palestinian Foreign Minister Dr Riad Malki and paid a visit to the UNRWA Aida refugee camp to see first-hand how Australian aid was making a difference to the lives of refugees on the West Bank.


4 Responses to “Memories of Israel”
  1. Leon Poddebsky says:

    And what’s this “West Bank” business?
    Isn’t “Judaea and Samaria” good enough for you?
    It was good enough even for the ancient Roman conquerors and despoilers of The Land of Israel, but , it seems, not good enough for the Jewish online JWIRE site.
    Oh, and, by the way, Australia’s official history of World War One (published by the Australian War Memorial) uses “Judea and Samaria” and not “West Bank.”
    Because “West Bank” was a term coined more recently by the Arab kingdom of Jordan, a usurper illegal occupier of Judaea/Samaria from 1948 to 1967. Unfortunately, however, many Jews inside and outside Israel, have unthinkingly assimilated this foreign terminology.

    In 1922 international law in the instrument known as The Mandate for ‘Palestine’
    included Judaea and Samaria entirely within the boundaries of the evolving Jewish national state.

    And please don’t tell me that “everyone uses ‘West Bank;” it’s not JWire’s role to reinforce the terminological terrorism of the enemy.

    • Eleonora Mostert says:

      Standing ovation for Leon, Shame on Jwires for continuously useing “WEST BANK”. Shame shame shame.

  2. Leon Poddebsky says:

    “Otherwise known as ‘The wailing Wall'” eh?
    Don’t you know that its name is THE WESTERN WALL, and that the “Wailing Wall” is the name that antisemites gave it as a sign of their contempt for the Jews who lamented the loss of the Temple and of Jewish national self-determination?
    And don’t you see that the contemptuous terminology is also a sign of the triumphalism of those antisemites, something akin to the inscription which the ancient Roman conquerors and despoilers of Israel placed on their coins: “Iudaea capta”, “Conquered Judaea”?

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