Australian PM Moves Elections So No Conflict with Yom Kippur

Rudd Calls Earlier Date 'Massive Inconvenience' to Jews

By JTA

Published August 04, 2013.

Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has called new elections for September 7, avoiding a clash with Yom Kippur.

Before Julia Gillard was ousted in late June from the top job, she had declared September 14 – Yom Kippur – as the date of the election.

But soon after Rudd replaced her he said the clash was a “massive inconvenience” to Jews.

Australia’s elections are always held on Saturdays, so Yom Kippur was not an extra burden for Orthodox Jews, who always pre-poll.

Rudd is head of the country’s Labor Party. The conservative Liberal Party is tipped to win the coming elections. Labor’s six-year term in office has taken its toll on bilateral relations with Israel, with critics citing the expulsion of a Mossad agent in Canberra in 2010, the alienation of Israel by Australia at the United Nations and the recent scandal surrounding “Prisoner X,” Melbourne-born Ben Zygier. Labor did strongly support Israel during its two recent showdowns with Hamas.

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott, head of the center-right Liberal Party of Australia, has pledged to return relations to the staunch support shown by John Howard during his 11-year rule. He has also cited Canada’s largely uncritical support as a benchmark to follow.

A Newspoll survey in late July had the Liberals edging the vote by 52 percent to 48 percent.



Would you like to receive updates about new stories?






















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.