What the government has said quite clearly—and this matter was discussed at cabinet—and the simple point we’ve made is we are looking at the question of whether the government would move to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. That’s what we said we’ve done.
Mr MARLES (Corio) (14:12): My question is to the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister has previously stated in question time that his Jerusalem embassy announcement was discussed at cabinet. How did Defence have time to contribute coordinating comments to a cabinet submission if the government was running to a media timetable instead of a proper cabinet process? Is this government so hopelessly divided that a media timetable and a by-election panic take precedence over a considered process?
Mr MORRISON (Cook—Prime Minister) (14:12): I reject the assertions put forward by the member’s question. What the government has said quite clearly—and this matter was discussed at cabinet—and the simple point we’ve made is we are looking at the question of whether the government would move to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. That’s what we said we’ve done. We’re open to that question. I was quite persuaded by the arguments put forward by former ambassador to Israel Dave Sharma, who made a very compelling case.
What I find interesting about the opposition’s questions is they tie themselves up in the Canberra bubble of process all the time, but they are not prepared to address the question of substance.
Mr Dreyfus interjecting—
The SPEAKER: The member for Isaacs is warned.
Mr MORRISON: The question of substance is this: why does the leader of the Labor Party object to even considering the possible relocation of our embassy to Jerusalem? Why will he not even consider the recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel? Is he so tied up in the division of the ranks of those opposite, where one of their members says, quite openly, that Israel is a rogue state, but the member for Melbourne Ports claims that he would be very in favour of such a change? We’re prepared to ask those questions. We’re prepared to consider these questions. The leader of the Labor Party doesn’t know what he thinks.
Opposition members interjecting—
The SPEAKER: Before I call the member for Mayo, I will let the member for Isaacs know that I warned him several interjections ago. The member for Griffith is also warned, as are the member for Braddon and the member for McEwen, who interject constantly through question time. They are not going to disrupt question time today.