Australia Jews Swing to Right as Election Nears

Feud With Premier Kevin Rudd Over Israel Looms Large

Vote for Me: Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd campaigns ahead of the upcoming election. Jewish leaders say the community is leaning toward the rival Liberal Party.
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Vote for Me: Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd campaigns ahead of the upcoming election. Jewish leaders say the community is leaning toward the rival Liberal Party.

By Dan Goldberg (Haaretz)

Published August 27, 2013.

Jewish community leaders in Australia have virtually abandoned support for the governing Labor Party, with most privately hoping the conservative Liberal Party wins the federal election next weekend.

The near consensus in favor of Tony Abbott to replace Kevin Rudd as the nation’s next PM comes as the Liberal Party reportedly plans to upgrade relations with Jerusalem, make visa applications easier for Israelis, ban more terror groups and stop financial support to any organization that supports the boycott Israel campaign.

The latest polls predict the Liberal Party will win the September 7 election by 53 percent to Labor’s 47 percent. Voting is mandatory and Orthodox Jews have started to pre-poll because all Australian elections are held on Saturdays.

If the polls are accurate, it would spell the end of a bitter battle between Foreign Minister Bob Carr and Jewish leaders, who were infuriated in January when he joined British Foreign Secretary William Hague in stating that all Israeli settlements are “illegal under international law.”

For more go to Haaretz



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