AIJAC/Rambam Programs/2006

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<-Group.png AIJAC/Rambam Programs/2006Rdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png->
Membership• Robert McClelland
• Malcolm Turnbull
• Carol Martin
• Kelly O'Dwyer
• Tom Allard
• Paul Cutler
• Paul Sheehan
• Geraldine Hawkes
• John Henderson
• Graeme Mundine
• Debra Porter
• Maureen Postma
• Sesorosa Carroll
• Michael Tate
• Rowan Strong
• Peter Blunden
• John Ferguson (Herald & Weekly Times)
• Ben Potter
• Robert Bolton
• John Watson (The Age)
• Dennis Atkins
• Sally Watson
• Louise Dodson
• John Hill
• Cameron Stewart
A junket "fact-finding trip" to Israel for a large number of selected Australian journalists, politicians, political advisers, government officials, trade union officials, student leaders, and academics.

The Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council (AIJAC) arranges a large number of junkets "fact-finding trips" to Israel for selected journalists, politicians, political advisers, government officials, trade union officials, student leaders, and academics through its Rambam Israel Fellowship Program[1][2] There are a number of associated programs doing very similar things, not all of them arranged by AIJAC, for example the Australia Israel Leadership Forum, the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies Journalists Mission, Australia-Israel Chamber of Commerce and etc. For practical reasons, these programs are listed here under the heading Rambam Programs.


The participants are sent from several programs. The blog Middle East Reality Check found quotes from the particpants.[3]


  • Robert McClelland, Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs ("Mr McClelland noted his historical association with Israel's formation because he holds the seat of Barton, which was also held by Labor's 'Doc' Evatt, who played a pivotal role in the UN Resolution 181, which led to the formal establishment of Israel in May 1948." McClelland: support for Israel & peace, AJN, 15/12/06)

NAB Yachad Scholarship Fund

  • Carol Martin, WA MLA for Kimberley ("... I want to learn about Israel's programs in areas such as preventing violence against women... We have many remote indigenous communities that experience significant disadvantages... My hope is that the Israeli experience of community capacity-building will provide ideas..." First female Aboriginal MP to visit Israel, AJN, 13/1/06)
  • Warren Mundine, ALP national president ("Mundine spent his time in Israel investigating Israeli programs to counteract individual and community welfare dependency, as well as programs that deal with domestic violence and youth initiatives." Mundine's recollections of Israel for NCJWA, AJN, 14/8/09)

Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council Rambam Mission

  • Kelly O'Dwyer, Costello staffer, Liberal candidate in 2009 Higgins by-election


Board of Deputies' Journalists Mission (NB: the BoD states that "about 50 journalists have participated since the mission began 50 years ago." (At the Board, Vol 1-2006)


Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council Rambam Fellowship Program

16/17 (?) clergy, including:

  • AIJAC executive director Colin Rubenstein: "We chose to take opinion-forming groups within the Australian community. There have been pockets of hostility from certain church groups in Australia... We are hoping that by taking these groups to Israel we can enhance their affinity and empathy with Israel." (Rabbi leads clergymen on groundbreaking tour of Holy Land, AJN, 17/3/06) Debra Porter: "Members of the group welcomed this opportunity as a way to further engage in the journey of interfaith dialogue... Linking today's Israel to 2000 years ago is... exciting... Visiting the ruins of Dan, Megiddo, Tiberias, Qumran and Massada gave us an opportunity to share common history with our tour leader, Rabbi John Levi, and tour guide, Roley Horowitz... Yad Vashem... The Australian Ambassador Mr Time George... the Armenian Patriarchate... the Hand in Hand program... where Jewish and Arab children learn together... The Maksam Association for Ethiopian Jewry... Bethlehem... Rev Mitri Raheb... The Security Fence is in many parts a wire fence, through which you can see the other side. Any part of the fence where Palestine borders Israeli neighbourhoods is deemed by the Israeli Government to be a high risk area for terror attacks. Along these sections concrete barriers are constructed. There are mixed feelings both in Israel and in Palestine about the Security Fence... Thankfully, many are still crossing the borders, still seeking to have relationships with 'neighbours' on the other side..." InUnity, Autumn 2006
  • [The following data comes from Antony Loewenstein's My Israel Question (2006) and refers to an AIJAC-sponsored trip to Israel by Australian journalists, probably late in 2005: "The journalists include: Herald & Weekly Times editor-in-chief Peter Blunden and journalist John Ferguson; the Australian Financial Review's Ben Potter and Robert Bolton; chief editorial writer for the Age, John Watson; the Courier-Mail's Dennis Atkins; SBS's Sally Watson; the SMH's Louise Dodson; and Channel Ten's John Hill. The impact that his participation had on the Australian's Cameron Stewart was evident on his return: 'There is nothing like seeing and getting a better understanding of the geography of Israel and its borders. It took all of 3' to fly [by helicopter] to the security border and I think it gives a very good example of the security issues that Israel faces...'" (pp 220-221)]


Known member

1 of the 25 of the members already have pages here:

Malcolm TurnbullPrime Minister of Australia 2014-2018
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  2. Reich, Chanan (2004). "Inside AIJAC - An Australian Jewish Lobby Group". In Levey, Geoffrey; Mendes, Philip (eds.). Jews and Australian Politics. Brighton: Sussex Academic Press. pp. 198–214. ISBN 1-903900-72-7.