A coalition of Christian and Jewish groups has called upon Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison to make good on his recent decision to weigh up moving the country’s embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
The coalition – which includes organizations such as the International Christian Embassy in Jerusalem (ICEJ), Zionist Federation of Australia, Rabbinic Council of Australia and New Zealand and Bridges for Peace – authored a letter in which they outlined their reasoning for urging Morrison to take the step of relocating the embassy as soon as is practicable. “Jerusalem is Israel’s seat of government, and the location of the nation’s parliament, ministerial offices, supreme court, and the official residences of the president and prime minister,” the letter stated. “When government officials visit Israel, they meet in Jerusalem, when foreign ambassadors present their credentials in Israel, they do so in Jerusalem,” it added.
The letter added that Israel’s sovereignty over (at least) the Western parts of the city is “self-evident.” The coalition argued that moving the embassy – and thereby de facto acknowledging Jerusalem as Israel’s capital is a “pragmatic acknowledgement of an existing reality.”
One of the key points that the letter raised is that every single sovereign nation on earth – with the exception of Israel – is allowed or entitled to define its own capital.
“By acknowledging the reality that Jerusalem is and will remain the capital of Israel, the Australian Government sends an important signal to the world that it’s unacceptable to deny the Jewish people’s historical, religious and national ties to Jerusalem over the last 3,000 years,” the letter concluded.
In October, Morrison said that he and his government were mulling moving the embassy; partially in the light of the U.S. Embassy move in May and other countries’ willingness to consider taking the same step.
At the time, Morrison remarked, “We’re committed to a two-state solution, but frankly it hasn’t been going that well, not a lot of progress has been made, and you don’t keep doing the same thing and expect different results.”