Australia elects Jewish politicians

By Jennifer Lipman, August 23, 2010
Joshua Frydenberg

Joshua Frydenberg

As Australia faces its first hung parliament since the 1940s, three Jewish politicians are celebrating their election to the country’s federal parliament.

Michael Danby and Mark Dreyfus are among those who have won seats for the Labor incumbents, while Joshua Frydenberg was elected for the Liberal opposition.

Mr Frydenberg, a former banker who attended Jewish schools and studied at Oxford University, won the safe seat of Kooyong in Melbourne.

Kooyong has never been held by a Jewish politician before, while there has not been a Liberal Jewish politician in nearly two decades.

Mr Frydenberg has served as an adviser to the one-time Australian prime minister John Howard and to the former Australian foreign minister.

Mr Danby, known for his support of Israel, was returned to the Melbourne seat he has held for 22 years.

Mr Dreyfus, whose father emigrated to Australia during the Holocaust, also won a second term representing a constituency in Victoria.

During the election campaign the leaders of the two main parties, Labor’s Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott for the Liberals, both emphasised their commitment to Israel.

Mr Abbott described his party's bond with the Jewish state as "unshakeable" and Ms Gillard visited Israel as part of a delegation from the Australia Israel Leadership Forum.

Last updated: 2:26pm, August 30 2010