The Australia Palestine Advocacy Network (APAN) is dismayed by the Morrison government’s announcement that it will recognise West Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, a move that only serves to appease extremist elements of the Party while further slamming closed the door to peace.
“As Israel claims exclusive sovereignty over all of Jerusalem and refuses to abide by United Nations resolutions calling it to withdraw from occupied East Jerusalem, we cannot give them a free kick,” said Bishop George Browning, President of the Australia Palestine Advocacy Network.
“It serves no Australian interest, will weaken our trade and security relations with regional partners, and may irreparably injure our international reputation by aligning Australia with the Trump and Netanyahu governments against an overwhelming international consensus regarding the status of Jerusalem.”
Jerusalem is home to people of multiple faiths and religions, including almost 40 percent of whom are Palestinian, who are the majority of the population in occupied East Jerusalem. According to countless UN Resolutions, the Holy City has “special status” and is to be resolved during final peace negotiations.
Browning was dismissive of claims that the government is merely “recognising reality” and that it might one day recognise a Palestinian capital in East Jerusalem.
“Morrison’s move will further cement Israel’s unilateral and exclusive claim to the city as Israel’s Jewish-only “eternal, undivided capital”, a claim that explicitly excludes the possibility of a Palestinian capital in East Jerusalem.
“This sabotages any real possibility for a future just agreement and further emboldens Israel to continue with its daily human rights violations of Palestinians.
“We are giving Israel the green light to officially continue its unlawful annexation of Jerusalem, accelerating Israel’s efforts to drive Palestinians from their homes, replacing them with Jewish illegal settlers,” Bishop Browning said.
“Australia must not reward Israel for its bad behaviour. It’s time Australia helped rebalance the scales and matched our unilateral support of Israel with recognition of Palestine, if we are to have lasting peace and security for Palestinians and Israelis alike.”