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Oct. 20, 2022The Hon Anthony Albanese MPPrime MinisterParliament HouseCANBERRA ACT 2600Dear Prime Minister Albanese,Please permit me to comment on your government’s position regarding the legitimacy of any part of Jerusalem as the capital city of Israel.As I understand it, your policy is that recognition will only be forthcoming if the Palestinians and Israelis are successful in negotiating a solution to their conflict.This would be identical to Saudi Arabia’s position that it will only recognize the legitimacy of Israel if the Palestinians are satisfied. Since the official position of the Palestinians is that all of Israel is stolen land which makes Israel an occupier, it can only be satisfied if Israel disappears.This being the case, It will be a long time until the Saudis sign a normalization agreement with Israel, or maybe because of certain realities, it will abandon its policy and sign such an agreement sooner if the Saudis need Israeli assistance to confront Iran. So maybe Saudi Arabia will turn out to be more flexible than we thought, and clearly more flexible than Australia.There is one other issue that seems to have gone unnoticed by your Department of Foreign Affairs.The Australian policy is a total disincentive for the Palestinians to negotiate with Israel. Not recognizing Israeli sovereignty over any part of Jerusalem is the Palestinian wet dream. There is no way in Hell that the Palestinians will make peace with Israel if it can get the world to invalidate Israel’s position that Jerusalem is its eternal undivided capital city.Australia’s choice to punish Israel to achieve peace where many other countries including Arab countries have gone the other way and recognized Israel’s sovereignty over Jerusalem, even having official visits to Jerusalem, suggests that your foreign policy has been subcontracted to the Palestinians leaving the wonderful people of Australia farther down under than usual.I would strongly recommend that if you truly want peace in the Middle East, you enlist some intelligence in your department of Foreign Affairs. Relying on political hacks to deal with the complications of foreign relations won’t do it. Respectfully yours,Lawrence Shapiro,

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