Australia’s New Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull “True Friend” to Israel

September 17, 2015

< 1 min read

After now-former Australian prime minister Tony Abbot was pushed out by his own party on Monday, Australian Jewish leaders and diplomats say that his replacement, Malcolm Turnbull, is a strong supporter of Israel.

“We go from one very good friend to another,” said Colin Rubenstein, head of the Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council (AIJAC), according to the Jerusalem Post.

A senior Israeli diplomatic official called Turnbull a “true friend, much like Abbott.”

Turnbull, who defeated Abbott in a 54-44 vote among Liberal Party lawmakers, said his party is “determined to provide all the support we can to ensure that Israel remains a Jewish state within secure borders. As to providing micro-managed armchair opinions regarding what the government of Israel should do on this matter or that matter . . . we tend to defer to the Israeli government when it comes to making those decisions. After all, they are a lot closer to it than we are.”

“You cannot seriously or credibly ask Israel to do things that put its existence in peril,” he added.

In a statement, AIJAC called Turnbull “an exceptional friend of the Jewish community and a staunch supporter of Israel.”

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