15 December 2018
For Immediate Release
RECOGNISING WEST JERUSALEM COULD STRENGTHEN PROGRESS TOWARDS TWO-STATE SOLUTION
ZFA WELCOMES GOVERNMENT’S IMPROVED POSITION ON IRAN
The President of the Zionist Federation of Australia, Jeremy Leibler, described today’s announcement by Prime Minister Scott Morrison recognising West Jerusalem as the capital city of Israel, as historic and principled.
“By officially recognising West Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and establishing a trade and defence office there, the Australian Government can continue to be a driving force towards a two state solution,” said Mr Leibler.
“The announcement also reflects the fact that Australia will not allow its foreign policy regarding Israel to be dictated by countries who do not recognise the State of Israel, denying a reality which has existed for over 70 years. Australia has made the principled decision to determine its own foreign policy, based on our own values.”
Mr Leibler said that any suggestion the decision to recognise West Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, including a future embassy move, would undermine Australia’s long-term policy commitment to a negotiated two-state solution was misguided.
“This announcement in no way prejudices the prospect of Australia recognising a Palestinian State in the context of a negotiated two-state solution.”
“Today’s announcement could well strengthen progress towards a two-state solution to help break the deadlock and encourage the Palestinians to return to the negotiating table in good faith.”
“Australians are united in their desire to see the Israeli and Palestinian peoples resume direct negotiations after years of stagnation.”
The Zionist Federation of Australia also welcomes the Government’s reassessment of its position regarding the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) that was implemented in 2015.
“Unfortunately, the JCPOA has been spectacularly unsuccessful in limiting Iran’s nuclear ambitions, support for terrorist organisations and attempts to inflame violence in the Middle East. Although the Zionist Federation is disappointed the Government remains in formal support of the JCPOA, we welcome the decision to consider placing further autonomous sanctions on Iran in the future. This as a principled and effective position that is more consistent with the policy of Australian’s most important ally and acknowledges Iran’s sponsorship of terrorism in the Middle East,” Mr Leibler said.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison is correct in his assessment that ‘The UN General Assembly is now the place where Israel is bullied and where antisemitism in cloaked in the language about human rights.’
Mr Leibler described the Prime Minister’s announcement as “a welcome change from the UN General Assembly’s abysmal voting record. Since its inception, the UN has passed over 500 resolutions that condemn Israel. Not one resolution has been passed to condemn terror organisation Hamas, including a failed vote just last week.”
“The ZFA appreciates the Prime Minister’s moral clarity in condemning the UN’s double standards and tacit approval of its terrorism when perpetrated against the State of Israel.”