G’Day Bibi and Welcome to Australia Mr and Mrs Netanyahu!
Thanks to Q-Soc
Apologies for our islamophile PM Turnbull. On the occasion of the first visit of a sitting Israeli PM to Australia, the most agile Lord Wentworth couldn’t be bothered to get out of bed and meet a foreign head of state at Sydney’s Kingsford Smith airport at 6:30am.
We also note the absence of the red carpet and honour guard, as is custom for visiting heads of state. In Turnbull’s Australia, is this reserved for despots from the OIC only?
Friends of Q Society may wish to welcome the leader of the only Western democracy in the Middle East with a friendly note on his Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/IsraeliPM/
The Prime Minister will meet with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, and with the Governor-General of Australia Peter Cosgrove.
Prime Minister Netanyahu and Prime Minister Turnbull will attend a business conference with Israeli and Australian businesspeople.
The Prime Minister will also meet with the Jewish community at The Great Synagogue in Sydney.
Benjamin Netanyahu visit: Israeli PM pays tribute to ongoing ‘warm friendship’ with Australia
ISRAELI prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu has thanked Australia for the warm welcome he has received since touching down in Sydney this morning and spoken of the “warm friendship” between the two nations.
Mr Netyanyahu offered his best “g’day, mate” in a joint press conference with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull at Kirribilli House this afternoon, following his historic arrival Down Under.
Although he has visited Australia several times before with his family, he is the first sitting Israeli prime minister to set foot on Australian soil.
Fronting the press in almost identical navy suits and blue ties, the two spoke about the solid friendship between the two nations spanning more than 100 years.
Mr Netanyahu then hit back at calls by former Labor prime ministers Kevin Rudd and Bob Hawke to recognise a Palestinian state.
“What kind of state will it be that they are advocating? A state that calls for Israel’s destruction?
“A state whose territory will be used immediately for radical Islam?”
Mr Turnbull said Australia had always supported a two-state solution, where Israeli and Palestinian people can live side by side.
“It needs to be resolved by direct negotiations between the parties and we certainly encourage that,” he said. “We do not support one-sided resolutions which condemn or criticise Israel.”
Mr Netanyahu declined to give detailed comment on reports he is being investigated for allegedly accepting gifts from Australian billionaire James Packer.
“I think nothing will come of it because there is nothing there, except friendship, which is a good thing,” he said.
Mr Netanyahu is in Australia to hold talks with Mr Turnbull as part of a historic four-day visit.
Mr Netanyahu said he did not want to incorporate two million Palestinians as citizens of Israel nor did he want them to be the subject of Israel. “I want them to have all the freedoms to govern themselves but none of the powers to threaten us,” he said.
“Let them govern themselves, but not have the the military and physical power to threaten the state of Israel.” He said the settlements issue was “way overblown”.
“The core of the conflict between us and the Palestinians is their persistent refusal to recognise a Jewish state in any boundary,” he said.
“And once they recognise a Jewish state, once they recognise the permanence of Israel and the right of Israel to be there as the nation state of the Jewish people, in our ancestral homeland … everything else will fall in place.”
After landing this morning Mr Netanyahu and wife Sara boarded a large white cruiser near the Opera House and sped across the harbour to Admiralty House, where he was greeted at the wharf by Mr Turnbull and wife Lucy.
Security was tight with police boats patrolling the harbour around Admiralty House at Kirribilli as a police helicopter hovered overhead.
He was then introduced by Mr Turnbull to a small delegation of government officials including NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian, and the Israeli leader did likewise for Mr Turnbull so he could shake hands with a group of Israeli officials.
The leaders and their wives then strolled along the lower balconies of the historic sandstone residence before Mr Netanyahu and his wife were greeted at the front door by Governor-General Sir Peter Cosgrove and his wife Lady Lynne Cosgrove.
Mr Netanyahu expressed his gratitude to Sir Peter for Australia’s efforts in liberating Beersheba during World War I.
After posing for photos, Sir Peter and Mr Netanyahu retired for relaxed talks with four Israeli and three Australian officials before bilateral discussions with Mr Turnbull in Admiralty House’s dining room.
The pair spoke extensively about national security matters, including cyber security.
The leaders held a joint press conference at 1pm where Mr Netanyahu applauded a piece by Mr Turnbull in today’s The Australian where he criticised the United Nations, which last December condemned Israel’s settlement expansion in occupied territories on the West Bank as illegal.
Mr Turnbull accused the UN of being prejudiced against Israel.
“My government will not support one-sided resolutions criticising Israel of the kind recently adopted by the Security Council and we deplore the boycott campaigns designed to delegitimise the Jewish state,” he wrote in The Australian.