The wheels have been set in motion for Binyamin Netanyahu become the first Prime Minister to visit Australia, the Australian reported Wednesday.
It said that his diary has been cleared for a week-long visit starting on July 14 in the capital of Canberra and then with business and community leaders in Melbourne and Sydney.
Israel and Australia are interested in promoting economic ties, especially in the areas of information and defense technology.
However, no final decision has yet been made on the trip, and plans could be upset by the constantly changing security situation in and around Israel.
Netanyahu has visited Australia as a diplomat and in 2001 opened Chabad Rabbi Joseph Gutnick’s new synagogue, a replica of Chabad headquarters in Brooklyn.. Kevin Rudd, when he was foreign minister in 2012 invited Netanyahu to visit, and the Prime Minister told the Australian in 2012, “In a world where Israel is vilified, castigated, where a beleaguered democracy is defending its very life against radical Islamist forces, we don’t always get credit. We don’t always get fair play. We feel that happens more often than not with Australia.”
Current Foreign minister Julie Bishop angered the Palestinian Authority by questioning claims that expanding Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria violates international laws.
Last year, Bishop told Austria’s representative in the United Nations to withdraw Australia’s support of a resolution for an order to stop ”all Israeli settlement activities in all of the occupied territories.” Joining only eight other countries who abstained in the lopsided anti-Israel vote. Six countries, including the United States and Canada, voted against the resolution.
Former Labor governments in Australia condemned a Jewish presence in Judea and Samaria.