Morrison announced that Australia officially recognizes western portions of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
By The Algemeiner
Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced on Saturday that his country recognizes Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
“Australia now recognizes West Jerusalem, being the seat of the Knesset and many of the institutions of government, is the capital of Israel,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison said in a speech, The New York Times reports.
“It is the right of every country to determine its national capital,” he added.
Unlike the earlier US recognition of Jerusalem, Morrison announced that Australia’s will not include moving its embassy from Tel Aviv to the holy city.
“We look forward to moving our embassy to West Jerusalem when practical, in support of and after final status determination,” he said, linking such a move to the peace process.
Morrison added, however, “The international community must move beyond ritual denunciations of Israel to urge a return to negotiations of a two state solution.”
Recent conspiracy theories that the then-rumored recognition was a move by Morrison to appease an alleged Jewish or Zionist lobby appeared to be hinted at by Bill Shorten of Australia’s opposition Labor party, who said the move was a “reckless and foolish action … confusing [Morrison’s] own political interest with our national interests.”
In a statement issued by the PLO, Chief Negotiator Saeb Erekat echoed these sentiments, saying, “From the beginning, we’ve perceived the Australian government’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital as one wherein petty domestic politics steer irresponsible policies that contradict world peace and security.”