Israel castigates Australian envoy over ‘wretched’ Jerusalem decision

Lazar Berman is The Times of Israel's diplomatic reporter

Israel's Foreign Ministry building in Jerusalem. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Israel's Foreign Ministry building in Jerusalem. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

After summoning Australia’s ambassador to the Foreign Ministry,  political director Aliza Bin Noun expresses to him Israel’s “deep disappointment” over Canberra’s decision to reverse its recognition of West Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, and emphasizes that the government is weighing additional steps.

Today’s announcement by Australian Foreign Minister Penny Wong surprised and angered Israeli officials.

Bin Noun tells Paul Griffiths that it is a “wretched decision that ignores the deep and eternal connection between Israel and its historical capital, and runs counter to the positive ties between Israel and Australia.”

She adds that it encourages extremist elements in the West Bank to continue stoking violence, and risks destabilizing the region.

The senior Israeli diplomat stresses that the timing of the Australian announcement is also objectionable, coming as Israelis and Jews around the world celebrate Sukkot and the “special bond with Jerusalem.”

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