Leaders warn Australia about possible embassy move to Jerusalem

By Nicholas Sakelaris
Leaders warn Australia about possible embassy move to Jerusalem
A Palestinian woman carries the Palestinian flag on May 14 during a protest opposing the opening of the new U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem. Australia is considering a similar move. Photo by Ismael Mohamad/UPI | License Photo

Nov. 16 (UPI) -- Australia moving its Israeli embassy to Jerusalem would be a shift that could make the country a larger target for terrorists, leaders in Malaysia and Indonesia warned Friday.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison talked about moving the embassy during his recent campaign, though no firm decision has been made on the proposal.


Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir bin Mohamed said Australia's posturing over the possible move is not helping relations in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

"In dealing with terrorism, one has to know the causes," Mahathir said. "Adding to the cause for terrorism is not going to be helpful."

RELATED Australia eyeing possible embassy move to Jerusalem

Australian officials said they are undeterred and will make their own decisions on their national interest.

In May, the United States became the first country to move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in a show of support for Israel that angered the Muslim world. Palestinians hope to make the eastern half of Jerusalem the capital of a future state.

Australian Treasurer Josh Frydenberg cited previous remarks by bin Mohamed in which he disparaged followers of Judaism.

RELATED Australian family wins lottery twice -- 60 years apart

"He has questioned the number of people that have been killed in the Holocaust," Frydenberg said. "He banned Schindler's List as a movie being shown, even though it showed the amazing story of a righteous Gentile who saved many people from persecution."


Morrison said Frydenberg is "filling in the history" on Mahathir's "record on various issues over time."

"Australia decides foreign policy," he said. "I am not going to have our policy dictated by those outside the country."

RELATED U.S. will vote against U.N. resolution on Israeli taking of Golan Heights

Indonesian Parliament member Dian Islamiati Fatwa told Fairfax Media that Australia's decision will affect Indonesians, too.

"Some of them are the radicals," Fatwa said. "They may target any Western people, they may think he or she is Australian just because they look western."

Earlier this month, a terrorist crashed his vehicle, and attacked several civilians with a knife on a busy street in Melbourne. At least one person died and several were hospitalized. The terrorist was shot dead by police.

Latest Headlines


Follow Us