Ms Gillard recognised for staunch commitment and loyalty to Israel
September 30, 2013
The Zionist Council of Victoria is delighted to announce that the recipient of the 2013 Jerusalem Prize is The Honourable Julia Gillard, Prime Minister of Australia 2010-2013, in recognition of her outstanding contribution to strengthening Australia’s connection with Israel.
As a member of the Australian Parliament and as Australia’s first female Prime Minister, Ms Gillard demonstrated unwavering commitment to democratic values and ongoing support of the aspirations of Israel’s people for peace and security.
In December 2011, Ms Gillard emphasised Israel’s independence and sovereignty as being of central importance to Jewish people all over the world saying. “A just and secure Israel as a homeland for the Jewish people is an indispensable part of a just and secure world.”
President of the ZCV, Sam Tatarka said: “Julia Gillard is an outstanding friend to the Jewish people and State of Israel. She is an extremely worthy recipient of this prize. The Zionist Council of Victoria and the Zionist movement of Australia are honoured to be able to demonstrate our gratitude and respect for Ms Gillard’s many years as an unstinting supporter of the Jewish and Zionist cause.”
Ms Gillard has accepted the ZCV’s invitation to be the keynote speaker at its 75th Annual Assembly to be held on November 26, 2013. The entire community is welcome to attend the Assembly to join us in honouring Ms Gillard and to hear her address on the night.
Ms Gillard said: “It is a most special honour to receive the Jerusalem Prize, which I am pleased to accept in tribute to the unshakeable commitment of Australia to Israel, the enduring friendship between our two countries, and in furtherance of the democratic values we share. I look forward to a memorable gathering with so many friends in the community.”
A vocal opponent to the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, Ms Gillard condemned any attempt to compare Israel’s vibrant democracy with apartheid-era South Africa.
Ms Gillard made history in June 2012 when she became the first Australian politician to sign a petition to demand a minute’s silence at the opening ceremony of the London Olympics in honour of the 11 Israeli athletes murdered at the 1972 Munich Games and showed outstanding leadership in supporting the grant of honorary Australian citizenship to Raoul Wallenberg, a hero in the fight to save Europe’s Jews from the Holocaust.
The Jerusalem Prize is proudly awarded by the Zionist Council of Victoria, the Zionist Federation of Australia and the World Zionist Federation to an outstanding individual who supports Israel, Jerusalem and the Zionist Movement. Past Australian recipients have included former Prime Ministers Bob Hawke and John Howard, former Foreign Minister Alexander Downer and The Australian newspaper’s Foreign Editor Greg Sheridan as well as Jewish community stalwart and last year’s recipient Sam Lipski AM.
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