The Indonesian Muslim groups behind a one-million-strong rally in Jakarta this month have warned that any move by the Australian government to formally recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital — even if the embassy remains in Tel Aviv for now — would spark mass protests and a boycott of Australian products.
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The Australian reports, the warning follows confirmation from senior Australian government sources this week that a final decision has been made to defer the costly relocation of Australia’s embassy to Jerusalem.
It is likely to formally recognise the city as Israel’s capital and establish a consulate there instead. The government has yet to formally announce its decision following a high-level policy review, but is expected to do so within days.
Indonesia’s 212 Brotherhood and firebrand Islamic Defenders Front (FPI), the two main groups behind the successful push to jail former Jakarta governor Basuki Tjahaja “Ahok” Purnama for blasphemy and this month’s massive reunion rally, said yesterday the proposal would be “worse than the embassy move”.
“This is an outright recognition of Israel’s claim for Jerusalem, Islam’s third-holiest city and the home of the Al Aqsa mosque,” FPI spokesman Novel Bamukmin told The Australian, vowing rolling mass demonstrations outside the Australian embassy in Jakarta should the proposal go ahead.
The Australian Financial Review reports, the Morrison government is cautiously optimistic its decision regarding Jerusalem's recognition will not jeopardise the signing of the free trade agreement with Indonesia.
Mr Morrison argues that joining the United States in recognising Jerusalem will help achieve a two-state solution.
"We're hoping they dwell on the positive not the negative. Australia supports a two-state solution that allows Israel and a future Palestinian state to exist side-by-side, in peace and security, within internationally recognised borders," Mr Morrison said.
Conservative Party leader Cory Bernardi has told Paul Murray Live on Sky News the embassy move makes sense.
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