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Australia is No Longer Recognizing Jerusalem as the Capital of Israel

posted on: Nov 2, 2022

blue and white flag on pole
Photo: Israel Flag / Source: unsplash

By: Arab America Content Creator / Carrie Stewart

According to diplomat.com, the move to overturn the Morrison 2018 government decision was heavily supported by Australian Palestinians.

History/Developments:

The Israel-Palestine conflict: a brief, simple history - YouTube
Photo: Depiction of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict / Source: YouTube

The Australian Labor party reversed the decision of the previous government that recognized West Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. This former move was made by former prime minister Scott Morrison following the actions of U.S President Donald Trump. According to diplomat.com, “at that time it was “believed to be a cynical ploy to win over the voters in the affluent Sydney suburb of Wentworth – which has a large Jewish population.”

According to diplomat.com, “while Israel regards the entirety of Jerusalem as its capital, Palestinians consider East Jerusalem to be the capital of their future state. Israel effectively annexed East Jerusalem in 1980 – which the United Nations declared a “violation of international law” – and it has never been internationally recognized as the capital. The status of Jerusalem is one of the most delicate areas of dispute in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.” Both Israelis and Palestinians claim Jerusalem as their capital.

According to Reuters.com, Foreign Affairs Minister Penny Wong said Australia “will always be a steadfast friend of Israel” and was committed to a two-state solution in which Israel and a future Palestinian state coexist in peace within internationally recognized borders.

Reactions:

map of Australia
Photo: Australia / Source: unsplash

The change in Australia angered Israeli politicians and Zionist groups. In fact, Isreal’s government said this change in the decision was deeply disappointing and they summoned the Australian ambassador. But, the decision brings Australia back in line with much of the world. Only a few countries, including Kosovo and Guatemala, have joined the U.S. in recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.

Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid said, “in light of the way in which this decision was made in Australia, as a hasty response to an incorrect report in the media, we can only hope that the Australian government manages other matters more seriously and professionally.”

According to npr.com, Australia’s cabinet has also reaffirmed that “Jerusalem’s status must be resolved in peace negotiations between Israel and Palestinians.”

“This Government will not waver in its support of Israel and the Jewish community in Australia,” Wong said in a statement (according to the Washington Post). “We are equally unwavering supporters of the Palestinian people, providing humanitarian support every year since 1951 and advocating for resumed peace negotiations.”

According to NPR, “Senior Palestinian official Hussein Al-Sheikh said he welcomed Australia’s decision and its affirmation that the future of sovereignty over Jerusalem depends on the permanent solution based on international legitimacy.”

Also, Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh welcomed the “wise and bold decision,” he said it expressed “Australia’s respect and alignment with the values of truth, justice and freedom, and the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people, sanctioned by international legitimacy.”

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