Harper headlining at UIA

Stephen Harper is coming to Australia.

FORMER Canadian prime minister Stephen Harper is set to visit Australia early next year to address the United Israel Appeal (UIA).

The AJN can exclusively reveal that Harper, a long-time friend and staunch supporter of the State of Israel, will visit Sydney and Melbourne in late February.

His trip Down Under will be the second high-profile visit that month, with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also scheduled for talks in both cities.

Speaking at the UIA NSW AGM last week, chief executive Yair Miller said he is “exceptionally excited” about the “unparalleled line-up of speakers” for next year’s campaign.

Describing Harper as “one of Israel’s greatest friends”, Miller noted, “As a world leader his open and unambiguous support for the State of Israel is the stuff of legends.”

He said that Harper is “undoubtedly” the most high-profile speaker to address our community in many years.

“We are so proud to have him joining us in one of his first speaking engagements outside of Canada since leaving office.”

UIA’s general division will hold a gala community event that will take place on Monday, February 27.

“On this night we will honour Stephen Harper and show the strength and solidarity of our community support for Israel,” Miller said.

He added that the women’s division events in March also promise to be inspirational.

“We are really excited to announce that they will be spearheaded by Nancy Spielberg.

“As well as being the sister of Steven Spielberg, Nancy is an acclaimed film producer in her own right.”

Miller enthused that next year’s line-up will give our community access to some world-class speakers.

“It will allow us to showcase our community and our wonderful support for the people of Israel.”

Miller said UIA’s campaign next year will once again focus on support for Israel’s most vulnerable periphery communities in the south.

“We will continue to ensure that we do not merely provide welfare, like many other organisations, but that we continue to make every possible effort to break the cycle and bring people hope and a positive future.”

EVAN ZLATKIS