Australian PM Morrison Considering Moving Embassy to Jerusalem

PM Netanyahu addresses ceremony marking opening of US Embassy in Jerusalem. Illustrative.
Photo courtesy of Kobi Gideon / GPO

Another nation a world away from Israel is contemplating moving their embassy to Jerusalem. Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Monday was quoted by The Guardian as saying that he and his government are “open-minded” to the move and referenced the idea as a “sensible suggestion.” The same day Morrison made the comments, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke with his Aussie counterpart about the idea of transferring of their embassy to Israel from Tel Aviv to the Jewish capital.

Morrison told Netanyahu “that he is considering officially recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and moving the Australian Embassy to Jerusalem,” said a press release from Netanyahu’s office, adding, that the Israeli leader thanked him for the comments. The press release went on to say the two leaders also “discussed steps to continue strengthening bilateral relations.”

The United States officially made their embassy move to Jerusalem earlier this year, after announcing it in 2017. The decision was controversial, but the Americans were quickly joined by Guatemala and Paraguay. Others have discussed the idea.

Morrison was cited by the Guardian as saying that Australian legislative candidate Dave Sharma had made the embassy suggestion. The report noted that Sharma is a former Australian ambassador to Israel who last May had suggested on Twitter that Australia should “at least consider recognising Jerusalem as Israel’s capital (w/o prejudice to its final boundaries or potential status as capital of future Palestinian state). Where else do we disagree with a country about where its capital is?”

That’s a similar argument made by the Americans and the Israelis, who have repeatedly encouraged other nations to move their embassy to Israel’s obvious capital city.

Following the Paraguay move of their embassy in May, the White House Press Secretary, noted in a press release posted to the White House website, “We look forward to welcoming many more of our friends and allies in Jerusalem, the capital of Israel.”

If the open-mindedness in Australia is any indication, America’s opposite-world English-speaking partner nation may do just that.

(By Joshua Spurlock,, October 15, 2018)

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