Reaction to Trump’s recognition of Occupied Jerusalem as Israel’s capital
Here’s a round-up of some of the reaction to President Trump’s decision to recognize Occupied Jerusalem as the Capital of Israel:
President Donald J. Trump
President of the United States of America
Jerusalem on December 6, 2017
Dear Mr. President,
We are fully aware and appreciative of how you are dedicating special attention to the status of Jerusalem in these days. We are following with attentiveness and we see that it is our duty to address this letter to Your Excellency. On July 17, 2000, we addressed a similar letter to the leaders who met in Camp David to decide the status of Jerusalem. They kindly took our letter into consideration. Today, Mr. President, we are confident that you too will take our viewpoint into consideration on the very important status of Jerusalem.
Our land is called to be a land of peace. Jerusalem, the city of God, is a city of peace for us and for the world. Unfortunately, though, our holy land with Jerusalem the Holy city, is today a land of conflict.
Those who love Jerusalem have every will to work and make it a land and a city of peace, life and dignity for all its inhabitants. The prayers of all believers in it—the three religions and two peoples who belong to this city—rise to God and ask for peace, as the Psalmist says: “Return to us, God Almighty! Look down from heaven and see!” (80.14). Inspire our leaders, and fill their minds and hearts with justice and peace.
Mr. President, we have been following, with concern, the reports about the possibility of changing how the United States understands and deals with the status of Jerusalem. We are certain that such steps will yield increased hatred, conflict, violence and suffering in Jerusalem and the Holy Land, moving us farther from the goal of unity and deeper toward destructive division. We ask from you Mr. President to help us all walk towards more love and a definitive peace, which cannot be reached without Jerusalem being for all.
Our solemn advice and plea is for the United States to continue recognizing the present international status of Jerusalem. Any sudden changes would cause irreparable harm. We are confident that, with strong support from our friends, Israelis and Palestinians can work towards negotiating a sustainable and just peace, benefiting all who long for the Holy City of Jerusalem to fulfil its destiny. The Holy City can be shared and fully enjoyed once a political process helps liberate the hearts of all people, that live within it, from the conditions of conflict and destructiveness that they are experiencing.
Christmas is upon us soon. It is a feast of peace. The Angels have sung in our sky: Glory to God in the highest, and peace on earth to the people of good will. In this coming Christmas, we plea for Jerusalem not to be deprived from peace, we ask you Mr. President to help us listen to the song of the angels. As the Christian leaders of Jerusalem, we invite you to walk with us in hope as we build a just, inclusive peace for all the peoples of this unique and Holy City.
With our best regards, and best wishes for a Merry Christmas.
Patriarchs and Heads of Churches in Jerusalem
+Patriarch Theophilos III, Greek Orthodox Patriarchate
+Patriarch Nourhan Manougian, Armenian Apostolic Orthodox Patriarchate
+Archbishop Pierbattista Pizzaballa, Apostolic Administrator, Latin Patriarchate
+Fr. Francesco Patton, ofm, Custos of the Holy Land
+Archbishop Anba Antonious, Coptic Orthodox Patriarchate, Jerusalem
+Archbishop Swerios Malki Murad, Syrian Orthodox Patriarchate
+Archbishop Aba Embakob, Ethiopian Orthodox Patriarchate
+Archbishop Joseph-Jules Zerey, Greek-Melkite-Catholic Patriarchate
+Archbishop Mosa El-Hage, Maronite Patriarchal Exarchate
+Archbishop Suheil Dawani, Episcopal Church of Jerusalem and the Middle East
+Bishop Munib Younan, Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land
+Bishop Pierre Malki, Syrian Catholic Patriarchal Exarchate
+Msgr. Georges Dankaye’, Armenian Catholic Patriarchal Exarchate
ADC Rejects Trump’s Attempt to Change Course on Jerusalem:
Washington, DC | www.adc.org | December 6, 2017 – The American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) vehemently opposes President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem. Today, President Trump stated that he wished to break from established U.S. foreign policy to serve the “best interests” of the U.S. and the Middle East peace process. President Trump’s announcement serves no one’s interest; instead, it will have an immediate and catastrophic impact internationally by undermining the Middle East peace process and inflaming anti-U.S. sentiment across the globe.
Israel’s annexation and claim over Jerusalem is completely illegal under international law, as recognized by the entire world. The fate of Jerusalem has always been understood to be resolved by a completed peace deal between Israel and Palestine. Up until today, this was the U.S.’s official stance on Jerusalem. Today, President Trump has completely reversed U.S. policy and greatly weakened the prospect any long-term chance at a substantive peace deal in the Middle East.
By endorsing Israel’s annexation of Jerusalem, President Trump is acting against international law, hurting U.S. interests at home and abroad, and destroying U.S. credibility on an international stage. President Trump, today, stated that he wishes to achieve peace in Israel-Palestine, yet his announcement has done nothing but fuel opposition and discontent in one of the parties to the conflict as well as in Arab and Muslim communities across the globe. The Trump Administration’s actions will not promote peace; conversely, the decision destroys the prospect of peace, promotes violence, and dismantles the U.S. credibility as a diplomatic force around the world.
Jewish Voice for Peace Statement:
President Trump just declared that the U.S. recognizes Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, and will move forward with plans to move the U.S. embassy there.
I have faith that one day, we’ll be strong enough to bend U.S. foreign policy toward justice— but this is really going to test it.
Because this is a reckless, deeply irresponsible decision: for Palestinians, Israelis, and all of us. And it’s on us to stand up.
In addition to the dangers this move poses for the region and geopolitical stability, it’s just flat out wrong. What we need is a U.S. policy that recognizes and addresses the root causes of the ongoing crisis in Israel/Palestine, not one that drastically inflames already existing inequities. Because what’s happening today is an expression of these larger truths:
- That throughout the last 50 years of occupation, successive Israeli governments have stripped Palestinian Jerusalemites of residency rights, citizenship, and access to any type of democratic government. Just in 2016, Israeli authorities demolished or seized 1,093 Palestinian-owned structures1in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and 2017 is on track to exceed that number.
- That even for the state of Israel to be created in the first place, hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were violently expelled from their homes.
- And that for decades, the U.S. has been a one-sided champion for the Israeli government, never an impartial, honest, or productive peace broker.
Trump’s announcement today is especially an example of that final truth. It is a cynical— and ill-advised— chess move, one that overtly aligns the U.S. with an increasingly expansionist Israel, at the expense of Palestinian people’s lives and rights, and without any regard for diplomacy.
Click here to tell your Congressperson: recognizing Jerusalem as the Israeli capital is an attack on Palestinian rights, and dangerous for all the people of Jerusalem and Israel/Palestine. Please make a bold statement against it.
I don’t want to sound alarmist, but I’m alarmed.
No country in the world has an embassy in Jerusalem today, because the international community doesn’t recognize Israeli jurisdiction over the city. And there’s near-global consensus that moving the Embassy is a very bad idea — from Egypt, Jordan, Turkey, and other countries in the region, and from Germany, France, and the European Union, not to mention many senior U.S. State Department officials.
There’s a reason the status of Jerusalem hasn’t been determined yet— it’s at the core of the struggle against permanent Israeli domination and Palestinian dispossession.
But the truth is, most Americans don’t have the same sinking feeling in their stomach today that I do, because so many people either don’t know this is happening, or aren’t involved in the conversation about why it matters so much. And we have to take the initiative and start conversations not just about what happened today, but what’s been happening for the last 70 years, and more.
This isn’t really about moving a building. It’s about U.S. policy moving from bad to worse. But Palestinians have been fighting for equality and justice for 70 years and longer without giving up, and we’re not going to give up now either.
Rabbi Alissa Wise
Americans for Peace Now:
Trump’s Jerusalem Move Sabotages Prospects for Peace, Endangers Lives, Degrades US Leadership
Washington, DC — Donald Trump today sabotaged decades of American efforts to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. By announcing his disastrous new policy on Jerusalem, he is causing severe damage to the prospects of Middle East peace, imperiling lives, and degrading US leadership.
Defying the counsel of America’s top diplomats and security experts, as well as the urging of US regional and international allies, Trump decided to put politics before policy, to cater to domestic extremists in his political base, and to toss a match into the most combustible place on earth: the holy city of Jerusalem. Trump’s irresponsible action has further eroded American prestige and influence in the international arena.
The price of this reckless action will be paid by Israelis and Palestinians, who want and deserve peace. For decades, American presidents strived to be stewards of that goal. While Trump claims to want the “ultimate deal,” his announcement today will achieve the opposite. Violent demonstrations are already breaking out in the West Bank and Gaza, the US consulate in Jerusalem has issued a security warning for American diplomats and citizens, and the leaders of Jordan and Turkey warned today that terrorists will benefit from this reckless action.
Today, President Trump has at last endorsed a two-state solution, as Americans for Peace Now has relentlessly urged him to do. Unfortunately, he has done it in a context in which this endorsement is entirely undermined by today’s move regarding Jerusalem. Trump and his team can still salvage the two-state solution, but only by adopting a realistic peace plan that addresses the needs and aspirations of both sides.
APN has always contended that the recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital should come only in the context of a final settlement in which Palestinian claims to Jerusalem are addressed. Acting otherwise pre-judges the outcome of final-status negotiations. This act disregards the potential for the loss of human life in order for Trump to pander to the ideologues in his base.
Let us be clear: Jerusalem is Israel’s capital. It is a fact. The question is: how can Jerusalem’s future status be addressed in a way that serves the cause of peace? What our sisters and brothers in Israel need is not recognition; they need a real friend in the White House who will help them reach peace with their neighbors and secure Israel as a state that is both Jewish and a democracy.
APN’s President and CEO Debra DeLee said, “Trump is causing severe damage to the prospects of Middle East peace, imperiling lives, and degrading US leadership.
“Trump argues that this move simply recognizes an existing reality. In fact, he is creating a new reality. It is a reality in which our allies have good reason to conclude that America has relinquished any pretense of serving as an honest broker in Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts. It is a reality in which America sides with the exclusivity of Israeli claims and ignores Palestinian aspirations. It is a reality in which America’s president acts alone, furthering isolating the Unites States on the world stage.”
For more, read APN’s “7 Things You Should Know: Trump’s decision on Jerusalem.“
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Ray Hanania is an award winning political and humor columnist who analyzes American and Middle East politics, and life in general. He is an author of several books.
"I write about three topics, the Middle East, politics and life in general. I often take my life experiences and offer them in an entertaining way to readers, and I take on the toughest topics like the Israel-Palestine conflict and don't pull any punches about what I feel is fair. But, my priority is always about writing the good story."
Hanania covered Chicago Politics and Chicago City Hall from 1976 through 1992. Hanania began writing in 1975 when he published The Middle Eastern Voice newspaper in Chicago (1975-1977). He later published “The National Arab American Times” newspaper which was distributed through 12,500 Middle East food stores in 48 American States (2004-2007).
Hanania writes weekly columns on Middle East and American Arab issues for the Arab News in Saudi Arabia at www.ArabNews.com, and at www.TheArabDailyNews.com, www.TheDailyHookah.com and at SuburbanChicagoland.com. He has also published weekly columns in the Jerusalem Post newspaper, YNetNews.com, Newsday Newspaper in New York, the Orlando Sentinel Newspapers, and the Arlington Heights Daily Herald.
Palestinian, American Arab and Christian, Hanania’s parents originate from Jerusalem and Bethlehem.
Hanania is the recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, he was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media. In 2009, Hanania received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. He is the recipient of the MT Mehdi Courage in Journalism Award. He was honored for his writing skills with two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild. In 1990, Hanania was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times editors for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.
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