Well-known around the globe for his regular column in the Jerusalem Post, Isi Leibler
was born in Antwerp, the eldest of three sons of Polish-born parents, and was brought up in Australia from the age of five. Educated at the Melbourne Boys' High School and the University of Melbourne, where he attained a first-class honors degree in politics, he began doctoral studies with the hope of becoming a diplomat, but abandoned that goal owing to the early death, in 1957, of this father, a diamond merchant. Eventually, with Melbourne Yiddishist and Bundist Bono Wiener, Isi Leibler founded Jetset Tours, which became the largest travel company in the Southern Hemisphere.
Isi Leibler was involved in Jewish communal leadership from his student days, and became a legendary figure not only on the Australian but on the world Jewish stage, initially for his pioneering involvement in the cause of Soviet Jewry.
See my post here.
In the following video, which I asked Mr Leibler's permission to post here, we see this remarkable Jewish leader in conversation with his grandchildren and great-grandchildren – and also his wife Naomi, daughter of Jerusalem-born Rabbi Israel Porush of Sydney – talking about his life and career, his motivations and achievements,beginning with his dealings with antisemitic schoolboys as a child all the way through to his impressions of Israeli statesmen (learn which one made the deepest impression on him) and other world leaders (learn which one he frankly describes as "an antisemitic bitch") whom he met in the course of his career.
His remarks at the beginning of this long (44 minutes) but irresistible and instructive video
– "I've never in my life felt inhibited by antisemites. I feel superior to them. I feel I can take them on and I can screw them" – partly sum up their speaker.