Jerusalem: Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull is to blame for the “turmoil and chaos” in the Australian government and parliament after the High Court’s dual citizenship rulings, opposition leader Bill Shorten said on Sunday night.
Mr Shorten has arrived in Jerusalem for a round of political meetings and to attend the commemorative ceremony of the ANZAC Beersheba light horse charge 100 years ago.
Mr Turnbull had been due to arrive late Saturday for a Sunday meeting with Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. However the Prime Minister delayed his flight and truncated his Israel plans in order to sort out the political mess left by the disqualification of Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce and others. He is now expected in Israel Monday afternoon, local time.
Federal Labor leader Bill Shorten in Jerusalem on Sunday evening. Photo: AAP
“All of this current turmoil and chaos in the Australian government and the Australian Parliament could have been avoided if Turnbull had simply stood Joyce aside until the High Court had made its decision,” Mr Shorten said.
“But Mr Turnbull is too arrogant for that, and because of his arrogance and his poor judgement we’ve now got the current turmoil.”
This lack of judgment was further underlined by Mr Turnbull’s claim in Parliament in August that the High Court would make sure that Mr Joyce remained Deputy Prime Minister, which turned out to be “hopelessly wrong”, Mr Shorten said.
However Mr Turnbull was defended on Saturday evening by the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Dan Tehan, who said the change of plans in Israel was “not embarrassing – this sort of thing happens all the time”.
“As a matter of fact the Israelis have done the same to us on quite a few occasions over the last decade,” Mr Tehan – who is also visiting Israel with a contingent of Australian cyber security startups – said.
He said Mr Turnbull “will get everything he needs to get out of this (visit)”.
“The Prime Minister backed his team, he was confident that a decision would have been made (by the High Court), in the end a different decision was made. You have to back your team.”
On Monday Mr Shorten was due to visit the Aida Palestinian refugee camp near Bethlehem, Jerusalem to meet government and opposition leaders, and then Ramallah to meet Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah.
On Tuesday he and Mr Turnbull will attend the Beersheba commemorative ceremony.
Mr Shorten said he supported Labor’s national policy of pushing for a two-state solution, respecting the right of Israel to live within secure borders and the legitimate aspiration of the Palestinian people to have their own homeland.
But he said he recognised the genuine frustration within Labor and more widely in Australia and around the world at the lack of progress towards a two-state solution.
Mr Shorten said he would also raise with the Israeli government the case of fugitive school principal Malka Leifer who faces prosecution in relation to 74 alleged sexual offences against girls she taught at Adass Israel School in the Melbourne suburb of Elsternwick.
“The best way justice can be resolved is for justice to be dispensed in Australia,” Mr Shorten said.
“I think it is a very serious matter and I will be raising it with the Israeli government.”
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.