John Gandel is an Australian Jewish businessman, property developer and “philanthropist” from a Polish background. He is focused on the development of real estate and shopping centers. He also owns Sussan, an Australian women fashion retailer. In 2021, he was ranked as the fourteenth richest person in Australia with a net worth of $5.8 billion.1
John, alongside his wife Pauline, own one of the largest “philanthropic” organizations in Australia under the title of the “Gandel foundation”. His philanthropic projects are mainly focused on promoting and contributing to Jewish and Zionist causes in Australia.
Australian citizen working for the Israeli ‘Homeland’
Gandel has openly described Israel as his “homeland” despite being an Australian citizen, demonstrating his clear “dual loyalty”, or moreover, his exclusive loyalty to Israel above Australia.
In 2022, he said: “When it comes to supporting the people and the State of Israel, we always saw it as our duty and obligation to strengthen the homeland and help this country. But please know – we are far from being unique. It is worth noting that the Jewish community of Australia is a strong advocate, supporter and defender of the State of Israel. Israel has one of the best allies in the world in Australia.”2
Funding Zion from Australian Businesses
Heavily invested in Australia’s real estate, fashion and shopping center industries, Gandel has been able to funnel his wealth into Israel. Gandel was listed as one of the possible major donors to Benjamin Netanyahu’s Knesset campaign in 2007.3 He was also awarded an honorary doctorate of philosophy by the Tel Aviv University for his “philanthropic services” in Israel. He has contributed to the Hebrew University of Jerusalem through the “Gandel Institute for Adult Jewish Learning”. He also donated to the Israeli Hadassah medical center. He stated that his support for Israel is his duty and obligation.4
The Gandel Foundation has also donated to the Taglit-Birthright Israel program in a move that was acclaimed by the Zionist Federation of Israel.5 The Taglit-Birthright program funds free trips to Israel for people belonging to the Jewish race. It is designed to act as an outreach to international Jewry, promoting Zionism and immigration to occupied Palestinian land.