Sputnik: What is your reaction to the Australian Prime Minister's intention?
Eli Hazan: Of course, we are quite satisfied and very happy with this decision. Hopefully, they will apply it as soon as possible; and we call to other countries to join the Australians. After the Americans and Guatemala, more countries should do it because we see Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Israel and we say thank you in general.
Sputnik: How likely do you think it is that Morrison will actually go through with the embassy relocation? How much support does he have for that move within his own country?
Sputnik: Actually, his predecessor had a very different point of view in regards to moving the embassy; what would this mean for Israeli-Australian relations?
Eli Hazan: First of all, the relationship between Israel and Australia is extremely good. We have a lot of cooperation. We have good connections between the two countries almost in every field, if I have to mention that. Moreover, only one year ago and maybe even less; the previous Australian prime minister paid a visit to Israel to commemorate 100 years since the battle of Beersheba when Australian soldiers occupied the city of Beersheba during WWI. Besides that, if you look at economic issues, cultural issues, science issues we have a tight cooperation with Australia. I guess that this kind of move of moving the embassy to Jerusalem will strengthen the relationship more.
Sputnik: And it will have a completely different effect on Australia's ties with Arab nations, according to many experts; what's your take on this? For example, Egypt's ambassador to Australia said that that would hurt the ties that Australia has with Arab nations; what's your take on this?
Sputnik: Now Trump, last year, his announcement did spark outrage and violence on the Israeli-Palestinian border; how likely do you think this decision will also see some kind of controversy and, perhaps, even a conflict?
Eli Hazan: Let me, first of all, make something clear. It's not necessarily that the outrage has come because of moving the embassy. You have to remember that if we go back through history, all along the Israeli-Palestinian conflict there is a wave of hostility; it doesn't matter what is the cause, but it repeats itself all the time. I don't believe that the decision of Trump to move the embassy was the real cause for the demonstrations in Gaza. It's more than that. There's a lot of pressure against Hamas from the Gazan people. And therefore they have encouraged people to go against Israel in order to distort their failures. Regarding Australia, I don't think so because it is a long process that in the end, I belive a lot of countries will move their embassies. Moreover, I want to remind you one more thing, Russia was the first country to recognize West Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Israel and this did not really affect the relationship of Russia with other Arab countries.
The views expressed in this article are those of the speaker, and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.