Australia’s new prime minister has said he is “open to” moving the country’s Israel embassy to Jerusalem, but the evangelical Christian denied that it had anything to do with his faith.
Scott Morrison, whose deputy is Jewish politician Josh Frydenberg, said he was considering the inflammatory embassy move because the peace process “frankly hasn’t been going that well”.
Morrison took the top job less than two months ago and is the first Commonwealth leader to consider moving their embassy to the Holy City, claimed by both Israelis and Palestinians as their capital.
“My faith and religion has nothing to do with this decision,” he said. “The orthodoxy that’s driven this debate which says issues like considering the question of the capital are taboo. I think we have to challenge that.”
He added: “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.”
If Brazilians elect far-right candidate Jair Bolsonaro later this month, the South American giant will become the first big country after the United States to move their embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
The UK, France, Germany, Canada, China and Russia have all refused, saying the status of the city should be subject to negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians, not determined by proxy by Western governments.