Invoice Shorten: Scott Morrison ought to abandon Israel embassy transfer concept

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Bill Shorten has called on the Prime Minister to abandon any thought of transferring the Australian embassy in Israel, saying it’s “time to step up”.

Mr Shorten said it was “an advertising man’s thought bubble” that had failed.

Mr Morrison has a background in marketing New South Wales tourism.

Labor leader Bill Shorten said moving the Israel embassy wasn't a good idea.

Labor leader Bill Shorten said moving the Israel embassy wasn't a good idea.

The Labor leader’s call came amid reports that Indonesia will hold off signing a free trade agreement until the Morrison government rules out any move.

Indonesia, which has the largest majority Islam population in the world, strongly objected when the Prime Minister announced he was considering moving the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

It came in the last week of the Wentworth by-election campaign, in what was seen as a desperate attempt to appeal to the electorate’s large Jewish community.

“Scott, it’s time to step up,” Mr Shorten said.

Scott Morrison's government is considering moving the Israel embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Scott Morrison's government is considering moving the Israel embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

“This wasn’t a good idea. The experts are saying it’s not a good idea. Malcolm Turnbull’s saying it wasn’t a good idea.

“Scott, do not confuse stubbornness with leadership,” Mr Shorten said.

“It was an advertising idea designed to get the voters in Wentworth to vote Liberal. It failed.

“Drop the idea. Not because Indonesia says it’s a bad idea, but because it is a bad idea.

“There is no shame in stepping up and saying it’s wrong. Let’s get back to the serious business of standing up for Australia.”

© Nine Digital Pty Ltd 2018

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