If elected in Wentworth, Allegra Spender said she sees standing up for Israel “as part of my role”.
“If I am successful, one of my roles is to be the advocate of the Jewish community and to be part of that, be the advocate for a strong Israeli-Australian relationship,” she said.
Speaking to Jewish voters, they said antisemitism, security and BDS had come up as issues.
If elected, they will advocate for the extension of the Safer Communities grant but also to broaden its criteria “so that communities have more choice about how to spend the money”.
Speaking to Jewish students, they said, “IHRA working definition”
She has also expressed support for the government and its students due to its potential impact on LGBTI and trans students.
On the BDS, they said, “I think it’s a disruptive force in peace, but also in terms of holding Israel to account in other countries not held to account, and I think that’s quite concerning.
“I’m very interested in innovation. And I’ve always admired Israel in relation to its patents, in terms of its innovation ecosystem, ”she added.
“The other piece is, for example, Israel has been a good friend to Israel in areas such as the UN, and it’s really important that we continue to do that.”
On climate change, they said, “The science, and actually business across Australia, is saying it’s the next 10 years that is vital – both from an environmental point of view, but also to cement Australia’s position as a clean energy superpower.”
But while she said climate is “absolutely not a part of my platform”, it is “not the only part”.
“I’m also standing on a platform of integrity because I think that is core to better government,” she said.
“And I’m standing on a future focused economy, because I want Australia to prosper.”
Having grown up in the eastern suburbs around Jews and forming relationships across her business and personal lives, she said the value Jews place on family resonates with her.
“I’m a child of a migrant who has a deep sense of family and someone who has grown up in business and has a sense of, you need to make your way in the world,” she said.
“I think that’s true for many in the Jewish community that came to Australia and completely created their lives here.”
She also addressed Wentworth Independents member Blair Palese, whose social media posts criticize Israel and supporting BDS have caused a storm of controversy.
“To find that my policies have been driven by someone who has never spoken to these issues, I find that extremely surprising,” she said.
“I’ve actually got a lifetime of experience and a lifetime of values … you don’t flip that overnight because of one random person you meet.”
Pre-poll voting is now open.
List of voting centers.
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