MEDIA RELEASE – 15 DECEMBER 2018
The Australian Jewish Association (“AJA”) welcomes today’s formal announcement by Prime Minister Scott Morrison that Australia shall move to recognise west Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
Jerusalem has been the capital of Israel since shortly after the creation of the State of Israel in 1948. All Israeli institutions, from its Knesset (Parliament), the office of the Prime Minister and the Supreme Court have been based in Jerusalem since the establishment of the State of Israel more than 70 years ago.
The President of The Australian Jewish Association, Dr David Adler said
“The Prime Minister’s announcement is a good step in the right direction by the Australian Government. The recognition of Jerusalem as the eternal capital of the Jewish People is the correct decision and demonstrates Australia’s foreign policy independence. We congratulate the Prime Minister’s leadership and courage in taking this step.”
The Australian Jewish Association had been consulted by the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet in relation to this policy.
“We are pleased that the Prime Minister consulted with AJA on this key matter for the Australian Jewish community and that our views were given weight as reflected in today’s historic announcement”
Jerusalem was the ancient capital of the Kingdom of Israel and the location of the Jewish Temples. Jews have lived in Jerusalem for over 3,000 years and the city has been divided into East and West Jerusalem for a mere 19 years between 1948 and 1967 when the eastern side was illegally occupied by Jordan.
Israel has announced Jerusalem is to remain united as it always was.
The Australian Jewish Association would therefore have preferred for today’s pronouncement to have drawn no distinction between an “east” and “west” Jerusalem and to include the announcement of the immediate move of the Australian Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
The Australian Jewish Association sees no impediment for that to occur now.
The Australian Jewish Association is, however, encouraged that the Prime Minister stated that while in the interim Australia will establish a trade and defence office in west Jerusalem with immediate effect, Australia will seek the relocation of its Embassy to Jerusalem
“when practical, in support of, and after, final-status determination (of Jerusalem)”.
While it is somewhat disappointing the relocation of the Embassy to Israel capital will not happen immediately, The Australian Jewish Association will continue to advocate that Australia should take the natural step to move its embassy to the capital of Israel as it is the norm for Australia in any other nation.
Finally, The Australian Jewish Association congratulates the Prime Minister for calling out on the deeply seated anti-Israeli bias within the United Nations, effectively accusing the United Nations of “presiding over a new age of antisemitism”.
It is high time for the UN to be held to account for its open antisemitism and the Prime Minister’s words are a very strong reminder that the UN must change or lose any purpose as an international institution.
Further information: Dr David Adler 0415 256 530