Scott Morrison: community reaction

October 16, 2018 by J-Wire Newsdesk
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There was a swift reaction by community leaders to Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s announcement that the country is considering moving its embassy to Jerusalem and recognising the city as Israel’s capital.

Jerusalem (pictured). Photo Credit: Berthold Werner via Wikimedia Commons.

He also announced Australia would be voting against the Palestine Authority to chair the G77. The vote will be held at the United Nations General Assembly tomorrow. He is also questioned Australia’s position in the Iran nuclear deal.

Co-CEO Alex Ryvchin said The Executive Council of Australian Jewry warmly welcomed the announcements by Prime Minister Morrison regarding the status of Jerusalem, the Iran Deal and the Palestinian bid to chair a United Nations group, the G77.

He commented: It has long been the position of the ECAJ that Australia should recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and consider relocating the Australian embassy, currently in Tel Aviv, to the government precinct in west Jerusalem. Every State has the right to determine where within its sovereign territory its capital should be located. Jerusalem was the capital of the Jewish state 3,000 years ago and it remains so today. Recognising this simple fact would in no way preclude a future agreement between Israel and the Palestinians and we welcome the Prime Minister’s affirmation of support for a two-state solution to the conflict.

The ECAJ also supported the decision of the Trump Administration to withdraw from the JCPOA (“Iran Deal”), which did nothing to curb Iran’s aggression or regional designs. We favour the imposition of sanctions on the Iranian regime until such time as a comprehensive deal can be agreed that prevents Iran from acting as the world’s foremost sponsor of terrorism and fuelling devastating conflict in Syria, Yemen, and well beyond the Middle East.

 We also support the decision of the government to oppose the Palestinian bid to chair the United Nations group, the G77. For decades, the Palestinians have manipulated international bodies, not least the UN, to advance their agenda of seeking to isolate and delegitimise the State of Israel. The result has been to permanently mire the UN in the conflict, at the expense of its credibility, while also limiting its ability to support genuinely oppressed peoples throughout the world. We have seen outrageous resolutions from “Zionism is racism” to denials of the Jewishness of the Western Wall in Jerusalem. The Palestinians must not be rewarded for this and must instead be shown that the path to peace lies only through honest negotiations with Israel.

We thank the Prime Minister on behalf of the community we represent for his moral clarity on these issues.

The Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council (AIJAC) has welcomed the new foreign policy announcements made today by Prime Minister Scott Morrison – regarding Jerusalem, UN voting, policy toward Iran and upgrading defence ties with Israel – calling them “courageous, measured and principled.”

AIJAC National Chairman Mark Leibler said “recognising Jerusalem as Israel’s capital – something the government now says it is seriously considering – would right a longstanding injustice, as Israel is the only state in the world which the international community insists has no right to choose its own capital. West Jerusalem, where the Knesset and the other main organs of the Israeli government are located, has been sovereign Israeli territory since 1948. No one doubts that any negotiated two-state peace agreement would see Jerusalem remain as Israel’s capital.”

Dr Colin Rubenstein, AIJAC’s Executive Director, argued “Australia’s bipartisan policy of supporting a two-state peace would be better served by recognising the simple fact that Jerusalem is and has been Israel’s capital, and not submitting to Palestinian threats and extortion. Not only the US but a number of other countries, including Russia, the Czech Republic, Vanuatu and Guatemala, now acknowledge this incontrovertible reality.”

“Equally important,” Dr Rubenstein said “is the commitment to review Australian policy toward Iran. Frankly, our current policy of adherence to the JCPOA nuclear deal is not serving Australia’s most basic national interests, given both the opposition of the US Administration and most Arab states to it, and the reality that its provisions all but guarantee a nuclear-armed Iran in a few years time. Australia needs to develop a new policy toward Iran which forthrightly addresses the threat posed by an increasingly belligerent, expansionist and irresponsible Iran, the world’s foremost terror-sponsoring state – including working with Washington and others to take advantage of the Iranian regime’s increasing vulnerability to sanctions in strengthening the flawed nuclear deal and forcing change to the regime’s threatening rogue behaviour.”

“We also, of course, welcome the upgrading of defence ties – including the exchange of defence attachés – between Australia and Israel,” Rubenstein added.

AIJAC’s Director of International Affairs, Jeremy Jones commented “We are also very pleased to see the government reviewing its stance on UN voting concerning the Middle East.  Far too many of the resolutions on the Middle East passed by the UN General Assembly are not only one-sided and biased, but unhelpful and counterproductive to achieving a just and lasting peace. While Australia’s voting record has generally acknowledged this, our bipartisan policy goals would be better served by voting ‘no’ on some of the resolutions on which Australia currently abstains.”

Mark Leibler concluded by stating “These new Australian foreign policy announcements are courageous, measured and principled  – and most welcome. We look forward to the results of the government’s reviews of its policies on Iran and Jerusalem.”

President of the Zionist Federation of Australia Danny Lamm commented: PM Scott Morrison is to be congratulated for an outstanding statement of strength and confidence thus further displaying Australian support of Israel with his government’s  consideration of moving the embassy to Jerusalem.,

with his review of the Iran agreement and his determination that Australia will oppose PA election as chair of G77

The ZFA had written to PM Turnbull calling for Australia to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and to consider transferring the Australian Embassy to Jerusalem and only last Thursday I asked PM Morrison directly to review Australia’s position on Iran

Dr Dvir Abramovich, Chairman of the Anti-Defamation Commission said: “We applaud this announcement by Prime Minister Morrison which rightly acknowledges the indisputable reality that Jerusalem has been the capital city of Israel for 70 years, and in doing so grants the Jewish state the respect accorded to other nations. We hope the Federal government will ultimately move its embassy to Jerusalem.  By doing so, the Morrison government will right an injustice that has seen discriminatory double standards at play whereby Israel is the only country wilfully denied  its sovereign right to decide where its capital city should be.”

The Australian Jewish Association (AJA) welcomes the recent statement by the Prime Minister of Australia Scott Morrison that he is open to moving the Australian embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, Israel’s undisputed capital.

Israel is the only nation on earth denied the right, in a practical sense, to choose its own capital.
Even proponents of a two-State solution accept that western Jerusalem (the proposed site of the Australian embassy) would always be part of Israel’s sovereign territory so there can be no genuine justification for opposing such a move.

It would align Australia’s policy with that of our most important ally, the United States which moved its embassy to Jerusalem earlier this year.

It is predictable that the Prime Minister will be unjustly criticised for developing foreign policy to satisfy the voters of Wentworth for this week’s by-election. The timing of the announcement was in fact prompted by the pending farcical vote at the UN whether the Palestinian Authority should be elected chair of the G77 group of nations next year.

The AJA urges Australians not to be seduced by such cynical criticism of our Prime Minister and instead, to consider the merits of the proposal and to acknowledge that the initiative is sound and responsible.



8 Responses to “Scott Morrison: community reaction”
  1. Liat Kirby says:

    ‘Friendly relations’ with other countries should not be allowed to dictate foreign policy, nor should trade.

  2. Adrian Jackson says:

    The Australian PM’s embassy move proposal in Israel/Palestine is a desperate Wentworth by-election stunt and will not happen.

  3. Liat Kirby says:

    Unfortunately, action may never come to pass on this overture. It’s more than obvious that Scott Morrison is using the situation in the hope of improving his lot next Saturday at the Wentworth bye-election. Once that’s over no doubt his interest will wane.

    • Lynne Newington says:

      Scott Morrison made slip I believe, by voicing his religious view. It happens sometimes when the heart speaks before the mouth has caught up.
      For Evangelicals, Jerusalem is about prophecy as with Balflour and Israel.
      Tony Abbott was the same with his spirituality if you remember when discussing Catholic education with his spiritual director Cardinal Pell before he attacked Labours policy.
      Who cares anyway so long as it comes to pass……

  4. Adrian Jackson says:

    Australia’s Indonesia trade deal is under threat by this proposal by our erratic PM Morrison. Friendly relations with Indonesia (a mostly moderate and the largest Muslim country in the world) is more important to Australia that any country in the Middle East.

  5. david singer says:

    I will reserve any comment until these proposals are turned into actual decisions.

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