Shoulder to shoulder

January 1, 2017 by J-Wire Staff
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Australia’s Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull paid an unexpected visit to Sydney’s Central Synagogue to join its Friday night service and Menorah lighting telling the congregation that Australia stands “shoulder to shoulder” with Israel.



The synagogue’s Rabbi Levi Wolff had received a call from  Mr Turnbull on Friday afternoon expressing concern for a difficult time for the community and in return he received an impromptu invitation to attend the Central was for evening’s service together his wife Lucy. The Central at Bondi Junction is within the Prime Minster’s electorate of Wentworth.

Watching the Menorah being lit

Malcolm Turnbull addressed the congregation, witnessed the lighting of the seventh candle and danced with Rabbi Wolff and chazan Shimon Farkas.

He told the congregation that the Jewish people had “extraordinary resilience and determination in the face of darkest adversities.”

In his address, Malcolm Turnbull said: “We could not imagine Australia, the most successful multicultural society in the world, without the extraordinary contribution of the Jewish people. As your Prime Minister, I thank you for that.”

Rabbi Levi Wolff, Malcolm Turnbull, Lucy Turnbull and Rebbetzin Chanie Wolff

Referring to the recent UN Resolution 2334 he said it “has been deeply unsettling for your community.”

The congregation applauded after Malcolm Turnbull declared: “Australia stands with Israel…the only democracy in the Middle East.”

The Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull dances with Rabbi Levi Wolff

He added: “We support the peaceful resolution of the disputes between Israel and the Palestinians. We support a two state solution just as the government of Israel does.” He added that a two state solution can only be negotiated between the parties.

Malcolm Turnbull said the solution “is not assisted by one-sided resolutions made in the councils of the United Nations…or anywhere else.” He reiterated that Australia does not support one-sided resolutions saying that they are “not conducive to the achievement of those negotiations which we urge the parties to undertake.”

He said: “We stand with Israel, we support Israel, in its efforts to achieve the solution and above all we know we stand shoulder to shoulder in the fight against terrorism.”


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