The Australian government has changed its stance on the status of Jerusalem by dropping its recognition of west Jerusalem as Israel’s capital city. The decision has drawn strong criticism from Israel and places Austalia at odds with Biblical truth.

On Tuesday afternoon in Jerusalem, Foreign Ministry political director Aliza Bin Noun told Australian Ambassador Paul Griffiths that the move was 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 added that it encourages extremist elements in the West Bank to continue stoking violence, and risks destabilizing the region. It also goes against the deepening ties between Israel and Arab countries as part of the Abraham Accords, she continued.

Prime Minister Yair Lapid also slammed Australia’s announcement on Tuesday. “In light of the way in which the decision was made in Australia, as a hasty response to incorrect news in the media, we can only hope that the Australian government manages other matters more seriously and professionally,” Lapid said in a statement.

“Jerusalem is the eternal capital of united Israel and nothing will ever change that,” he added.

Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Lion said he was sorry to hear of Australia’s decision.

“A united Jerusalem has been and will continue to be the capital of Israel forever. Statements of this type do not further anything and do not contribute at all,” he said in a statement.

Australia’s Zionist Federation slammed the move as “deeply disappointing and counterproductive to achieving the Government’s objective of a two-state solution.” Every proposal to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict “has West Jerusalem remaining the capital of Israel,” said its leader Jeremy Leibler. “Recognising this does not in any way pre-determine the outcome of negotiations.”

Australia’s stance compared to the Bible

Australia’s stance goes against Biblical truth and the command of God himself. However, we should be clear that Australia’s original stance of recognising only west Jerusalem was also not in line with Biblical truth.

God did not just give part of Jerusalem to Israel, He gave the entirety of the land of Israel to the Jewish people, and this includes the whole of Jerusalem.

The Bible warns that the nations of the world will be judged by how they treat Jerusalem and how they divide up the land of Israel.

Joel 3:1-3 states the following: For behold, in those days and at that time, when I restore the fortunes of Judah and Jerusalem, I will gather all the nations and bring them down to the Valley of Jehoshaphat. And I will enter into judgement with them there, on behalf of my people and my heritage Israel, because they have scattered them among the nations and have divided up my land, and have cast lots for my people, and have traded a boy for a prostitute, and have sold a girl for wine and have drunk it.

Read that carefully. God’s judgment is based on how nations treat Israel and the Jews. God calls them His own, “my people” and “my land”.  Israel is the Lord’s land, he owns the world and he gave that land to the Jews.

2 Kings 21:7 says that God chose Jerusalem, saying, In this house, and in Jerusalem, which I have chosen out of all the tribes of Israel, I will put my Name forever.”

God is not speaking lightly when he talks about Jerusalem.

We should realise that Australia’s recognition of only ‘west Jerusalem’ was not ideal but it was more acceptable than nothing because it at least gave some recognition that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. Removing that recognition entirely is shameful.

Let’s pray for the government of Australia that they will change their way and give full recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital in the future. And let’s pray the UK does the same.

We call upon the UK Government to officially recognise Jerusalem is Israel's capital and move its embassy to Jerusalem.

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