Prime Minister Scott Morrison – responding to questions by Bill Shorten on the topic of Australia moving its embassy to Jerusalem

photo of Scott Morrison MP
October 17, 2018

Australians will know this about me: what I believe today is what I will believe next week and what I will believe a month from now. I went to Israel with the now Leader of the Opposition, but only one of us seems to have remembered the lessons of that trip. Our government, the Liberal and National parties, stand with Israel.

Full speech

Mr SHORTEN (MaribyrnongLeader of the Opposition) (14:24): My question is to the Prime Minister. Can the Prime Minister confirm today’s reports that he first informed the President of Indonesia of his decision to overturn 70 years of bipartisan foreign policy via a text message? Is the Prime Minister really so panicked about Wentworth that he is willing to make the most cynically timed foreign policy decision in living memory? Why is the Prime Minister so reckless with our foreign policy?

Mr MORRISON (CookPrime Minister) (14:25): Australians will know this about me: what I believe today is what I will believe next week and what I will believe a month from now. I went to Israel with the now Leader of the Opposition, but only one of us seems to have remembered the lessons of that trip. Our government, the Liberal and National parties, stand with Israel. I don’t know what the Labor Party thinks anymore. Some of their members—the member for Sydney thinks that Israel is a rogue state. She has come into this place and has said this as a member of the House of Representatives—called Israel a rogue state.

I don’t believe Israel is a rogue state. No-one on this side of the House believes that Israel is a rogue state. I don’t know what the bipartisanship is that the Leader of the Labor Party speaks of when it comes to this place’s support for the state of Israel. I don’t know what that bipartisanship is that they refer to—particularly from this guy.

Mr Watts interjecting

The SPEAKER: The Prime Minister will resume his seat. The member for Gellibrand will cease interjecting. The Manager of Opposition Business on a point of order?

Mr Burke: The point of order is direct relevance. The question goes to whether the President of Indonesia was advised by text message.

The SPEAKER: That was one part of the question, but there were a number of other parts and, when you look at them all, it had the diversity of a food court, I have to say.

Mr MORRISON: If I listen to the question from the Leader of the Opposition—next week, after the Wentworth by-election, will the Leader of the Labor Party tell us what his views are on Jerusalem, or on the issue of Iran? Will he tell us next week? Why won’t he tell us this week? He wants to talk about process this week. My answers to those questions are the same today as they will be next week. He seems to have forgotten the fact that earlier this morning, in the General Assembly of the United Nations, Australia voted no for Palestine to chair the G77. I haven’t heard boo from the opposition about this. I don’t know what the leader of the Labor Party thinks on these questions anymore. I don’t know what he believes in. I can say I’m not sure I’ve ever known what he believes in. It depends on what part of the country he is in. You don’t just need an atlas to understand what he thinks and what he says; you also need a calendar, because it changes from day to day. The Liberal and National parties’ view when it comes to a two-state solution is very clear. Our position when it comes to the support of Israel is very, very clear. When it comes to the Labor Party, they are the box of chocolates; you never know what you’re going to get.

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