The Headlines: Australia Will No Longer Recognise West Jerusalem as Israeli Capital, Again

Welcome one and all to The Headlines: The only news service that will tell you that you’re downright stunning today. But that’s not all we’re going to tell you because there’s a whack of important new stories in the mix. So, without any more schmoozing, here are some of today’s biggest updates

Labor Will No Longer Recognise West Jerusalem as Israel’s Capital

Last night, the Australian Government quietly deleted some wording about West Jerusalem being the capital of Israel from the Department of Foreign Affairs website. This sparked rumours that Australia no longer recognised it as such, which the government initially denied, and then confirmed. 

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade responded to the rumours by saying that Australia is “committed to a two-state solution in which Israel and a future Palestinian state co‑exist, in peace and security, within internationally recognised borders.”

“Australia looks forward to moving its embassy to West Jerusalem when practical, in support of, and after the final status determination of, a two-state solution, they wrote.”

This statement was true for less than 24 hours. Foreign Minister, Penny Wong, officially went on the record this afternoon to say that Australia will no longer recognise West Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. 

“Today, the government has reaffirmed Australia’s previous and longstanding position that Jerusalem is a final status issue that should be resolved as part of any peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian people,” said Wong.

“Jerusalem is a final-status issue. What do those words mean? It means that it has to be resolved through negotiation between the parties.”

The recognition of West Jerusalem was a Morrison-era policy, following in the lead of  Donald Trump, who did the same during his Presidency. However, it’s a controversial decision, given that both Israel and Palestine claim Jerusalem as their capital, something that has caused a lot of instability in the region. 

The deleted sentence that sparked the whole issue is; “Consistent with this longstanding policy, in December 2018, Australia recognised West Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, being the seat of the Knesset and many of the institutions of the Israeli government.

However, the Federal Government temporally stated that Australia still recognises West Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, with a spokesperson for Wong saying; “The former government made the decision to recognise West Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.”

“No decision to change that has been made by the government.”

Wong later clarified that the decision to change foreign policy regarding Jerusalem was made earlier today, October 18. Moreover, she confirmed that the Foreign Affairs’ website update occurred “ahead of government processes; that happens sometimes.”

Floods Are Coming for the Whole of Eastern Australia

In a serious and garbage turn of events, more wet weather is heading our way. According to the experts, parts of Queensland, NSW, the ACT, Victoria, and Tasmania are expected to get hit with more than between 50mm and 100mm of rain over the next seven days. 

Moreover, other parts of Australia’s eastern states will likely receive over 100mm. These places are near Dubbo, Tamworth, Brisbane, and Canberra. 

There’s no doubt that, if these predictions are correct, then more flooding is going to happen. 

If you need to stay up-to-date in regards to this situation, go to the Bureau of Meteorology’s Warnings Index and learn what your local State Emergency Service (SES) branch is reporting.

Related: The Gov’s $1000 Flood Payments Are Here

Related: Where to Donate to Australia’s Flood Victims

Did a Whale Penis Really Wash Up in Queensland?

In some gnarly news, an unknown animal appendage washed up on Magnetic Island in Queensland. This mystery meat was recorded by the TikToker @bootscootinaf. In her video, she questioned what it was and demonstrated that it was around the same size as her leg.

In a follow-up video, she claimed that it was a whale penis. 

“With the help of TikTok and marine biologists, I think we have figured out what that weird animal thing is,” she said. “It‘s a whale dick, and apparently the males fight and they bite each other’s things off and then they just wash up on beaches all around the world.”

However, wildlife scientist, Dr Vanessa Pirotta has said that no one could say for certain what this appendage was “without seeing it in the flesh.”

Moreover, even if it was a whale penis, Pirotta doesn’t believe that would’ve been bitten off by another whale. 

“The reason being, well, I‘ve not actually heard of this theory before but these whales don’t have any teeth at all,” she said.

“Rather, they have long hairlike strands known as baleen, and to bite another male whale‘s penis off is something that I’ve never heard of.”

Read more stories from The Latch and subscribe to our email newsletter.