Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council

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The Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council (AIJAC) is the premier public affairs organisation for the Australian Jewish community.

 

AIJAC Executive Director Dr. Colin Rubenstein AM

Through research, commentary, analysis and advocacy, AIJAC represents the interests of the Australian Jewish community to government, politicians, media and other community groups and organisations. It has professionals dedicated to analysis and monitoring developments in the Middle East, Asia and Australia.

Some of AIJAC's activities include:

  • A renowned visitor program, bringing international speakers to private and public events around Australia and New Zealand. Some of the highlights over the past year include: top Arab-Israeli journalist Khaled Abu Toameh, Israeli adviser and peace negotiator Tal Becker, US counter-terrorism expert Dr. Matthew Levitt, and leading Middle East analysts Ehud Ya'ari, Dr. Emanuele Ottolenghi, Dr. Daniel Pipes and Dr. Jonathan Spyer.
  • AIJAC's Rambam Israel Fellowship program annually sponsors visits to Israel by selected senior journalists, politicians, political advisers, senior public servants and student leaders.
  • The AIJAC Forum brings together young professionals with a desire to get involved in AIJAC activities and events. Committee members of AIJAC Forum meet regularly with politicians, journalists and expert analysts.
  • Our monthly magazine, Australia/Israel Review (or AIR), which highlights developments in the Middle East affecting Israel, and public policy issues of interest to the Australian Jewish community. Selected articles from all editions since 2005 are available online. Subcriptions can be purchased via this website.
  • Update from AIJAC is our highly regarded email news and commentary service, free and available to all, with opinion and analysis on topical issues sourced from a wide variety of international outlets and a selection of external web links for further reading. Updates are issued usually every 2-3 days to registered subscribers and posted concurrently on the web. You can register for the Updates from this website.

AIJAC also has an active association with the American Jewish Committee in a global partnership designed to bring about a greater understanding of the issues and challenges lying ahead for world Jewry.

Issues

Anti-Israel Bias

AIJAC endeavours to highlight and counteract instances of anti-Israel bias and misinformation in the Australian media and the wider public debate. This is a huge ongoing task, undertaken both within AIJAC's own publications and the mainstream media.

See our regular blogs on these issues on this website as well as the "Media Microscope" column in Australia/Israel Review.

Islamic Extremism

In the wake of the challenge presented by the September 11 and further terrorist atrocities, AIJAC supported the US-led coalition in the war against violent Islamism, including the campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq. This also extends to the threat that violent Islamism poses within Western societies.

The growth of Islamic extremism in Asia also constitutes an important issue not only for all Australians, but Israel and the Australian Jewish community in particular. AIJAC maintains strong contacts with regional experts in this field, including Prof. Zachary Abuza and Dr. Greg Barton.

For ongoing regional coverage, also read the monthly Asia Watch column in Australia/Israel Review as well as articles by regional experts.

Racial and Religious Intolerance

AIJAC seeks to defend and promote efforts to further Australia's development as a tolerant and harmonious multicultural society.

Often acting in concert with other ethnic community organisations, AIJAC has exposed instances of racism and antisemitism in Australia and has lobbied governments to develop legislative and educative measures to counteract the pernicious effects of racism. Jeremy Jones writes regularly in Australia/Israel Review on issues of antisemitism in Australia.

International Jewry

AIJAC has highlighted and campaigned against the international scourge of Holocaust Denial and those who have sought to deny or distort the history of the Nazi Holocaust - the greatest single tragedy to afflict the Jewish people.

AIJAC was also active in the international campaign to incorporate Israel's Magen David Adom under the umbrella of the International Red Cross, correcting an anomally that lasted several decades.

Internet racism is a growing area of concern for international Jewry. Through research and published articles, AIJAC has joined international efforts to counter the unfettered proliferation of racist and antisemitic material on the internet.

War Crimes Justice

AIJAC has been in the forefront of the campaign to ensure that alleged Nazi war criminals in Australia face justice, either in Australia or overseas via deportation or extradition. To this end, AIJAC has called for the Federal Government to reestablish a specialised war crimes investigation unit to pursue suspects from the Nazi era and more recent conflicts, as well as assist international efforts to secure war crimes justice.