Netanyahu makes history again as first Israeli prime minister to visit Australia


Prime Minister Netanyahu landed in Australia Tuesday, making history twice in two days as the first Israeli prime minister to visit both Singapore and now Australia.

Prime Minister Netanyahu was invited to Australia in September of 2016 when Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop visited Israel.

During her meeting in September, Bishop spoke of growing relations between Israel and Australia, particularly in economy, innovation and technology, Bishop inviting Netanyahu to visit in 2017.

Following successful meetings with both Netanyahu and President Rivlin, Bishop stated, “I want to take this opportunity to reaffirm our absolute enduring commitment to the State of Israel and our friendship, and invite you to come to Australia. And we’re thinking there’s a little window of opportunity early next year maybe? And the Australian public would warmly embrace you, welcome you and we would look forward to the first visit of an Israeli prime minister ever to Australia.”

On the future of Israeli-Australian relations, she stated “Our relationship has the potential to enter into new fields of endeavor, particularly in innovation where Israel is a world leader, and we are delighted that there will be a ‘landing pad’ in Tel Aviv, which shows we have much to learn from one another,” referring to funded programs in high tech and academia cooperation.

Netanyahu is scheduled to visit with Governor-General Peter Cosgrove and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, as well as numerous Australian officials. He will visit and meet with Jewish communities and hold meetings with various Australian businessmen.

Prime Minister Netanyahu will spend Shabbat (the Sabbath) in Australia before returning to Israel on Sunday.

This article originally appeared on Behold Israel, February 21, 2017, and reposted with permission.