Malcolm Turnbull sworn in as Australia’s new PM

Marcy Oster

(JTA) — Malcolm Turnbull was sworn in as Australia’s new prime minister.

Turnbull, a multi-millionaire who reportedly has Jewish roots, became the country’s new leader on Tuesday.

Turnbull defeated Toby Abbott in a Labor Party leadership ballot on Monday. Abbott resigned after the ballot.

“My mother always used to say that her mother’s family was Jewish,” Turnbull told the Australian Jewish News in an interview.

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He also said: “I grew up in the eastern suburbs and as we all observe there were a lot of Jews in the eastern suburbs and I have always been very comfortable.

“There is no doubt that the strong traditions of family and the whole heimishe atmosphere of the Jewish community, which I’m sure some people don’t like, for me – as someone who is a good friend, but not part of it – I find very admirable.”

Turnbull has called for increased ties with Israel.

“We need to collaborate more with Israel, particularly on matters of science and technology. The more we can do with Israel, the better,” Turnbull said last month at the Zionist Federation of Australia’s 2015 plenary.

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