OPPOSITION Leader Tony Abbott addressed a packed room at Palladium at Crown in Melbourne as part of an Australia-Israel Chamber of Commerce (AICC) event on Monday.
With an election showdown looming, Abbott spoke about the challenges facing the country, including the national debt, infrastructure and government spending. He also spoke about the “extraordinary contribution” made by Jews to Australian society.
“Australia is the only country in the world, outside of Israel, where Jewish people have been chief justice, commander in chief of the army, and head of state,” Abbott said.
He singled out the community’s philanthropists and business leaders for high praise.
“Jewish people have excelled in all walks of life – especially in philanthropy – but it’s in business and commerce that their success has been most remarkable, as a quick glance through who’s who so abundantly confirms,” Abbott said. “Jewish people have succeeded because they’ve never taken anything for granted. Better products, new services, more effective salesmanship, and above everything, relentless curiosity have been the hallmarks of Jewish people in Australia, especially business people, and we have not held their success against them, but honoured them for it,” he added.
The gathering also heard from AICC chairman Leon Kempler and CEO of a world leading biotherapeutics company Professor Silviu Itescu.
Opposition Leader Tony Abbott.