MR: Australia must not move Israel Embassy

“Scott Morrison’s position that moving Australia’s Embassy to Jerusalem would not impact on its commitment to a two-state solution is ludicrous” said Bishop George Browning, President of the Australia Palestine Advocacy Network.

“Australia is aligning itself with the most erratic, reactionary and bullish US foreign policy ever. It is an irresponsible announcement that will put Palestinian human rights further back, for a handful of votes in Wentworth”.

“The two-state solution and the so called peace process is not working. The reason for this is that Israel, supported by US policy, constantly undermines Palestinian hopes for autonomy by expanding settlements and entrenching the occupation. To move the embassy is to reward this behaviour  and signal an end to any genuine bipartisan commitment.

“Jerusalem is one of the key final status issues, not to be played with just days out of a byelection”

“Trump’s US embassy move last year undermines 50years of a clear international consensus that we must not allow Israel to unilaterally claim sovereignty over the city that should be a shared capital”

“Even discussing moving the embassy to Jerusalem is to suggest we may agree with Israel that Jerusalem is and always will be the undivided capital of Israel.  A two-state solution has always assumed East Jerusalem be the Palestinian capital”.

“Morrison’s press conference this morning will embolden the extreme Netanyahu Government in Israel, who are already pushing forward with over 10,000 new settlement units and whose army has killed over 200 people in Gaza this year”.

“Last year Mr Turnbull as Prime Minister and Julie Bishop as Foreign Minister resisted pressure from the United States to follow Mr Trump in moving the Australian embassy for the very good reason that the move would be inconsistent with the long held bipartisan commitment to a two state solution.

“This suggestion openly flouts the clear advice from DFAT, as reflected by comments by their Secretary last year that the US Embassy move had made progress to a just solution even more difficult”

APAN has access to Palestinian and other expert spokespeople available for interview

APAN is Australia’s peak body concerned for Palestinian human rights.