Netanyahu: bilateral talks with Malcolm Turnbull

February 23, 2017 by J-Wire Staff
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The stop in Netanyahu’s busy schedule in Sydney was at Admiralty House in Kirribilli making the unusual journey to the Sydney residence of Australia’s Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove by boat.In his opening remarks, Benjamin Netanyahu said: ” I’m honoured to the first Israeli Prime Minister to officially visit Australia. God, it’s been a long time coming! It celebrates, really, 100 years of friendship of Australia to the Jewish people and their state.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Haim Zach/GPO

You mentioned, Malcolm, the charge of the Light Horse Brigade. This is not only etched in your memory; it is etched in our memory. In fact, we are going to celebrate this and I’ve invited you and your delegation to mark this extraordinary event, the last successful cavalry charge in history that liberated Beersheba. We will celebrate this event in Be’er Sheva, in Israel. We would like you to know that when you come there, you come as a great friend of our people and our civilization.

Because you rightly say, these are common values. This was reflected in the fact that Australian and Jewish soldiers fought the Nazi attempt to invade the eastern part of the Middle East, which would have put an end to Zionism. We remember Australia’s contribution there. We remember that Australia was the first country to vote for the Partition Resolution that called for the establishment of a Jewish state. We never forget that, and we have since made so many advances and so much progress in so many areas, we are now facing a new future. The future belongs to those who innovate. Israel is an innovation nation, Australia is an innovation nation. You have entrepreneurs, we have entrepreneurs. Our task is to try to put them together more intensely, to cooperate for the benefit of our people and your people, and I think for the benefits of other countries as well. We’ve discussed this at great length. I think the opportunities are astounding, and we believe in our ability to seize the future.

As we do so, we also know that we face radical forces that seek to take all of humanity back to a dark past. We discussed how we can intensify our cooperation against this radical terrorism that reaches deep into every corner of the world, including to Australia. But I believe that we have not only the force of technology, but of conviction to defeat these forces.

I see a change in the Middle East, in many Arab countries, that recognise that they too are being threatened by these malignant forces. That gives me hope that in cooperating with them for our common security, we might also be able to advance the peace between us and them, and ultimately between us and our Palestinian neighbours. And in all these efforts we see you – Australia – as our partner.

I have to say that this is not my first visit, it is my third visit, and when Sara and I and our children came here, we fell in love with Australia. We fell in love with Australians. We admire your camaraderie, your congeniality, your easy warmth. It reminds us of home. So after braving the distances – which we think are not a barrier to strengthening our friendship – I will borrow a leaf from Douglas McArthur and dare to say: ‘I shall return’. But first it is your turn.

We await you in Israel, not next year in Jerusalem, this year in Jerusalem, and you will be welcomed with open arms.”

Netanyahu commented on an article penned by Malcolm Turnbull and published in The Australian in which he openly stated that Australia does not support the UN resolution 2334 which denies Jewish claims to the Western Wall and other historical Jewish sites.


In a joint statement the prime ministers said:

MALCOLM TURNBULL: We have a lot to discuss. Our two nations have so much shared history. From the charge of the Light Brigade of Beersheba, 100 years ago –

To the foundation in 1947, Australia’s support, leading support for the Partition Resolution.

So it is a long history and we are working together on so many areas. We have so much to discuss. Security, naturally, but also the way in which your nation leads by example with innovation.

Israel’s ability to create a 21st century economy of technology and innovation is the envy of the world. We have a lot to discuss. We share your passion for innovation. We talked about it back in 2004, remember?


When neither of us were Prime Minister. So it is good to be back together.


Well, it turned out to have been a productive conversation.


It was! Clearly we laid the groundwork for great things to come.

So welcome.


Thank you. Prime Minister, thank you for this truly extraordinary reception. I have to say that we feel we are in the friendliest country possible. I think this visit, this historic visit, first time that an Israeli Prime Minister officially comes to Australia, marks 100 years of friendship.

You’ve been there at every key junction of our history. In 1917, the liberation of the land from the Ottoman rule, and the incredibly gallant and valiant charge, the last successful cavalry charge in history.


Yes, the Light Horse.


I want you, when you visit Beersheba this year, you’ll see what happened to this quaint desert hamlet that has now become a metropolis, and the cyber capital of Israel and soon I think there will be [inaudible].

Couldn’t have done it without Australia’s contribution. The same, of course, was the tremendous courage of the Australian troops in World War Two preventing the invasion of the eastern part of the Middle East by Romell’s forces. We wouldn’t be here without that as well.

Your very bold leadership in the Partition Resolution that recognized the establishment of the Jewish State and the subsequent conflicts, including in the Gulf War when we were receiving information from Australian satellites against incoming missiles. That saved a lot of Israeli lives.

So we’ve had a tremendous partnership. But we’re looking not merely at the past, we’re looking at the future. Seizing the future with innovation and [inaudible] Israel we’d like to be here. I hope that this visit enables us to bring our friendship to much higher levels in trade and technology, in security, in intelligence, in cyber-defence, in agriculture. All the areas that I look forward to discussing with you.

Most especially I want to say this year, in Jerusalem and Beersheba, we await you with open arms. You’ll be received with equal friendship by the Government of Israel and by the people of Israel.


One Response to “Netanyahu: bilateral talks with Malcolm Turnbull”
  1. LIZZIE MOORE says:

    Todah for all this terrific coverage. Am still reading it all! [Lizzie via Bendigo]

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