FORMER prime minister John Howard was honoured with one of Tel Aviv University’s most prestigious accolades last week.
A stalwart supporter of Israel, Howard was presented with the George S. Wise Medal by Tel Aviv University vice-president Amos Elad, who travelled to Australia specifically for the Australian Friends of Tel Aviv University (AFTAU) NSW event.
AFTAU NSW president David Dinte told The AJN the George S. Wise Medal is “only given when there is a worthy candidate whose extraordinary contribution to society merits formal recognition”.
“Mr Howard is only the tenth recipient of the George S. Wise Medal since its inception in 1986,” he said.
“Other esteemed recipients of this Award are [former Israeli diplomat] Abba Eban; [Israel’s first astronaut] Ilan Ramon; [economist] Stanley Fischer and [former French prime minister] Dominique de Villepin”.
Tel Aviv University president Joseph Klafter said in a letter to Howard: “Your significant political, economic and social achievements as the second longest-serving Australian prime minister, together with your unwavering, courageous advocacy of the State of Israel spanning decades, your deep, abiding friendship with the Australian Jewish community, and your condemnation of International terrorism in all its forms, resonate well with the precepts as emulated by George Wise.”
Howard told The AJN that he “is both touched and honoured to be recognised by such an outstanding Israeli University”.
The evening also served as the launch of the new AFTAU Scholarship Fund, which will provide financial assistance to students at New South Wales universities wishing to study on exchange at Tel Aviv University.
Dinte said the night was an enormous success, with $200,000 being raised for the scholarship fund.
“The AFTAU Scholarship Fund is the first of its kind amongst the Tel Aviv University Friends Associations around the world,” he added.
“As well as providing an amazing educational experience for the students, it will also create wonderful ambassadors for Tel Aviv University and Israel.”
The scholarship program is open to Jews and non-Jews alike who are undertaking undergraduate or postgraduate study.
The function was held at the home of Joseph and Gerda Brender and Sam and Agi Moss.
For scholarship fund enquiries:, call AFTAU on (02) 9363 0004.
Former prime minister John Howard