Leeser to deliver Human Rights address

Julian Leeser, elected as the Member for Berowra Julian Leeser. Photo: Noel Kessel

FEDERAL politician Julian Leeser will examine the singling out of Israel by the international community and the role of international human rights as it pertains to the Australian parliament when he delivers the 2018 B’nai B’rith Human Rights Address on Sunday, July 15.

Leeser, who is Jewish, was elected as the Liberal Member for Berowra at the 2016 federal election. He is a member of the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Human Rights.

He told The AJN, “Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks has written that throughout history, when people have sought to justify anti-Semitism, they have done so by recourse to the highest source of authority available within the culture. He says that today, the highest source of authority worldwide is human rights.

“That is why Israel – the only fully functioning democracy in the Middle East – is regularly accused of the five cardinal sins against human rights: racism, apartheid, crimes against humanity, ethnic cleansing and attempted genocide.”

He continued, “Last week the United States pulled out of the UN Human Rights Council, protesting that body’s treatment of Israel.
“Despite manifest shortcomings and political biases, international human rights are now playing a role in the processes of the Australian Parliament. In my upcoming address to the B’nai B’rith Society, I will question whether they should.”

The address will we followed by a Q and A session. B’nai B’rith Alfred Dreyfus Unit president Ernie Friedlander said Leeser “is a very dedicated and caring individual and presents extremely well”.

“I heard him several times, including his Maiden speech in Federal Parliament. A proof was that the five earlier maiden speeches were only listened to by their party members – while Julian’s, both the Government and Opposition stayed,” he said.

“On leaving I heard the attendant remark ‘I am here for 25 years – this was the finest’.”

Prior to entering parliament, Leeser held a variety of roles including director of Government Policy and Strategy at the Australia Catholic University, executive director of the Menzies Research Centre and as an advisor to former Attorney-General Philip Ruddock. He was also active in a number of roles with the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies.

The address will be held at Emanuel Synagogue on July 15 from 7pm. To book tickets, email events.humanitix.net/hra2018 or phone (02) 9321 6309.