Australian PM Scott Morrison awarded Jerusalem Prize

The prize is awarded by the Zionist Federation of Australia, the Zionist Council of NSW and the World Zionist Organization. Morrison pledged to always defend Israel in the United Nations.

The new Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison attends a news conference in Canberra, Australia August 24, 2018 (photo credit: REUTERS/DAVID GRAY/FILE PHOTO)
The new Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison attends a news conference in Canberra, Australia August 24, 2018
(photo credit: REUTERS/DAVID GRAY/FILE PHOTO)
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison pledged to always defend Israel in the United Nations, as he was awarded the Jerusalem Prize by the Zionist Federation of Australia, the Zionist Council of NSW and the World Zionist Organization on Thursday.
“Australia chaired the 1947 UN committee that voted in favor of dividing the territory of mandated Palestine. That same year we became the first country to cast a vote in support of the partition plan as we've been reminded tonight,” he recalled.
Morrison said that “all too often,” an institution “that's supposed to do so much good has allowed anti-Semitism to seep into its deliberations, all under the language of human rights; and we're not buying that, my government is not going to buy that.”
“We know the character of our friend Israel and we will defend it,” he further said, describing the country as “a beacon of democracy.”

“We stand with our friends and under this government, that is what will occur. We've set up a trade and defense office in West Jerusalem to deepen ties on trade, defense industries, investment and innovation,” he noted.
ZFA President Jeremy Leibler praised Morrison’s stance.
“When Jews elsewhere in the diaspora are increasingly worried about their place in contemporary mainstream politics, true leadership shines bright,” he noted.
Antisemitism in the country was one of the topics covered during the event, with both Jewish leaders and the prime minister expressing concern over reports of several antisemitic accidents recently registered in the country.
“Sadly, we see and hear of antisemitic instances occurring in our communities. We can't pretend it's not happening here. It is. You know better than I do,” Morrison said. “It is shameful, absolutely shameful. These incidents, they just have no place in Australia. They are so foreign.”
The Australian leader also recalled the role of the Jewish community in the history of the country.
“Throughout the history of our modern settlement, we have witnessed a tremendous Jewish exceptionalism in our country and I often speak of my ancestors who arrived here on the first and second fleets, not by choice. But they weren't alone, on the first fleet were 12 of the finest Jewish colleagues. In time, they built a Jewish community that added something absolutely rich to our country,” he said, referring to the first group of 11 ships that left England to establish a penal colony in Australia in 1787, founding the first European settlement in the country.
He also called himself very proud that “after the Second World War, Australia offered a home to more Holocaust survivors per capita than any nation other than Israel.”
According to a report by The Australian, previous recipients of the prize included former Prime Ministers John Howard, Bob Hawke and Julia Gillard, former Foreign Minister Alexander Downer, and the late Sir Zelman Cowen.