SYDNEY, Australia (JTA) — Australia’s foreign minister will lead the largest-ever parliamentary delegation to Israel.
Kevin Rudd, the former prime minister, will lead 17 members of Parliament and senators from both sides of the political aisle to Jerusalem in December to participate in the Australia Israel Leadership Forum, a two-day conference to discuss “issues of mutual strategic interest,” according to its chair, Albert Dadon.
The 40-member Australian delegation, which also will include businesspeople, power brokers and media representatives, will engage with a similarly high-profile delegation of Israelis.
During the trip, the Australians will attend a ceremony at Yad Vashem to honor William Cooper, an Aboriginal elder who in December 1938 protested to the German Consulate against the persecution of the Jews just weeks after Kristallnacht. It is the first time that Israel’s national Holocaust memorial has recognized an indigenous Australian.