Malaysia warns Australia: ’embassy move to Jerusalem to ignite terror’

Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad warned his Australian counterpart, Prime Minister Scott Morrison, not to move his country’s embassy to Jerusalem, which Mohamad stressed will increase attempted terror attacks against Australia. At a bilateral meeting in Singapore on the sidelines of the ASEAN summit, Mahathir defined support to the Jewish state ‘as a cause for terrorism’ while asserting that supporting Israel’s claim over Jerusalem “is not going to be helpful.” Mahathir Mohamad said, “I believe its an issue, you see I pointed out that in dealing with terrorism, one has to know the causes, adding to the cause for terrorism is not going to be helpful, I pointed that out and Australia has not made any decision, they are looking into it.” The comments by the Malaysian Prime Minister infuriated the Australian leadership, which accused Mahathir Mohamad of being a blatant anti-Semite with a history of anti-Jewish statements. Australian Treasurer, Josh Frydenberg, stated in response “Well the Malaysian Prime Minister, Dr Mahathir, has form. I mean he’s called Jews ‘hook nosed’ people. He has questioned the number of people that have been killed in the holocaust. He banned Schindler’s List as a movie from being shown, even though it showed an amazing story of a righteous gentile who saved many people from persecution.” Frydenberg underscored that no country had the right to dictate to Australia its national interests, while voicing strong support for Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who started a long-overdue process vis-à-vis the possible relocation of Canberra’s embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. The Australian Treasurer added that “My point is that Australia will make its own decisions in its own national interest and Scott Morrison was absolutely right to begin a process – no-one’s pre-empting the outcome of that process. But to begin a process, to look at where our embassy is located.” Frydenberg further stressed that it was absurd that Australia has not yet relocated its embassy, considering the fact that Canberra already recognizes West Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, a reality that will never change under any final status agreement. “Australia already recognizes Israel’s sovereignty over West Jerusalem. It’s where the Israeli Parliament is. It’s where the Australian ambassador presents his or her credentials. It will be the capital of Israel under any two-state solution,” he said.