Returning Trade Unionists  praise Israel at AIJAC function

June 30, 2017 by J-Wire Staff
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Speaking at an AIJAC luncheon in Melbourne, prominent union organiser Diana Asmar from the Health Services Union Victoria noted how incredible she found it to see Jews and Arabs working together in Israeli hospitals to treat all citizens, without prejudice or favour.

Dr. Colin Rubenstein (AIJAC), Glen Chatterton (Plumbers Union Service Trade Queensland), Diana Asmar (Health Services Union Victoria), Michal Biran (MK Zionist Union), Michael Borowick (Australia/Israel Labor Dialogue    Photo Credit: Michael Shannon, AIJAC

She also commented on the incredible medical technologies coming out of Israel,  expressing incomprehension as to how BDS supporters could want to boycott such life saving techniques.

Asmar was offering her impressions from a recent Rambam Fellowship Trade Union Study Visit to Israel.

Glen Chatterton of the Plumbers Union Service Trade Queensland, who was on the same study visit,  echoed many of these sentiments at the AIJAC function. He also spoke enthusiastically about the growing partnerships between Israeli and Australian labor organisers, the sharing of ideas related to general labor relations and Israeli water technology.

Also speaking at the AIJAC luncheon were Michael Borowick from the Australia/Israel Labor Dialogue, who accompanied these and the other  participants on this  Rambam Trade Union Study program, and visiting Member of Knesset Michal Biran from the opposition Zionist Union/Labor party.

Ms. Biran responded to critics who claim that Israel’s character as a Jewish homeland is inherently discriminatory, saying “you cannot separate the Jewish and democratic elements” of Israeli identity. She also commented on tension between Israeli Labor and the UK Labour party under controversial leader Jeremy Corbyn, but was adamant that as long as there are those in UK Labour that support Israel, efforts to cooperate with and assist them should continue.

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