VICTORIAN Opposition Leader Matthew Guy says that Australians can learn a lot from the Israeli psyche of always facing challenges.
The Liberal politician visited the Jewish State with fellow parliamentarian David Southwick last month.
Speaking to The AJN on his return, Guy said, “In Israel challenges are not seen as a barrier, but just an obstacle that needs to be overcome.”
He added that Australian governments would do well to emulate the all-encompassing support the Israeli government gives to programs fostering innovation.
“In Beersheva, the government is working with private industry, that means through services, transport and planning, in order to bring businesses together in one great big business park.
“There are tremendous policy ideas and innovation opportunities for Victorians as well if the government is focused on that space singularly, rather than here and there.”
Reflecting on his time in Israel, Guy said it was a tremendously worthwhile trip.
As well as visiting the Kotel and Yad Vashem, which he described as very moving, he was also caught in the Old City at the time of a terrorist attack, and toured other parts of the country.
“The investment and the buzz around start-ups is really promising,” he enthused.
“There is so much that is going to happen in that space that Australia can learn from.”
While Guy was in Israel, the NSW Labor Party were pushing their federal colleagues to recognise Palestine, which he said was illogical.
“We shouldn’t reward terrorism,” he said. “The Labor Party is becoming a warped political ideology when it comes to the Middle East. This Bob Carr view of the world that you recognise those who operate by the gun or the bullet is frightening for Australia.”
Guy said for there to be peace, the Palestinians must first resolve their internal issues.
“What I can see over there is the Palestinians cannot agree among themselves – you have Hamas, which is a terrorist organisation, running Gaza and the Palestinian Authority outside of Gaza.”
Despite the obvious security concerns, Guy said that Israel is safe and encouraged all people to visit the Jewish homeland.
“Tel Aviv is a modern, hip Mediterranean city where anything is possible in business and you can have a good time all the time, while Jerusalem feels like the biblical city that many Australians would know it as.
“No one should be scared or worried. Israel is safe, it’s not hard to get to and I encourage others to go.”