The New Israel Fund’s Australian branch confirmed today it is bringing former Haaretz Editor-In-Chief David Landau to Australia on a speaking tour next month. This tour coincides with NIF Australia's first project funding drive that supports important programs across the spectrum of Israeli social causes.
Mr Landau – who appeared on ABC’s Lateline tonight to discuss the release of Gilad Shalit – will make several addresses to a variety of audiences in Sydney and Melbourne between November 14 and 27.
NIF events with David Landau:
It comes less than six months after the formal launch of the Australian branch of the New Israel Fund by NIF president Naomi Chazan in June.
The New Israel Fund’s president, Robin Margo, said Mr Landau’s first visit to Australia was a coup for the new organisation and would inspire more people to support its social-justice causes.
“This is his first visit to Australia, a unique opportunity to hear an independent voice reflect on a dramatic period of upheaval in Israel and the Middle East,” he said.
He added that Mr Landau’s long and celebrated career in journalism – first as diplomatic correspondent for the Jerusalem Post, then as editor-in-chief of the influential Haaretz and today with The Economist – gives him authoritative insight into Israel’s predicament.
A frequent guest commentator for the BBC and American networks, Mr Landau is also an acclaimed author. His 1993 book, Piety and Power, painted an intimate portrayal of the world of Jewish fundamentalism and A Political Biography: Shimon Peres in Conversation with David Landau was recently published. His biography of former PM Ariel Sharon is due out next year.
An Orthodox Jew, Mr Landau emigrated from London to Israel, where he studied in yeshivas before embarking on a career in journalism.
The New Israel Fund is a partnership of Israelis and supporters of Israel worldwide, dedicated to a vision of Israel as both the Jewish homeland and a shared society at peace with itself and its neighbours. The New Israel Fund strengthens organisations and leaders who work to achieve equality for all the citizens of the state; realise the civil and human rights of all, including Palestinian citizens of Israel; recognise and reinforce the essential pluralism of Israeli society; and empower groups on the economic margins of Israeli society.
Building a viable and free society committed to social justice is the medium through which the New Israel Fund has contributed to the strengthening of Israeli democracy. Widely credited with building Israel’s progressive civil society from scratch, it has provided over $US200 million to more than 800 cutting-edge organisations since its inception.