Haaretz reports that NZ’s newly elected PM is Jewish.
New Zealanders chose a multimillionaire former foreign currency trader on Saturday to lead them through the global financial meltdown, handing longserving left-wing Prime Minister Helen Clark a crushing election defeat.
Conservative leader John Key invoked Barack Obama’s catchcry of now being the time for change in his victory speech, and even joked that he wouldn’t match the U.S. President-elect’s promise of a new dog for his kids.
Key, like Obama, is 47 years old and belongs to a minority group in his country. Key’s mother, Ruth Lazar, is a Jewish immigrant from Austria and is considered an active member of New Zealand’s Jewish community of about 5,000.
Key has been less than forthcoming about his positions regarding Israel, but stresses in interviews that he is a friend of Israel and wants to visit Jerusalem. Members of the Kiwi Jewish community point out that Key took part in Israel’s 60th anniversary celebrations, and has donated to Hadassah University Hospital in Jerusalem.
Key has promised a more right-leaning government than Clark’s, which for almost a decade made global warming a key policy issue and led the international condemnation of scientific whaling.
In a country where the environment is a mainstream political issue, Key has vowed to wind back Clark’s greenhouse gas emission trading scheme to protect businesses from financial losses, and to reduce red tape that he says will entangle infrastructure projects, such as dams, due to environmental concerns.
Here’s the AP article. He sounds pretty right wing.
Mazal tov anyway. 😉