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.”