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Moving the Australian embassy from Tel Aviv ‘sends a message to hardliners in Israel that they can continue on their ruinous course of a Greater Israel with a majority Arab population denied a vote’. Photograph: Amir Cohen/Reuters

We don’t settle on an Israel policy to please our Asian neighbours. No one should even hint we should. Shifting the embassy is wrong in principle.

It takes off the negotiating table the status of Jerusalem, which we always said needed to be settled by the two parties. It undercuts the promise of the Oslo accords and any number of UN resolutions. It positions Australia with Guatemala as the only nation to follow Donald Trump.

It sends a message to the Palestinians of the West Bank that there is no hope. It sends a message to hardliners in Israel that they can continue on their ruinous course of a Greater Israel with a majority Arab population denied a vote.…  Seguir leyendo »

Josh Frydenberg and Scott Morrison, whose stance on the Israel embassy is escalating into drawing room farce. Photograph: Mick Tsikas/AAP

In June of this year, party members at the Liberal party’s annual federal council voted in favour of moving the Australian embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, endorsing Donald Trump’s controversial Middle East policy.

The push to follow Trump had bubbled up from the party’s conservative base and from the youth wing. The June vote was a totemic gesture in line with the resting (or perhaps restive) disposition of the faction that likes to control the play in the Liberal party of 2018.

The then foreign affairs minister, Julie Bishop, was quick to rule out changing Australia’s long-held policy. She understood “the sentiment behind this resolution” but she was clear the embassy relocation would not be happening.…  Seguir leyendo »