jerusalem skyline
View to Jerusalem old city. Israel

Jerusalem is not out of our reach

Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. It has been since the creation of Israel in 1948. And it will remain that as long as Israel exists. Every nation decides the location of its capital city. There is no reason a different standard should apply to Israel.

All the major democratic institutions of Israel are located within the Green Line — that is, within the boundaries of Israel as at 1948. West Jerusalem is home to Israel’s parliament, Supreme Court, the official residences of the president and the prime minister, and many government departments. All new ambassadors to Israel receive their credentials in West Jerusalem.

Successive candidates for the US presidency have promised, if elected, to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to West Jerusalem. Only Donald Trump honoured his election promise. The US embassy in Jerusalem opened in May this year.

In an article in The Sydney Morning Herald on May 18, Dave Sharma, our ambassador to Israel from 2013 to 2017, wrote about how the Trump administration had broken a taboo.

He added: “As a pragmatic and solution-oriented nation, Australia should be prepared to lend our support to this commonsense proposition.” He also wrote that Australia “should consider recognising Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, without prejudice to its final boundaries and while acknow­ledging East Jerusalem as the expected capital of a future Palestinian state”.

Read the article by Gerard Henderson in The Australian.