Turnbull slams idea to move Israel embassy

BYYasir Rehman

Photo: The Australian Jewish News

Former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has slammed the floating the idea of moving Australia’s embassy in Israel to Jerusalem and termed it a dumb thing for the Morrison government to do.

In an exclusive interview with The Australian Jewish News on Thursday he argued that Prime Minister Scott Morrison showed a patronising insensitivity and a complete misunderstanding of the Australian Jewish community on the eve of the Wentworth by-election.

“Whatever your views on the merits of that, I thought the timing was just calculated to win support … It showed a patronising insensitivity to the Jewish community,” he believed.

“Government’s announcement on the eve of the Wentworth by-election to consider moving Australia’s embassy to Jerusalem was a really dumb thing”, Turnbull maintained.

“Personally, I think the government’s position on that, to leave the embassy where it was, and not change the position, was the right one”, he said.

He blamed the Prime Minister hasty move cost the Liberal Party Wentworth by-election.

“My view is that the election was lost in the last week … My prediction was that Dave would’ve won it by pretty much the margin he won at the general election”, he said.

Former prime Minister reject the notion that he offered the deputy prime ministership to Peter Dutton.

“Of course I did not offer him the deputy prime ministership. He had expressed an interest in it but it was not mine to offer … This is a complete and utter falsehood, and also an impossibility”, he clarified.

Commenting on this year’s federal election results, Turnbull pointed to former opposition leader Bill Shorten’s lack of conviction, Labor’s tough plan for taxes, and the nation’s focus on Labor, as the primary culprits for the party’s defeat.

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