UWI founder Michael Gerbitz met with former world leaders who were proud to shower praises on the Jewish people and State of Israel.
It’s not often that we hear prominent world leaders heap sincere praises upon the State of Israel, but that’s exactly what happened last week at a Law and War summit in Jerusalem, organized by Shurat HaDin-Israel Law Center.
At the conference, United with Israel’s founder Michael Gerbitz chatted with outspokenly pro-Israel former Prime Ministers Stephen Harper of Canada and Tony Abbott of Australia.
“Never be afraid to be proud of Israel,” said Harper during his keynote address at the conference.
“This country was built from virtually nothing to become one of the most successful countries on earth… one of the most remarkable countries ever created,” said Canada’s former leader, who served as Prime Minister from 2006 to 2015.
The two-day conference focused on how international law can be used to fight Israel’s battles and stop Islamic terror, with a special emphasis on cyber warfare and incitement to violence via social media. Military leaders, academics, politicians and law experts participated, including former US Senator Joseph Lieberman and world-renown attorneys Alan Dershowitz, Ben Brafman and Irwin Cotler.
Harper revealed that his strong support for the Jewish State was not based on Israel’s biblical or historical claims to the land, but rather on practical realities. As a beacon of democracy and shared Western values in the most dangerous part of the world, Israel is on the front lines in the battle against Islamic terror, which threatens the very fabric of Western society, he said.
While many countries are moving towards better relations with Israel, Western European nations are not, he added.
Praising US President Donald Trump’s unwavering support for Israel, Harper predicted that if his Conservative Party is brought back into power in Canada’s upcoming election, the government will follow Trump’s lead by moving the Canadian embassy to Jerusalem.
Gerbitz told Harper that although United with Israel’s global movement includes millions of Israel supporters from over 170 countries around the world, most of those individuals are standing in opposition to their own governments’ anti-Israeli policies.
“It is a pleasure to stand together with a former world leader who proudly stands united with Israel,” Gerbitz told Harper, thanking him for being “one of the best friends that Israel ever had.”
Like Harper, former Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, who served as Australia’s leader from 2013 to 2015, was an extraordinarily pro-Israel world leader. Abbott has been described as a “passionate friend of Israel” since he first visited Israel as a young man, long before becoming prime minister.
He, too, supports moving Australia’s embassy to Jerusalem and predicted that it will happen in 2020.
Abbott told Gerbitz that Australian Jews have made a huge positive impact on his country, far beyond what could be expected from such a small segment of the population. “There are approximately 100,000 Jews out of a population of 20 million,” Abbott said, “but their contributions have been enormous.”
“Yet not everyone welcomes that,” said Abbott, acknowledging the anti-Semitic nature of those who look down upon the Jewish community.
Gerbitz responded that there are two ways to react to the success of the Jewish people and the State of Israel. “One way is too appreciate it, and the other is to become jealous and hateful,” he said.
The reason that much of the world opposes Israel is “an example of classic anti-Semitism, which has been going on for thousands of years,” Gerbitz told Abbott.
“And that’s exactly why it’s such an honor to be standing here with Stephen Harper and you. Two world leaders who were never afraid to stand proudly with the Jewish people and the State of Israel.”
“Now all we need is another 170 world leaders just like you,” said Gerbitz, who watched as Abbott nodded and grinned with thumbs-up approval.