Eretz Israel is our unforgettable historic homeland...The Jews who will it shall achieve their State...And whatever we attempt there for our own benefit will redound mightily and beneficially to the good of all mankind. (Theodor Herzl, DerJudenstaat, 1896)

We offer peace and amity to all the neighbouring states and their peoples, and invite them to cooperate with the independent Jewish nation for the common good of all. The State of Israel is ready to contribute its full share to the peaceful progress and development of the Middle East.
(From Proclamation of the State of Israel, 5 Iyar 5708; 14 May 1948)

With a liberal democratic political system operating under the rule of law, a flourishing market economy producing technological innovation to the benefit of the wider world, and a population as educated and cultured as anywhere in Europe or North America, Israel is a normal Western country with a right to be treated as such in the community of nations.... For the global jihad, Israel may be the first objective. But it will not be the last. (Friends of Israel Initiative)

Thursday 6 November 2014

"I've Never ... Felt Inhibited By Antisemites": Isi Leibler On His Long & Legendary Career as A World Jewish Leader (video)

"Unquestionably the dominant Jewish lay leader in Australia during the previous quarter century”, as the Encyclopaedia Judaica describes him, Isi Leibler (who celebrated his 80th birthday last month) headed the Executive Council of Australian Jewry (ECAJ) from 1978-95.  He was awarded a CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) in 1977, an AO (Officer of the Order of Australia) in 1989, and an honorary Doctor of Letters from Deakin University in 1990. 

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.

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