Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council

An Australian Premier's Trip: The Israeli Perspective

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NSW Premier Mike Baird's trip to Israel last week - the first by a sitting state Premier - generated much media interest here at home. Here's how media in Israel reported on the visit:

Israeli business news outlet Globes covered the agreement that will see Elbit Systems provide a state-of-the-art Beechcraft King Air B200 flight simulation and training system to the Australian Royal Flying Doctor Service.

"The Israeli company will provide the only facility in Australia to offer aero-medical training for pilots as well as medical staff," the report said.

"The project was announced this week, during New South Wales Premier Mike Baird's trip to Israel, where he visited Elbit's ‘Tzofit' training center in Netanya," it added.

A media statement from the Israel Ministry for Foreign Affairs detailed Baird's meeting with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin.

Rivlin "reiterated his disappointment at having been unable to fulfil his planned visit to Australia in March, " according to the statement.

He said: "I was especially disappointed because I know and appreciate the tremendous cooperation that we have, which is an expression of the close friendship between Israeli and Australian people."

"The President also praised the strong and growing economic cooperation between Israel and Australia, and noted the importance of the new innovation partnerships now being created between startups and innovators in the two countries," according to the MFA.

Arutz Sheva ran a story on Baird's meeting with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, based on the MFA statement.

"President Rivin praised Australia's efforts against extremism," it reported, with the following comment from Rivlin: "Even though you are on the other side of the world, you know very well that the spread of hatred and the instability that we are witnessing in the Middle East is a danger to the whole world, and I want to thank you for your country's strong position against extremism."

Israeli innovation website NoCamels ran a story on the Technological Cooperation Pact signed between Israel and NSW.

"At an official signing ceremony in Tel Aviv this week the government of the Australian State of New South Wales (NSW) and the State of Israel signed a joint industrial R&D agreement. The goal of the agreement is to establish a mechanism of cooperation with parallel funding for companies from both countries conducting joint research and development projects," the website said.

"Under the agreement, Israeli companies will team up with companies from New South Wales (NSW) to co-develop and commercialize innovative products. The companies will receive financial support from both governments."
"The official ceremony was presided over by the Premier of New South Wales (NSW), the Hon. Mike Baird MP, and Mr. Avi Luvton, Asia Pacific Director at the Israel Innovation Authority."

Matimop - Israeli Industry Centre for R&D added the following comments by Luvton: "Today's agreement is just the beginning of deepening cooperation between companies in Israel and New South Wales and will undoubtedly prove its value to both sides, leading to new levels of innovation ... We are excited to be adding New South Wales to the growing list of states and countries which cooperate with Israel on technology and R&D."

Baird also rated a mention in The Jerusalem Post's Grapevine section, under the headline "Foreign dignitaries flock to Israel."

Gareth Narunsky

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