Shock, anxiety over Trump’s move to shift Embassy to Jerusalem

Palestine Update  93

Shock, anxiety over Trump’s move to shift Embassy to Jerusalem

Even though Trump has been making suggestions to shift the US Embassy to Jerusalem, no one expected he would really do it. Previous Presidents had made similar campaign promises but have never strayed into this landmine-like space. The consequences are hard to predict. One thing is certain, history is rewritten and Trump has dislocated US’s place as a mediator. The region will be up in arms and even covert friends of Israel in the Arab world will disapprove. By shifting its Embassy to Jerusalem it is tacit recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. It may be a political victory for Israel in the short run but the mere decision has discarded UN resolutions, options for consensus, and added a major obstacle to peace.

Palestine Updates has collected selected articles with some variants in perspective and dimensions. There are repetitions and that only goes to show the consensus and similarity of opinion about the status of Jerusalem as the place that belongs to Jews, Christians, and Muslims alike.

The world will watch with guarded attention the consequences of this drastic, impulsive and slapdash decision of the US administration. For certain, the consequences will be harsh. Will there be violence? Or, should the question really be, how many will die in the ‘call to rage”. What other consequences will it have in the short, medium, and long term to the peace process?

Palestine Updates issues this special edition for its readers. Please read and disseminate.

Ranjan Solomon

Christian Leaders: Recognition Will Cause ‘Irreparable Damage’
Heads of local churches express concern over reports on his expected Jerusalem policy change; ‘the Holy City can be shared’ 
Patriarchs and heads of local churches in Jerusalem penned a special letter addressed to U.S. President Donald Trump to express their concern over his intention to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and possibly relocate the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. The letter, sent on Wednesday hours ahead of the expected announcement by Trump, asks the president to walk back on the potential unilateral recognition of the city as solely Israeli. “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,” the clerics pleaded with the president.

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Progressive U.S. Jews warn of disaster over Jerusalem move 
Jewish groups in the U.S. expressed deep concern and dismay following the announcement from U.S. President Donald Trump that he would move the American Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.

The Jewish Reform movement in the U.S. expressed its concern over Trump’s expected change in U.S. policy on Jerusalem’s Old City. Rabbi Rick Jacobs, President of the Union for Reform Judaism, said on Wednesday that “President Trump’s ill-timed, but expected, announcement affirms what the Reform Jewish Movement has long held: that Jerusalem is the eternal capital of the Jewish people and the State of Israel.” Jacobs contested that Reform Jews “cannot support his decision to begin preparing that move now, absent a comprehensive plan for a peace process.”
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Trump Crosses Red Line on Jerusalem
President Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital is not only a clear violation of international law, but a moral outrage when it comes to its contempt for and violation of the rights of the Palestinian people. Under the stewardship of Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel has embraced with unfailing ardor a rejectionist stance on Palestinian statehood. He knows peace, a viable peace, cannot exist and will never exist unless justice for the Palestinians is placed at its heart. Hitherto the Israeli prime minister stood isolated in his obduracy, but now with Trump in the White House his greatest dream has come true in the form of a willing partner in his refusal to depart as much as an inch from his embrace of Israeli exceptionalism and belief Israel’s right to the land of Palestine is inviolate. Of course, Israel had no such right to Palestinian land and never has — unless, that is, religious and biblical obscurantism is the kernel of international law and diplomacy in the 21st century.
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Palestinian Christians burn Trump posters in Bethlehem in fury over Embassy

Palestinian Christians in Bethlehem burned posters of President Donald Trump on Tuesday evening in furious protest against Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.The Christians burned posters featuring Donald Trump’s face and the text “Jerusalem, Palestine’s heart, is not up to negotiations,” joining hundreds of other Palestinians who gathered in Gaza and Ramallah to burn similar posters and U.S. flags. The Palestinians protested Trump’s imminent recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and the move of the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem.  Rami Hamdallah, the prime minister of the Palestinian state said Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem will “destroy the peace process and the two-state solution.”


Trump’s embassy move: Erasing Jerusalem’s multi-faith history
Could Trump’s move to make the US embassy the first in Jerusalem mark the final blow to a history of religious coexistence in the city?

The possibility of Trump recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and moving the US embassy there has sparked outrage among Palestinians and non-Palestinians alike. The plans caused controversy as foreign leaders warned of regional upheaval and the collapse of Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts. If the move goes ahead, it will be the first foreign embassy to be situated in the city.

But it is not just Muslim leaders and organisations who are concerned about the move. Christians and Jewish groups have also warned that it would damage what remains of a fragile co-existence among the three Abrahamic faiths in the holy city. Jewish groups in the US expressed their concerns over Trump’s announcement. President of the US-based group J Street, Jeremy Ben-Ami, said: “The effect of moving the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem prior to a negotiated agreement will be to anger key Arab allies, foment regional instability and undermine nascent US diplomatic efforts to resolve the larger conflict.”

Social media users are up in arms following the announcement of Trump’s intentions.


Global Coalition: Embassy Move to Jerusalem Endangering US Economic and Political Interests

The Global Coalition considers the constant efforts, by the US, to relocate its Embassy to Jerusalem to be blackmail for Palestinians, Arabs and Muslims, in order to pressure them to impose solutions which detract their right to Jerusalem…it called upon Arab and Islamic nations to raise the ceiling for the rebuff of this American decision, asking the League of Arab States and the Islamic Cooperation Organization to make bold positions against the American move of relocating its embassy to Jerusalem, which carries significant implications at various levels regarding the region and the globe. The coalition urged all parties, institutions, Arab and Islamic bodies, and liberals of the world to take continuous and active measures in various areas to pressure the US administration in order to discourage any actions that would support the American recognition of illegal Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem. The Global Coalition concluded its statement by saying, “The Arab and Islamic right to Jerusalem is an imprescriptible right. It is a fact that cannot be distorted, and all history experiences confirm that oppression will be defeated before the power of right.”


African Union Chairperson condemns American decision on shifting of Embassy
The Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, notes with deep concern the decision of the United States Government, announced today, to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Israel. He regrets this decision, which will only increase tensions in the region and beyond and further complicate the search for a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The Chairperson of the Commission reiterates the solidarity of the African Union with the Palestinian people and its support to their legitimate quest for an independent and sovereign State with East Jerusalem as its capital. In this context, he calls for renewed international efforts to find a just and lasting solution to the conflict, based on the existence of two States, Israel and Palestine, living side-by-side in peace and security, within the framework of relevant African Union and United Nations pronouncements.