Prime Minister Scott Morrison this week announced the government would consider shifting its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, saying he found case for change “persuasive”. Mr Morrison also announced a review of Australia’s support for the Iran nuclear deal, which is maligned by Israel.
The announcement – timed just days out of a high-stakes byelection in Wentworth, an electorate with a large Jewish community – has been praised by the Israeli government, Liberal Party heavyweights and the Trump administration. It has been met with dismay from the Muslim and Arab world, foreign policy experts and Labor.
Farhan Haq, deputy spokesman for Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, declined to comment on Australia until the government comes to a final decision but said the UN’s view was that Jerusalem was a final status issue to be decided in direct negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians.