Australian flag
Australian flagThinkstock

In an article published in The Spectator Australia, former Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott called on the government to "join any move by the Trump administration to move its embassy to Jerusalem" and suggested Australia move its own embassy to Jerusalem as well.

"Jerusalem is Israel's capital and we should respect that by putting our embassy where they choose to have their capital," he wrote.

He also called on the government to offer "unswerving support for Israel as the region's only liberal, pluralist democracy" and said, "Australia should cut our $40 million a year in aid to the Palestinian Authority while it keeps paying pensions to terrorists and their families."

Though Abbott apparently does support a two-state solution, he also said "there should be a Palestinian state where Jews have the same rights as Palestinians have in Israel" and called the current ideal "a kind of apartheid that's at odds with Israel's own values."

Australia gave nearly 43 million AUD (120 million NIS) to the Palestinian Authority between the years 2015-2016.

Abbott visited Jerusalem and Ramallah in December 2016, meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority leader Rami Hamdallah.

Regarding Hamdallah's claim the Arabs want peace with the Jews, Abbott said, "This is hard to credit, given Palestinian TV’s consistent glorification of suicide bombers, reference(s) to Jews as the ‘sons of monkeys and pigs’ and claims that the state of Israel is a ‘satanic project."

However, Australia's current government said the country "does not have any plans to move the Australian Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem."

In addition, opposition leader Chris Bowen said the assistance Australia provides to the PA is critical to promoting peace and countering extremism in the region. He also said Abbott's statements were an effort to "undermine Malcom Turnbull and continue his campaign to regain the leadership."