Australia Considers Relocating Embassy To Jerusalem
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison is considering recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and relocating his country’s embassy to the holy city. Australian media first reported the possible move, which Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu later confirmed on social media, adding that he is “very thankful.” If actualized, Australia would be the second Western nation to move its embassy to Jerusalem, following the lead this past May of the United States. Guatemala and Paraguay similarly followed suit, although the latter subsequently reversed its decision, setting off a major row with the Israeli government which immediately shut down its mission in Asunción. Meanwhile, Palestinian officials in Canberra condemned as “deeply disturbing” the revelation and claimed that such a decision would constitute a further blow to efforts to jump-start the peace process. For his part, Morrison described proposals to relocate the embassy as “sensible” and “persuasive,” noting that while Australia is still “committed to a two-state solution, frankly it hasn’t been going that well, not a lot of progress has been made and you don’t keep doing the same thing and expect different results.” Morrison assumed power in August after conservative members of his Liberal party ousted predecessor Malcolm Turnbull.