Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council
The Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council (AIJAC) is a right wing lobby group based in Melbourne and Sydney, Australia. On its website and in the media, AIJAC often claims to represent the Australian Jewish community, stating that it "represents the interests of the Australian Jewish community to government, media and other community groups and organisations." . In reality, it is a small, privately funded think tank which represents no one but its own small membership.
AIJAC describes itself as a think tank, however it does not do original research, and focuses mostly on political lobbying. It has been described as "an aggressive, no holds barred, privately funded, political lobby group. It is variously described as “the only effective organisation that lobbies for Israel”, a “Melbourne based pro-Zionist think-tank”, “Zionist propagandists”, “contentious”, but not a body, according to the President of the New South Wales Board of Deputies, “that is in any elected or democratic sense representative of the community". 
AIJAC is privately funded, and does not disclose its major donors. Those which have been been disclosed in the media are:
- The Pratt Foundation 
Hanan Ashrawi Affair
In 2003, AIJAC was one of the loudest voices in the so-called "Hanan Ashrawi Affair", in which some groups within the Australian Jewish community lobbied vigourously against the honouring of Palestinian politician Hanan Ashrawi with the Sydney Peace Prize. A full account of the affair can be read here (PDF file).
AIJAC's website states that it is "associated with" the American Jewish Committee
AIJAC publishes a monthly journal, The Australia/Israel Review, which focuses on issues in Israel and issues facing Australia's Jewish community.
- Mark Leibler (National Chairman)
- Barry Smorgon (NSW Chairman)
- Colin Rubenstein (Executive Director & Editor of The Australia/Israel Review)
- Jeremy Jones (Director of International & Community Affairs & Senior Contributing Editor of The Australia/Israel Review)
- Ted Lapkin (Director of Policy Analysis & Senior Editor of The Australia/Israel Review)
- Robert Klarnet (National Media Liaison)
- Jamie Hyams (Policy Analyst)
- Bren Carlill (Policy Analyst)
- Jonathan Elias (Policy Analyst)
- Helen Brustman (Events Coordinator)
- Peter Adler (Israel Liaison)
- Tzvi Fleischer (Editor-in-Chief of The Australia/Israel Review)
- Michael Shannon (Publishing & Web Editor for The Australia/Israel Review
Head Office - Melbourne
Level 1, 22 Albert Road
South Melbourne VIC 3205
Tel: (61) 03 9681 6660
Fax: (61) 03 9681 6650
Email: aijac AT aijac.org.au
Other Sourcewatch Resources
- Alan Mathesson, Getting the complete picture in the Holy Land?, Online Opinion, May 19, 2006.
- Elisabeth Wynhausen, Careful, they might hear you, The Australian, June 10, 2006.