Australia said Tuesday it would no longer recognize West Jerusalem (Palestine) as Israel’s capital, reversing a contentious decision by the previous conservative government. The change in government policy around Jerusalem, which occurred during the Jewish holiday of Simchat Torah, is said.
The Israeli government called the decision “extremely disappointing” and summoned the Australian ambassador. In a statement, Prime Minister Yair Lapid said: “In light of the way this decision was made in Australia, we can only hope that the Australian government will handle other matters more seriously and professionally.”
Foreign Minister Penny Wong said: ‘The city’s status should be decided through peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians, not through unilateral decisions.’
“We will not support any approach that undermines the two-state solution”, he said, adding: “Australia’s embassy has always been, and will remain, in Tel Aviv.” Which has surprised Israel.
The status of Jerusalem is one of the most critical areas of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
While Israel considers all of Jerusalem as its capital. The Palestinians consider East Jerusalem (Palestine) as the capital of their future state. Israel effectively annexed East Jerusalem in 1980 – in what the United Nations called a “violation of international law”. And it has never been internationally recognized as the capital.
Meanwhile, Ali expresses frustration that his small community of Australian Palestinians is constantly disrespected when it comes to issues surrounding their homeland.
“No one considered how the Australian Palestinian community felt during the actual decision. Everyone in the community is angry; no one thinks voices are relevant,” he lamented.