Labor ups attacks on government over Israel embassy move

Labor is continuing its assault on Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s idea of moving Australia’s Israeli embassy to contested Jerusalem.

Labor has seized on furious messages sent to Foreign Minister Marise Payne from her Indonesian counterpart, warning moving Australia’s Israeli embassy to Jerusalem would be a slap in the face.

A screenshot of the Whatsapp messages, obtained by Seven News, shows a series of terse messages sent by Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi.

“Is this really necessary to do this on Tuesday,” Ms Retno wrote, on the day she was due to meet visiting Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki.

“It will be a really big blow. It will slap Indonesia’s face on the Palestine issue. This will affect bilateral relations.”

Ms Retno also issued a public warning against the move.

“Indonesia encourages Australia and other nations to continue to support the peace process and not conduct any action that could undermine the peace process and global security,” she said.

Opposition foreign affairs spokeswoman Penny Wong was scathing of government for creating the political storm.

“This is the price you pay when you put politics before good government,” Senator Wong told reporters on Thursday.

Reach the report and watch the clip on SBS TV News.