The Australian prime minister has spoken in the past of his belief that his mother, Coral Lansbury, cousin of the actress Angela Lansbury, was of Jewish descent on her mother's side, and although that belief appears to be misplaced, he can claim, through the Lansbury family, mishpocha of sorts, in the person of his great-grandfather George Lansbury's son Edgar's first wife, suffragette and social reformer Minnie Glassman. (George Lansbury, to whom Mr Turnbull as he ages bears a striking physical resemblance, was of course leader of the British Labour Party between the wars, and had spent some time in Queensland.)
What a pity that all of Australia's Jewish day school children could not have met Bibi, like these lucky children at Moriah College in Sydney.
Before Bibi flew out of Sydney today he met with Aussie Foreign Minister Julie Bishop:
An interview by ABC journo Stan Grant with Zionist Federation of Australia president Mark Leibler and an Israel-hater here
As the president and the executive director of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry have said of the visit:
“The historic visit to Australia by Benjamin Netanyahu, the first by an incumbent Israeli Prime Minister, was of tremendous positive significance to the Australian Jewish community and to Australia as a whole.
Australia’s Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, made a point of attending and speaking at every official and non-official function that was addressed by his Israeli counterpart, and of aligning Australia with Israel at every opportunity. A highlight was Prime Minister Turnbull’s declaration that Australia would have voted against UN Security Council resolution 2334, and Prime Minister Netanyahu’s response praising the “down-to-earth Australians” for “puncturing UN hypocrisy”.
Despite the inordinate focus of some sections of the media on the conflict with the Palestinians and the settlements issue, it quickly became clear that the priorities of the two leaders and their respective governments lay elsewhere. They discussed issues of vital concern to the national interests of both nations – intelligence sharing, counter-terrorism, thwarting Iran’s aggression, cyber-security, science, agri-tech, energy and resources and the environment.
The events organised by the Jewish community at Central Synagogue and at Moriah College, and the speeches made there by both Prime Ministers, were unforgettably moving and uplifting. These events further galvanised the already-strong support for Israel among Australian Jews, and left an indelible impression on everyone who attended them. Surveying the capacity audience at Central Synagogue, crammed with political and communal leaders and other dignitaries, Prime Minister Netanyahu was moved to begin his speech with a simple exclamation: “Wow!”.”
This best sums up his entire visit to Australia. It was an outstanding success, and a great morale booster for the Jewish community and Israel’s many other friends in Australia.'For more Jewish communal summations of the impact of the visit see J-Wire here