Moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem is an endorsement of Israel’s annexation policies

January 19, 2016
Contact: Naomi Dann| | 845-377-5745

Moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem is an endorsement of Israel’s annexation policies

As the incoming Trump administration is poised to fulfil its campaign promise to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem. Jewish Voice for Peace offers the following statement from Executive Director Rebecca Vilkomerson on the destructive impacts of the move:

“Israel celebrates the mythical “unification” of Jerusalem, but the actual Jerusalem could not be more divided, physically, economically, socially and politically. Palestinian inhabitants must constantly fight to maintain their residency status, which can be stripped away at any time. Palestinian neighborhoods suffer from systematic neglect and lack of municipal resources, and several neighborhoods containing some 60,000+ residents have been cut off from the city and from municipal services entirely by the construction of the apartheid wall. Home demolitions, either over lack of permits or as collective punishment, are frequent. Settlers are allowed to act with near impunity, seizing private Palestinian property and using archeological sites to displace Palestinian neighborhoods.

Since Israel unilaterally annexed the eastern half of Jerusalem in 1967, the international community has considered it to be occupied territory, a legal position just reaffirmed in  United Nations Resolution 2334. Over the last several decades, Israel has implemented policies intended to push Palestinian Jerusalemites out of the city that amount to forcible transfer.

This is the reality that Palestinian residents of Jerusalem have faced for years. By moving the embassy to Jerusalem, the incoming Trump administration will cement the United States’ complicity with Israel’s occupation, discrimination and incitement in the city of Jerusalem, signaling a green light for future moves towards annexation.

Jerusalem is a symbol of holiness and hope for many people of many religions the world over. Moving the U.S. embassy there not only flies in the face of the international legal consensus, but also furthers the agenda of those who seek to re-cast a struggle for land, rights and sovereignty into a  religious conflict.

With the increasing alignment of the incoming administration with Israel’s pursuit of annexation and dispossession, we can only expect that the U.S. embassy move will be the first in a cascade of actions that will cause profound harm to the rights and lives of Palestinians and any hope for a peace based on equality and freedom for everyone in the region.”



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