AIJAC/Rambam Programs/2005

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<-Group.png AIJAC/Rambam Programs/2005Rdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png->
Membership• Michael Danby
• Julia Gillard
• Alistair Jordan
• Brendan O'Connor
• Roger Price
• Christopher Pyne
• Kevin Rudd
• Kelvin Thomson
• Bill Shorten
• Alan Howe
• Louise Dodson
• Sally Watson
• John Hill
• Sharon McKenzie
• Malcolm Turnbull
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 thorugh 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.[3]


Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council Rambam Fellowship Program (acc to AJN 11/11/05) Australia-Israel Cultural Exchange (acc AJN 28/10/05)

  • Michael Danby, Deputy Opposition Whip, MP for Melbourne Ports
  • Julia Gillard, Shadow Minister for Health ("... anything we [Labor] can do through the exercise of good offices, we will do to support Israel and support a genuine peace process." Labor's rising star at AICC, AJN, 29/9/06 "Gillard said what she had most admired in Israel was the spirit of the people in the face of suicide bombings." Labor MPs share Israeli political drama, AJN, 9/12/05)
  • Alistair Jordan, Rudd's Chief of Staff
  • Brendan O'Connor, MP for Gorton
  • Roger Price, Chief Opposition Whip
  • Christopher Pyne, Lib ?
  • Kevin Rudd, Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs ("He told the ABC Insiders program... that he had discussed al-Qaeda with 'a lot of academics, analysts, and think tanks' in Israel and the reporting was 'pretty grim'. 'What we are now seeing is reports of al-Qaeda becoming effective in Jordan, Syria and even in Gaza itself', he said. One analyst had talked of 'early tentative contact' and 'some indications of early co-operative agreements' between Hamas and al-Qaeda." Al-Qaeda linked with Hamas, Rudd warns, AJN, 25/11/05)
  • Kelvin Thomson, Shadow Minister for Human Affairs

"... Israeli Ambassador Nati Tamir told the AJN... highlights would include visits to the north of Israel, Tiberius, the Dead Sea, Jerusalem, the Knesset and Yad Vashem." Gillard, MPs to visit Israel, AJN, 11/11/05) Bill Shorten of the Australian Workers Union also visited Israel as a Rambam Fellow in 2005. So too did Liberal MP for Wentworth (NSW) Malcolm Turnbull.[4]


Australia-Israel Cultural Exchange

  • Alan Howe, Editor Herald Sun ("Earlier, I had an insight into Rudd the diplomat. We had been shown some of the steady diet of hate that pours out of the minds of kids watching Palestinian television; pre-teenage kids glorifying the evil of suicide bombers was about the least offensive content. In the office of the then PA's Deputy PM, Dr Nabil Shaath, who was to receive about $16 million of Australian taxpayers' money last year, Rudd raised these sanctioned broadcasts. 'That no longer happens', Shaath said quite forcefully, if not quite truthfully. He said he could not always control the independent broadcasters whose constant theme was to characterise Jews as ruthless, sadistic killers. Rudd may not have been in government, but he spoke for all Australians as he described the appalling broadcasts he had seen and heard the night before. And he made it clear Australians would not support their money going to a body that funded, encouraged or tolerated such broadcasting." Rudd's Middle East moment, Alan Howe, Rhapsody Oct-Dec 2007)

Board of Deputies' Journalists Mission


Known members

3 of the 15 of the members already have pages here:

Julia Gillard
Kevin RuddHad his big break after attending first meeting of the Australian American Leadership Dialogue in 1993. Later became Prime Minister.
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.