Mark Dreyfus says future Labor government could keep Jerusalem embassy

Labor’s legal affairs spokesman Mark Dreyfus has said that a future Labor government could keep an Australian embassy in Jerusalem should it already have been built by the time they were elected.

Appearing on ABC’s Q&A last night, Mr Dreyfus was joined by Liberal MP Alex Hawke, New Yorker journalist Susan B. Glasser, Chief political correspondent of The Saturday Paper Karen Middleton, and Foreign Editor of The Australian Greg Sheridan, for a program that also included discussion on religious freedoms and a national integrity commission.

Mr Dreyfus said that he didn’t believe the government would action its talk of the embassy move, and that while he ‘very much doubted’ an embassy could be built before the next election, should it eventuate, it would “of course” be a possibility that a Labor government let it remain.

“We would have to review it if we win the election and came to government … of course it’s a possibility,” he said when asked if his government would reverse action taken to move the embassy.

“He’s (Prime Minister Scott Morrison) going to end up backing down, I’ve predicted. Of course we would like to see a state of Palestine … but it can’t be unilateral.

“I look forward to a time when Australia’s able to establish its embassy in West Jerusalem. But it can’t be done unilaterally. That’s the problem,” Mr Dreyfus said.

While saying that thought the Prime Minister’s decision to announce embassy plans was a “monumental blunder”, he criticised Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad’s comments that moving the embassy would lead to an increased risk of terrorism in Australia.

Read the article by Elias Visontay in The Australian.