Australia announced Tuesday it would no longer recognize West Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, reversing a 2018 decision by the previous conservative government.
The center-left Labor Party government Cabinet on Tuesday agreed to recognize Tel Aviv as the capital of Israel and reaffirmed that Jerusalem’s status must be resolved in peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, Foreign Minister Penny Wong said.
With this move, Australia remained committed to a two-state solution to the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians, and “we will not support an approach that undermines this prospect,” Wong said. “Australia’s embassy has always been, and remains, in Tel Aviv,” she added.
Wong insisted Tuesday that the decision did not signal any hostility to Israel. “Australia will always be a steadfast friend of Israel. We were amongst the first countries to formally recognize Israel,” she said.
“We will not waver in our support of Israel and the Jewish community in Australia. We are equally unwavering in our support of the Palestinian people, including humanitarian support,” she said.
Jerusalem has yet to respond and there has been no comment from the Australian embassy in Israel.