Australia has a long, proud history of friendship with the state of Israel but, right now, we ask of our friends one simple request—bring Leifer back.
Mr BURNS (Macnamara) (13:45): Yesterday, the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition marked one year since the national apology to victims and survivors of institutional child sex abuse. Today, I stand with those still fighting for justice. In the gallery today, we are joined by two outstanding Australians. Dassi Erlich and Nicole Meyer were students at the Adass Israel School in Melbourne when their principal, Malka Leifer, committed the most unholy of acts against them. Ms Leifer fled this country, 11 years ago, when the allegations of horrific acts she committed against her students surfaced. But, despite extradition proceedings commencing against her in 2014 to return her to Victoria, where she is wanted on 74 counts of child sex abuse, Ms Leifer has still not been extradited. There have now been more than 60 court hearings in Israel in this case, including allegations of corrupt ministerial interference, faking mental illness, and a seemingly endless cycle of psychiatric panels.
I stand today with so many members on both sides of the House—and I especially want to acknowledge the member for Wentworth—in saying this: it’s time for this farce to end. Dassi and Nicole deserve justice, as do all of Malka Leifer’s victims. They deserve to see Malka Leifer returned to Victoria to face justice. Australia has a long, proud history of friendship with the state of Israel but, right now, we ask of our friends one simple request—bring Leifer back.