July 19, 2024

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has appointed lawyer and businesswoman Jillian Segal as Australia’s special envoy to combat antisemitism.

The federal government says the move is part of its efforts to maintain social cohesion following division sparked by Hamas’ October 7 attack and Israel’s ensuing invasion of Gaza.

”There is no place for violence or hatred of any kind in Australia,” Albanese said.

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“The appointment of Jillian Segal AO is a critical step in easing the tensions that we see playing out here at home, as a result of the devastating conflict in the Middle East.

“Australians are deeply concerned about this conflict, and many are hurting. In times like this, Australians must come together, not be torn apart.

“We have built our nation’s social cohesion together over generations, and this is why we all must work together to uphold, defend and preserve it.”

Segal’s appointment will last three years, and she will report to the prime minister and the immigration, citizenship and multicultural affairs minister.

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”Combating antisemitism in Australia has never been more important than it is today,” she said.

“The Jewish community in Australia is experiencing valid feelings of fear in the face of increasing antisemitism.

“Jewish Australians want to feel free to live their day-to-day lives, and also want to feel safe to practice and express their religion without fear.

“They also want to be able to contribute as they have previously to the vibrant multicultural society that we value in Australia.”

Segal is a former president of the Executive Council of Australian Jewry and chair of the Australia-Israel Chamber of Commerce.

She was named an officer of the Order of Australia in 2019.

Albanese said the government will also announce the appointment of a special envoy to combat Islamophobia shortly.

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