YOM Ha’atzmaut is usually a time of celebration and reflection – a moment to recall the promise of freedom, the strength of hope, and the emergence of a proud and potent nation.
However, this year will be very different as we all experience a global health crisis.
Coronavirus is a once-in-a-century event. It requires all of us to look out for each other and be mindful of our civic duty.
All of us have a role to play in keeping our community safe: employers, nurses, doctors, teachers, scientists, friends, family and neighbours. I know we will rise to the challenge.
Life has changed, and it will continue to change in the coming months. But Australians are a remarkably resilient people, and we are working together with a new sense of purpose.
Though we cannot gather together in our homes or congregate in public celebration, we can be together in spirit.
We can take strength from the depth of traditions and teachings that have sustained people through times of adversity.
Ideals of hope and strength, of solidarity and resolve, resonate through centuries of Jewish tradition.
They have been upheld in every corner of the world, under every imaginable circumstance.
They are values that the world now needs more than ever as we look forward to better days.
I wish the Australian Jewish community all the best for the year ahead, and thank you for all you give to Australia – this special place we call home.
IT is with great pleasure I wish the State of Israel and members of our Australian Jewish community a hearty mazal tov on the occasion of Yom Ha’atzmaut.
When it was first proclaimed in 1948 by David Ben-Gurion, that declaration of independence was nothing less than the triumph of hope. It was a triumph made all the more remarkable by coming only three years after the darkness of World War II and the Shoah.
For the Australian Labor Party it will always be a source of immense pride that it was one of our leaders – Doc Evatt – who played a crucial role at the United Nations in the birth of the modern state of Israel. As Evatt noted in his memoirs, “I regard the establishment of Israel as a great victory of the United Nations.”
Evatt was empowered at the UN by the tireless efforts of Australia’s Jewish community and the Zionist Federation of Australia. Among them were luminaries including John Monash, Alex Masel, Max Freilich, Horace Newman, Rabbi Max Schank, Ruby Cohen and Abe Landa.
That strong relationship has continued with Labor Prime Ministers Bob Hawke and Julia Gillard both being awarded the Jerusalem Prize by the ZFA, State Zionist Councils and the World Zionist Organisation.
Israel at 72 years is a remarkable tale of triumph over adversity – a world-leading source of innovation in the fields of technology, medicine, science and the environment. We all have much to learn from Israel and we value not just our friendship with Israel but our strong economic ties.
This year, of course, it will be a celebration with a difference as the COVID-19 pandemic keeps us apart. But it separates us only physically. We will stay connected and we will celebrate, and by the time Israel’s 73rd anniversary comes around I have every hope we will be together again.
No matter which party is in power here, Israel will have Australia’s friendship and support.
As leader of the Australian Labor Party, I can tell you that you will always have ours.
I’D like to send my very best wishes to all Victorians celebrating Israel’s 72nd Yom Ha’atzmaut.
Over the past 72 years, modern Israel has forged a brilliant and strong democracy – one that has led the world in innovation, business and academia.
I know that in years past, today would have been an occasion for large community celebrations – but this year must be different.
I’d like to thank you for staying at home and playing your part in keeping our state safe.
Mazal tov on this milestone and may Israel’s future be filled with peace and prosperity.
IT is a pleasure to offer greetings to everyone in NSW celebrating Yom Ha’atzmaut, or Israel’s Independence Day.
Israel’s enduring relationship with our state would not have been possible without the leadership and significant contributions of our Jewish community in NSW.
This is particularly notable recently in the proactive leadership and efforts of the Jewish community to support our communities in limiting the spread of COVID-19.
Earlier this year, it was a privilege to meet the President of the State of Israel, His Excellency Mr Reuven Rivlin, during his visit to Australia.
As Premier of NSW, I was honoured that President Rivlin expressed his appreciation for the NSW Government’s support for the fight against anti-Semitism and for Holocaust remembrance. His Excellency also remarked on the warmth of our relations with the Jewish community.
I am greatly disappointed that my official visit to Israel, scheduled for April 2020, had to be postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. I look forward to undertaking this trade mission once it is safe to do so.
I offer my best wishes to those marking Yom Ha’atzmaut and thank the Jewish community for their support for our peaceful multicultural society.