Lapid slams Australia’s reversal of recognizing Jerusalem as Israeli capital

“Jerusalem is the eternal capital of Israel and nothing will ever change that,” Prime Minister insists.

By World Israel News Staff

Australia’s new center-left Labor government has walked back Canberra’s recognition of western Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

Australian President Anthony Albanese, who was elected in May, has long been a supporter of Palestinian statehood.

“We will not support an approach that undermines a two-state solution. Australia’s embassy has always been, and remains, in Tel Aviv,” Foreign Minister Penny Wong declared.

“Jerusalem is a final status issue that should be resolved as part of any peace negotiations,” Wong stated, saying the announcement “reverses the Morrison government’s recognition of West Jerusalem as the capital of Israel” and “recommits Australia to international efforts in the responsible pursuit of progress towards a just and enduring two-state solution.”

The country’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) deleted two sentences from its website that were added four years ago during the premiership of pro-Israel Scott Morrison, who lost the May 2022 election, The Guardian noted.

The deleted sentences read: “Consistent with this longstanding policy, in December 2018, Australia recognized West Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, being the seat of the Knesset and many of the institutions of the Israeli government.

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“Australia looks forward to moving its embassy to West Jerusalem when practical, in support of, and after the final status determination of, a two-state solution.”

Morrison had also discussed the possibility of moving the country’s embassy to Jerusalem in a 2018  telephone conversation with then-Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid responded to the announcement Tuesday morning.

“Given the way Australia reached its decision, as a rushed response to a false media report, we can only hope that the Australian government is more serious in other matters.

“Jerusalem is the eternal capital of Israel and nothing will ever change that,” he said.

Israel has summoned Australian Ambassador Paul Griffiths for a reprimand.