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Birthday of Isaac Isaac's, First Australian-Jewish Lawyer, Politician and Judge, 1855.

Updated: Dec 4, 2020

On This Day in Jewish History: August 6th, 1855

https://www.instagram.com/p/CDjes0wF3_T/


Isaac Isaacs, the first Australian-Jewish lawyer, politician, and judge who served as the ninth Governor-General of Australia was born #onthisday, August 6th, 1855.

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Isaacs was in office from 1931 to 1936. He also served on the High Court of Australia from 1906 to 1931, including as Chief Justice from 1930.

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Born in Melbourne, Isaacs grew up in Yackandandah and Beechworth. He began working as a schoolteacher at the age of fifteen, and later moved to study law at the University of Melbourne.

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Isaacs was admitted to the bar shortly thereafter, becoming one of Melbourne’s best-known barristers.

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He was then elected to the Victorian Legislative Assembly in 1892, and subsequently served as Solicitor-General under James Patterson, and Attorney-General under George Turner and Alexander Peacock.

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This was a monumental moment, as he was the first Jewish person to be elected to a governmental position in Australia.

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It should be noted that following his last term in 1936, Isaacs became openly anti-Zionist in the sense that he was not in favor of political Zionism while still resonating with the cultural and social aspects of Zionism.

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An ardent anti-nationalist, Isaacs saw Zionism and the case for the (future) Jewish state of Israel as simply another iteration of national chauvinism. Ironically, some of his ire drew from his devotion to the British Empire who in the late 30's and 40's stood firmly in the way of an independent Jewish State.


Text Source: https://web.archive.org/web/20080227010834/http://www.unimelb.edu.au/150/150people/isaacs.html


Image Source: Public Domain

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✍: @mstarikovsky

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