Australia through Foreign Minister Penny Wong on Tuesday (18/10) said that her country was withdrawing the previous government's decision to recognize West Jerusalem as the capital city of Israel.
During the 2018 government of Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Australia had decided to recognize West Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, following in the footsteps of former US President Donald Trump.
Australia's bold decision has received support and praise from various countries, including Palestine. Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh said that the decision was in accordance with international law. Australia's stance shows that the world does not accept Israel's annexation of the Palestinian territories. According to PM Mohammad Shtayyeh, it also proves Australia's respect and alignment with the values of truth, justice and freedom, and the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people.
Support also came from Indonesia. On Tuesday (18/10), the government said it welcomed Australia's decision to revoke the recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Indonesia also appreciates Australia's assertion that it supports a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, with "internationally recognized boundaries."
The Israeli government is certainly disappointed with Canberra's decision. Political Director of Israeli Foreign Ministry, Aliza Bin-Noun when speaking with Australian Ambassador Paul Griffiths, Tuesday (18/10) local time expressed her disappointment. She called the Anthony Albanese Government move a "bad decision". According to Aliza, the decision risks encouraging extremist elements in the West Bank to keep fueling violence and destabilizing the region. Disappointment also came from Israel's Prime Minister, Yair Lapid, who called the decision a "hasty response to false reports in the media".
What has been done by Australia deserves appreciation. It is hoped that the United States under the Joe Biden administration will follow Australia's lead and change the policies taken by former president Donald Trump. The decision to support West Jerusalem as the capital of Israel is a unilateral move that comes out of the stance taken by the majority of the international community.
Hopefully, this Australian decision will be a step that "can contribute positively to efforts to peacefully resolve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict" and support a "two-state solution", as stated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia.