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Board of Deputies AGM

Former Ambassador to Israel David Sharma will give his first formal address to the community since the completion of his term at the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies AGM on August 15.

The youngest person to be appointed an Australian ambassador, and the second Australian ambassador of Indian heritage, Sharma was appointed Canberra’s representative in Israel in 2013.

While there, he and his wife Rachel visited the Ziv Medical Centre in Sfatl, making him the first international representative to visit casualties of the Syrian civil war. He also distinguished himself by visiting the sites of terrorist attacks and making emphatic statements which condemned the incidents.

The day after the attack on the Sarona shopping centre in Tel Aviv on June 8, 2016, he took his staff there as “a gesture of solidarity with the people of Israel. We wanted to say that if you are not afraid, we are not afraid. We received amazing and heartfelt responses from the Israelis, but we did not do it for the responses. We wanted to do something meaningful.”

Prior to his appointment, Sharma held a number of senior positions in government, including as head of the International Division in the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet from 2010 until 2012, and at the Australian Embassy in Washington DC from 2006 to 2009.

In an interview with Ynet last month, he spoke of some of his greatest achievements as Australia’s Ambassador to Israel, including the burgeoning Australia-Israel trade relationship. “We also succeeded in advancing the hi-tech relations between the two countries, despite the massive distance – a 20-hour flight and 15,000 kilometres,” he said. “Australian start-ups are coming to Israel to get to know the local market, as do Australian investors. Today, 14 Israeli companies are on the Australian Stock Exchange. When I arrived in Israel, four Australian delegations visited a year; this year, there were 14.”

The Board of Deputies AGM will be held on Tuesday 15 August at 7:30pm in Darlinghurst. Inquiries: 9360 1600.

Nod to Palestine an ignorant and regressive idea

BY GREG SHERIDAN

The Australian
July 13, 2017

The NSW Labor Party, under the shameful influence of its once great right-wing faction, is about to pass a resolution on the Middle East that is a disgrace in principle, is semi-publicly but earnestly opposed by Bill Shorten, Tanya Plibersek, Richard Marles and Penny Wong, and will be an embarrassment to the Labor Party.

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Blitzed: how the Nazis’ conquest of Europe got a chemical boost

BY VIC ALHADEFF

The Australian
July 1, 2017

“I demand that you do not sleep for at least three days and nights if that is required,” General Heinz Guderian is said to have told the thousands of German troops who had massed to cross the Meuse river and push into Belgium and France in 1940.

Continue reading Blitzed: how the Nazis’ conquest of Europe got a chemical boost

Greek tragedy and tales of heroism during Holocaust remembrance

BY VIC ALHADEFF

The Australian
March 18, 2017

At 11.30am tomorrow, Yiannis Boutaris will lead a march through Thessaloniki. Sporting tattoos on his arms and a tiny diamond earring, the fiercely independent mayor of Greece’s second largest city brazenly wore a symbolic yellow star — which the Nazis forced Jews to wear during the Holocaust — to protest against the election of neo-Nazi Golden Dawn members to his city council.

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Taking the fight to combat brazen bigotry: Law must call the shots to stamp out hate

BY VIC ALHADEFF

The Daily Telegraph
September 12, 2016

WHAT if the leader of a religious group addressed a public rally in Sydney and openly called for the murder of people of another faith?

Unlikely in our democratic society where we abide by the rule of law?

Continue reading Taking the fight to combat brazen bigotry: Law must call the shots to stamp out hate

Legal notes

BY VIC ALHADEFF

The Spectator Australia
September 10, 2016

What if the leader of a religious group addressed a public rally in Sydney and openly called for the murder of people of another faith?Unlikely in our democratic society, where we abide by the rule of law? Wouldn’t or couldn’t happen in the greatest country on the planet where 200 cultures live side by side in peace and tranquillity, embracing diversity and respecting each other’s right to be different? Think again. It does and it did. Right here in Sydney. A virulent outpouring of hatred. A chilling torrent of bile and abuse from a religious leader. All the while warning the targets of his venom about the fury and wrath – and violence – which would be heaped upon them, all supposedly in the name of truth and justice. The hate preacher’s version of truth and justice. And the most disturbing aspect of this appalling display of bigotry and blatant incitement to listeners to unleash acts of violence against the target group? Here was a prominent community leader, in a vicious harangue dripping with vitriol and condemnation, publicly whipping up a crowd to do his bidding and carry out violence against fellow-Australians, and the law turned its back. Worse yet – by completely failing to act, it effectively told him he was free to do it all over again the next morning. Which he and his colleagues have done. More than once.

Continue reading Legal notes