Tuesday, 18 December, 2018

White House jumps on Morrison's Israel gaff

East Jerusalem Palestine which remains under Israeli occupation East Jerusalem Palestine which remains under Israeli occupation
Kenny Thornton | 17 October, 2018, 12:23

Morrison "informed me that he is considering officially recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel & moving the Australian embassy to Jerusalem".

The Australian prime minister said one possibility could include recognising a Palestinian Authority capital in East Jerusalem and Israeli capital in West Jerusalem.

Australia is considering following US President Donald Trump's lead in moving the nation's embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.

"And I was very pleased by the warm exchange I had yesterday with the President".

While the Israeli Government welcomed the Prime Minister's comments, the reaction within Israel has been muted, with Israeli media noting that an Australian Government statement acknowledged East Jerusalem could be the capital of a future Palestinian state.

Trump's move ruptured decades of global consensus that Jerusalem's status should be settled as part of a two-state peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians.

They also noted that Morrison's proposal credited Dave Sharma, the Liberal party's Wentworth candidate, who was formerly the Australian ambassador to Israel.

"I congratulate the Australian government for being open to the idea of moving their embassy to Jerusalem", said Rabbi Levi Wolff of the Orthodox Central Synagogue in Bondi, reported The Guardian.

AIJAC national chairman Mark Leibler echoed his colleague's remarks: "Recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital-something the government now says it is seriously considering-would right a longstanding injustice, as Israel is the only state in the world which the global community insists has no right to choose its own capital".

"It was a surprise for all of us", he said following an emergency meeting in Australia's capital on Tuesday.

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He said there had been no discussion on the matter with the U.

In September after a "re-examination", Paraguay flipped on its former President Horacio Cartes' decision to move its embassy to Jerusalem deeming it "unjustified" sparking swift diplomatic retaliation by Israel.

"We have agreed that we will send a letter to the foreign minister expressing our worries and our concern about such a statement", he told Reuters. He is also questioned Australia's position in the Iran nuclear deal.

The main opposition Labor party, which polls show is on track to win national elections that must be held by May, said Tuesday's announcement showed just how desperate the government is to win in Wentworth.

According to The Sydney Morning Herald, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison is considering the move.

"This is of great importance to remind them that this does not go with worldwide law, with global relations... and puts Australia in contradiction to the rest of the world when it comes to Jerusalem and the status of Jerusalem", he said.

"This is all in the context of me continuing our support for the two-step [sic] solution policy in the Middle East", Morrison added.

But Morrison denied the United States influenced his announcement.

Joyce said that he wasn't proposing that the move would necessarily hurt trade relationships, arguing that countries were unlikely to stop trade with the United States despite the Trump administration's decision to move its embassy. "We do so in our own national interests consistent with our own beliefs and our own values".

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