Message from the Hon. Anthony Albanese
Apr 15, 2021
Office of the Leader of the Australian Labor Party
It is with great pleasure I wish the State of Israel and members of our Australian Jewish community a hearty Mazel Tov on the occasion of Yom Ha’atzmaut.
Last year, as we marked the 72nd anniversary of Israel’s founding, I expressed the hope that by the time the 73rd came around, the physical separation necessitated by the pandemic would be over and that we would all be together again. We are not quite there yet, but hope is growing.
If anything reminds us of the value of hope, it is Israel’s very existence. When it was first proclaimed in 1948 by David Ben-Gurion, that declaration of independence was nothing less than the triumph of hope, tenacity and resilience over the darkness of the Shoah.
The Australian Labor Party will always be proud of the fact that it was one of our leaders – Doc Evatt – who played such an important role in the birth of the modern state of Israel during his time at the UN. As Evatt himself put it: “I regard the establishment of Israel as a great victory of the United Nations.”
Evatt had the backing of Australia’s tireless Jewish community and the Zionist Federation of Australia, a rollcall of names that included John Monash, Alex Masel, Max Freilich, Horace Newman, Rabbi Max Schank, Ruby Cohen and Abe Landa. All of these are names that must forever be treasured in the histories of both Australia and Israel.
While the world has become a different place over the past year, what remains resolutely unchanged is that Israel stands tall as a victory over adversity.
I will say what I have said before: No matter which party is in power here, Israel will have Australia’s friendship and support. As leader of the Australian Labor Party, I can tell you that you will always have ours.