13 February 2017
The New Israel Fund Australia released the following statement on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's upcoming visit to Australia.
The New Israel Fund (NIF) welcomes Prime Minister Netanyahu’s historic visit to Australia – the first by a Prime Minister of Israel. As democratic countries, operating under the rule of law, Australia and Israel share common values.
NIF is a proud and loyal supporter of Israel. We are concerned that some recent Israeli legislation, seeking to validate the illegal seizure of Palestinian-owned land, targeting human rights organisations and restricting freedom of speech, profoundly undermines this strong democratic tradition. It is inconsistent with Israel’s Jewish and democratic values. NIF stands up for policies which promote peace, security, democracy and freedom for all who live there.
In the 50th year of the occupation of Palestinian territories, NIF calls for bold Israeli leadership to invigorate peace negotiations and do all that it can to realise the principles proclaimed in Israel’s Declaration of Independence: to be a country “based on freedom, justice and peace as envisaged by the prophets of Israel” that ensures “complete equality of social and political rights to all its inhabitants irrespective of religion, race or sex.”
We hope that Prime Minister Netanyahu will have the courage and leadership to bring Israel back to the path of its founders. We call on the Prime Minister to resume peace negotiations urgently to ensure the establishment of a Palestinian state as the only way to safeguard Israel as Jewish, democratic and secure.
From its earliest days, the Jewish national project has been a collaboration between those living in Israel and Jews in the Diaspora. We are proud to be part of this continuing tradition. Since 2011, the NIF community in Australia has brought thousands of people together each year to engage with Israel. We have raised more than $2.5m to support Israeli human rights projects working to end discrimination and injustice, goals which fulfil Israel’s founding principles are vital to its long-term success.
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