Australia Considers Recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s Capital

Al-Aqsa compound in East Jerusalem. (Photo: via Twitter)

Australia will consider recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and shifting its embassy there from Tel Aviv, Australia’s Prime Minister said on Tuesday, Reuters reports.

The status of Jerusalem is one of the thorniest obstacles to a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians. Israel regards all of the city, including the eastern sector that it annexed after the 1967 Middle East war, as its capital.

Last December, US President Donald Trump reversed decades of US policy by recognizing Jerusalem, enraging the Palestinians and upsetting the Arab world and Western allies.

Australia was firm in its refusal to follow suit at the time, however, Prime Minister Scott Morrison told reporters in parliament he was now “open-minded” about doing so, while not changing Australia’s policy of support for a Palestinian state.

Morrison said:

“The orthodoxy that’s driven this debate which says issues like considering the question of the capital are taboo. I think we have to challenge that.”

“The whole point of a two-state solution is two nations recognized living side by side,” he added, saying he was open to the suggestion from Dave Sharma, Australia’s former ambassador to Israel, that Australia supports West Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and East Jerusalem as Palestine’s.

“No decision has been made in regarding the recognition of a capital or the movement of an embassy … but at the same time, what we are simply doing is being open to that suggestion.”

The US Embassy became the only foreign embassy in Jerusalem in May, and Guatemala and Paraguay followed Washington’s lead days later and also moved their embassies, although Paraguay returned its mission to Tel Aviv last month. Israel closed its embassy in Asuncion in response.

The Palestinians, with broad international backing, want East Jerusalem as the capital of a future state that they hope to establish in the occupied West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Peace talks between the parties broke down in 2014.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has attempted to persuade other countries to move their embassies to Jerusalem.

( MEMO, PC, Social Media)

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1 Comment

  1. What is needed is for the great diaspora of Palestinian refugees, from where ever they camp, to rise up and present themselves in direct confrontation, at the borders of their rightful Homelands; this is where they should be, this is where they cannot be ignored, this is where they cannot be suffocated, either by the Jewish occupier forces or the gutless Palestinian Authority acting as policeman for them. This is the confrontation that will attract the World of Public Opinion and demand for resolution, this is the confrontation that would force action from the security council, even individual National Governments. Look again at what happened when the great flow of Middle Eastern migrants and displaced Peoples converged into Europe; they could not be stopped. This principle would work for the Palestinian Diaspora too. As it is they are “out of sight and out of mind” to the World, do they want their homes and entitlements restored or not? if the answer is yes, and it obviously is, yes, then they must follow these recommendations. They must take up the reins of their own destiny, they must clear their eyes and minds of all false and misleading advice designed to stop them from doing exactly what they must. All the pain and travail suffered thus far, all the deceitful support, all peace negotiations, all these have resulted in nothing. I say they must “Rise” now and take ownership of their rightful legal entitlements because as we speak “they” are making plans that will mean “Oblivion” for the Palestinian Peoples and the Nation of their rightful homeland Palestine. Regards, Thomas.”History teaches us that men and nations behave wisely once they have exhausted all other alternatives.” – Abba Eban

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