Topics: Israel raises travel warning for Australia; Albanese must act to restore Australia’s reputation; 

08:20AM AEDT
Tuesday, 5 December 2023


Simon Birmingham: The Albanese Government should be deeply embarrassed and ashamed of the fact that Israel has issued an increased travel advisory for travel to Australia. The fact that Jewish people and Israeli citizens are now being told to take precautions when they come to Australia is a stain on our nation that Prime Minister Albanese, must work to remove. The reality is that Australia welcomed some of the largest populations of Jewish settlers following the Holocaust and has been regarded as one of the safest places in the world for Jewish people to live and to visit and to travel. The fact that that is now questioned because of the intimidation and the antisemitism that we have seen rise up, is a stain that must be removed. Addressing this should be on the agenda for National Cabinet. Prime Minister Albanese should be seeking a consensus statement of all national leaders condemning antisemitism, committing to combat it, committing to education and committing to the police resources and efforts to ensure that the types of intimidation we have seen are stamped out, such that Australia can restore our reputation as a safe and welcoming environment for people of all faiths and in this case, particularly people of Jewish faith.


Journalist: What would be your message to those in Israel thinking about travelling to Australia to, you know, for their own safety?


Simon Birmingham: I would say very much, overwhelmingly, Australia is still a welcoming place, a safe place, an embracing place. But I can understand your concerns at seeing the protests on the steps of the Sydney Opera House. Reports of convoys or rallies targeting regions of Jewish faith, or the appalling, shameful actions of protesters targeting the families of hostage victims and murder victims of Hamas. So, I can understand why those images caused concern and alarm, and that we as a nation must commit to stamp that out and to ensure that Australia’s reputation is restored. Thanks, guys.