Australia, Malaysia trade words over Israel embassy shift
SYDNEY (AP) — A diplomatic war of words has erupted between Australia and Malaysia over the possibility of Canberra moving its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad raised the move in a meeting with Australian counterpart Scott Morrison in Singapore on Thursday, later telling reporters that moving the embassy could inflame Muslim sentiments, thereby “adding to the cause of terrorism.”
Australian Treasurer Josh Frydenberg hit back Friday, saying Canberra would make its own decisions. He also seized on past comments that the leader of Muslim-majority has made about Jewish people.
The son of a Jewish Holocaust survivor, Frydenberg pointed to comments Mahathir has made calling Jews “hooked-nosed people” and questioning the Holocaust death toll.
Politicians in Indonesia have also voiced concerns about the possible embassy move.