Dei'ah veDibur - Information & Insight

A Window into the Charedi World

28 Nissan 5760 - May 3, 2000 | Mordecai Plaut, director Published Weekly








Sponsored by
Shema Yisrael Torah Network
Shema Yisrael Torah Network

Produced and housed by

Australian Prime Minister Honored in Israel

by Yated Ne'eman Staff

Australian Prime Minister John Howard arrived for an official four day visit to Israel. Howard's first trip to Israel was as a 24-year-old backpacker in 1965. In those days he stayed at the Jerusalem YMCA, just across the road from the King David, where this week he is occupying the vast royal suite.

On Sunday, Bar-Ilan University conferred on him an honorary doctorate for his support for the state of Israel and peace. In his remarks accepting the degree, Doctor John Winston Howard recalled events from his personal journey in life: those Jewish friends from university days, some of them still close; the Jewish professor, the late Julius Stone, who taught him jurisprudence and international law; and the Sydney lawyer, Myer Rosenblum, who took him on as an articled clerk.

Mr. Howard told the Bar-Ilan University gathering that Australia and Israel shared a commitment to the basic principles of democracy, the rule of law, personal freedom, human rights and religious and racial tolerance. "I'm very proud to say that Australia not only preaches, but also practices to the full, racial understanding and racial tolerance," he said. "Religious tolerance in Australia is a given. We openly promote and practice it."

The Australian prime minister also said Jews had made a massive contribution to Australia since the first of them arrived with the First Fleet. A Jew was one of seven soldiers who won a Victoria Cross at Gallipoli. The greatest field commander of World War I was the Jewish-Australian Sir John Monash.

Howard was also scheduled to hold talks with Prime Minister Ehud Barak, President Ezer Weizman, Foreign Minister David Levy, Communications Minister Eliyahu Ben Eliezer and Ariel Sharon, head of the main opposition party, Likud. He also planned to visit the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem and to participate in Holocaust Day ceremonies.

Howard also planned to go to Gaza City for talks with Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.

Bob Hawke was the last Australian prime minister to make a state visit to Israel in 1987. His successor, Paul Keating, attended the funeral of Yitzhak Rabin in 1995.

All material on this site is copyrighted and its use is restricted.
Click here for conditions of use.