NY4Palestine emergency rally: Jerusalem is the capital of Palestine
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New York, NY – Over a thousand New Yorkers joined NY4Palestine, a coalition of Palestine solidarity organizations in the New York City and Greater Area, on December 8, 2017 in Times Square, to rally against Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and to move the U.S. Embassy to the city.
For more than 50 years, the U.S. has been complicit and directly involved in the Israeli colonization and occupation of Palestine. Through military and financial aid along with political support, the U.S. is consciously taking a leading role in the process of eliminating the indigenous people of Palestine. This decision to recognize the city of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel will only help escalating the Zionist settler-colonial project in eliminating the Palestinians through genocide and mass expulsion, along with the erasure of their history, culture, and identity.
On Wednesday, December 6, President Trump announced his decision to relocate the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem which he declared as the capital of Israel in gross violation of international law. This move contravenes decades of bipartisan U.S. foreign policy that considers Jerusalem a final-status negotiation issue.
We do not see this decision separate from the dreadful track record of the U.S.’s blind support to the Israeli occupation and colonization of Palestine. This decision is a continuation to the 1995 Jerusalem Embassy Act, which was passed by the Congress, giving Israel more leverage in its efforts to “Judaize” the city with land grabs and illegal settlements, which explicitly aim to changing the demographic and erase the Muslim and Christian identities of the city of Jerusalem. The end goal is erasing any Palestinian presence in Jerusalem, destroying any hope for self-determination or national liberation for Palestinians.”
The waiver of the Jerusalem Embassy Act, which mandates that the U.S. must move its embassy, has been consistently signed every six months by every president since it was originally passed in Congress in 1995. The act included a provision that allows the president to suspend the relocation of the embassy based on national security concerns.
Declaring Jerusalem as Israel’s capital not only transgresses the rights of Palestinians who are being ethnically cleansed in their own homeland, but also threatens U.S. national security and interests. It severely jeopardizes its standing around the world, especially within the Muslim World, and ends any possibility of being an “honest broker” in the Middle East. In fact, it’s widely reported that president Trump’s own foreign policy advisers cautioned him against this reckless decision and it will not bring about the “ultimate deal,” which Trump often brags about; rather, it sends a message to Palestinians that their self-determination is no longer a priority in peace negotiations.
International law clearly states that the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip are occupied territories. United Nations Security Council Resolution 2334 categorically recognizes East Jerusalem as being occupied, and then-Secretary of State John Kerry, in his 2016 remarks to the Security Council stated: ”… remember that every U.S. administration since 1967, along with the entire international community, has recognized East Jerusalem as among the territories that Israel occupied in the Six-Day War.”
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