Thursday 20th of June 2019

playing the accomplice ...

playing the accomplice ...

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When the current Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison floated the idea that Australia might move its Israeli embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, it was widely suggested that this was an attempt to curry favour with the relatively large (12%) Jewish population in the electorate where a by-election was being held.

 

Following the government’s humiliating defeat in an electorate it had held for more than a century, the idea was expected to die. That possibility was reinforced by the widespread criticism that followed the prime minister’s announcement. That criticism was couched almost solely in terms of the damage such a move would do to Australia’s relationships with its near neighbours such as Indonesia.

 

Supporters of the Prime Minister also argued that moving the embassy to Jerusalem would enhance progress in the “two state solution” to the problem between Israel and the Palestinians.

 

More recently however, the Australian cabinet has approved the idea that the embassy should be moved, but not immediately. The delay was purportedly on cost grounds, financial cost that is, not reputational.

 

Playing the accomplice