Jerusalem Prize: PM rewarded for UN stance
- By KIERAN GAIR
- NOVEMBER 21, 2019
- 29 COMMENTS
Scott Morrison has been awarded the Jerusalem Prize by Australia’s leading Zionist organisation after he called out the UN for “bullying” Israel and controversially pledged to recognise West Jerusalem as the country’s capital.
The Prime Minister received the award from the Zionist Federation of Australia during a ceremony in Sydney on Thursday, attended by Wentworth MP Dave Sharma, Israeli ambassador Mark Sofer, NSW Liberal MP for Vaucluse Gabrielle Upton, and billionaire chairman of Premier Investments Solomon Lew.
The prize is awarded annually to an individual who has been “exceptional in strengthening Australia-Israel relations”.
In his speech accepting the prize, Mr Morrison reiterated his criticism of the UN’s stance on Israel.
“We are also taking a strong stand against the targeting of Israel at the UN general assembly,” he said on Thursday night.
“The UN was born out of the horrors of WWII, born out of an ethos of never again. An institution born to do so much good has allowed anti-Semitism to seep into its deliberations, all under the language of human rights and we are not buying that, my government is not buying that, our government is not buying that.”
“We know the character of our friend Israel and we stand with our friends and under this government we’ve set up trade and defence office in west Jerusalem to deepen our ties on trade and defence industries.”
President of the Zionist Federation of Australia, Jeremy Leibler, said Australia’s Jewish community welcomed Mr Morrison’s steadfast and tireless support of Israel.
“The Prime Minister recognised West Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and established a trade and defence office in the city,” Mr Leibler said.
“He also changed Australia’s voting pattern at the UN General Assembly, including now voting against the insulting resolution that declares as ‘null and void’ any Jewish claims to Jerusalem.
“Mr Morrison called out the UN as ‘the place where Israel is bullied and where anti-Semitism is cloaked in language about human rights.”
The Zionist Federation of Australia also highlighted the ongoing anti-Semitism saga that has engulfed UK Labour and threatened the leadership of the British opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn at the ceremony on Thursday night.
“The resurgence of anti-Semitism from the left and right in both the US and UK reminds us of how lucky we are in to live in Australia,” Mr Leibler said.
“When Jews elsewhere in the diaspora are increasingly worried about their place in contemporary mainstream politics, true leadership shines bright.”
Mr Morrison joins an illustrious group of Australian recipients of the Jerusalem Prize, including former Prime Ministers John Howard, Bob Hawke and Julia Gillard, former Foreign Minister Alexander Downer, and the late Sir Zelman Cowen.
The Jerusalem Prize is jointly awarded annually by the Zionist Federation of Australia, the Zionist Council of NSW and the World Zionist Organisation.