Who’s Speaking Out Against Trump’s Jerusalem Move

December 12, 2017

Last week, President Trump discarded longstanding bipartisan US policy on the status of Jerusalem by recognizing it as Israel’s capital outside the context of a conflict-ending agreement between Israelis and Palestinians. He made the move with little concern for the nuances of the issue, recklessly ignoring the advice of his secretaries of defense and state.

The president’s irresponsible decision has not gone unnoticed. American lawmakers, experts, Jewish organizations and leaders across the world have raised their voices and expressed concern with this move.

Below is a partial list (updated daily) of those who have criticized or questioned the president’s decision.

American Lawmakers

Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA): ”Recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital – or relocating our embassy to Jerusalem – will spark violence and embolden extremists on both sides of the debate…If you break with this long tradition of bipartisan foreign policy [of not recognizing to remain impartial], you’ll erode American credibility as an unbiased mediator, alienate us from our international partners – such as Jordan – and undermine any remaining hope for a two-state solution.”

Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT): “There’s a reason why all past US administrations have not made this move, and why leaders around the world have warned Trump against it: It would undermine the prospects for an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement and severely, perhaps irreparably, damage our ability to broker it.”

Senator Brian Schatz (D-HI): “Moving our U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem will imperil Americans, isolate our country, and make peace less likely. It’s reckless.”

Senator Michael Bennet (D-CO): “As it has been for many years, Jerusalem is the capital of the State of Israel; its final status must be resolved as part of direct negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians. I am concerned the President’s announcement today – absent support from regional partners and allies, and outside the confines of a plan – undermines the prospect for negotiations and risks destabilizing an already volatile region. The administration should take constructive steps to restart direct negotiations with the longstanding, bipartisan goal of two states for two peoples living side by side in peace and security.”

Senator Tom Udall (D-NM): “President Trump thrives on chaos, but chaos in foreign policy is often the enemy of peace and security. Like the chaotic positions taken regarding North Korea and Iran, this decision increases the danger to Americans and potentially risks lives in a volatile region. This move is a major setback in the long effort to reach peace in one of the world’s most troubled regions. The president has undermined America’s role as the most effective broker for a two-state solution to the conflict, and his decision will have long-lasting implications. The final status of Jerusalem should be resolved through peace negotiations, which has been the bipartisan position of U.S. presidents for decades.”

Senator Martin Heinrich (D-NM): “Moving the United States embassy in Israel to the holy city of Jerusalem upends a 50 year policy of both Democratic and Republican Presidents and will endanger Israel’s security and harm American interests. The decision is misguided and unnecessarily provocative. Once again, this President appears oblivious to the consequences of his actions.”

Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH): “I’m very concerned about decision to move the U.S. embassy and the immediate repercussions, as the State Department has has warned that this could potentially lead to violence in Israel and across the Middle East. I firmly support Israel’s security and believe this announcement is harmful to both US and Israeli interests. It also moves all parties further away from a peaceful solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It is unfortunate that the President chose to ignore warnings from many US allies and partners around the world about his decision’s negative impact on the peace process and the heightened tensions it will cause. ”

Senator Chris Coons (D-DE): “While Jerusalem for 70 years has been the capital of the state of Israel, its final status remains unresolved and must be negotiated directly between the Israelis and the Palestinians. President Trump’s decision to formally recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital today appears to be driven more by his desire to fulfill a campaign pledge than to generate progress towards direct peace talks. In all decisions the United States makes regarding the Middle East, we must remain mindful of the long-standing bipartisan American objective: a two-state solution that ends the conflict, keeps Israel secure, Jewish, and democratic, and allows the Palestinians to establish a viable independent state. I urge the Trump Administration to create the conditions that help push the two parties to return to direct, bilateral negotiations without preconditions with the goal of achieving this objective.”

Senator Mark Warner (D-VA): “The President’s decision today to move the U.S. embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital comes at the wrong time and unnecessarily inflames the region. This announcement upends long-standing U.S. policy and international agreements that the status of Jerusalem should be determined as part of a peace settlement between Israel and the Palestinians, not unilaterally. I have been, and remain a strong and consistent ally of Israel. The relationship between our countries is unique – defined by close friendship, strategic cooperation and mutual respect. As Vice Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, I fear the administration’s decision at this time will alienate key partners in the Middle East, fuel growing anti-American sentiment, and put U.S. diplomatic and security personnel at risk in the region and beyond. I further remain concerned that it undermines the ability to broker a peace settlement between the Israelis and Palestinians, and undercuts Israel’s security by placing overwhelming pressures on Israeli-Palestinian security coordination.”

Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), Democratic Whip: Expressed concerns about the repercussions of the potential announcement. “I hope that this does not incite violence and death. I can’t tell you what precautions he has taken before he would make such an announcement.”

Senator Tim Kaine (D-VA): “I’m very concerned that @realDonaldTrump’s #Jerusalem announcement will further set back efforts to achieve a two-state solution—and the reaction we see across the world is troubling. This could have destabilizing consequences for a region already rife with tensions.”

Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT): “It needs to be done at the right time and in the right manner. I don’t see any peace process beginning any time soon so I seriously question the wisdom of making the choice now.”

Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ): Both the capital and embassy issues should be “part of a larger peace process. It should be part of negotiations for eventual final status. We need to be working towards peace in that region.”

Senator Patrick Leahy (I-VT): “Campaign promises to score political points, without careful consideration of U.S. national interests, rarely make good policy, and I fear this is a particularly dangerous example of that. It will make the already distant goal of peace in the Middle East that much harder to reach.”

Senator Cortez Masto (D-NV): ”@realDonaldTrump’s decision undermines long-standing U.S. policy that the final status of Jerusalem should be decided as a part of a broader peace agreement between the Israeli and Palestinian people and their governments.”

Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV): “The timing is in the diplomacy of it. Does it cause more friction and more problems than what we need right now or can we go ahead and put a timetable to it? I don’t think with all of the negotiations going on right now that we need to be in a situation that will make things a little bit more challenging.”

Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (CA-12): “The United States and Israel share an unbreakable bond built on mutual values. Together in friendship we have supported efforts enabling Israeli and Palestinian leaders to find a way forward toward a just and durable two-state solution with two people living side-by-side in peace and security. Jerusalem is the eternal capital of the Jewish homeland. But in the absence of a negotiated settlement between Israel and the Palestinians, moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem now may needlessly spark mass protests, fuel tensions, and make it more difficult to reach a durable peace. As an eternal friend and partner to Israel, America must advance serious and clear policies that lead the way to a lasting and just peace, not antagonize the parties of this conflict. It is vital that we ensure that this land of pioneers and dreamers can thrive, and honor those brave heroes who have sacrificed all for peace by being smart and strong, not reckless and rash, in our actions.”

Congressional Progressive Caucus Co-Chairs Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva (AZ-3) and Rep. Mark Pocan (WI-2), and CPC Peace and Security Taskforce Chair Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA-13), reacted to President Trump’s decision to have the United States recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and relocate the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv, triggering domestic and international concerns for future peace negotiations in the region: Jerusalem Decision Jeopardizes the Future of Israeli-Palestinian Peace.

Representatives Price (NC-6), Welch (NH-AL), Yarmuth (KY-3), Lee (CA-13) and Blumenauer (OR-3): “President Trump’s announcement demonstrates, once again, his complete disregard for long-standing American and international diplomatic practice. It unilaterally undermines prospects for a peaceful resolution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and recklessly endangers U.S., Israeli, and regional security. For more than 50 years, Republican and Democratic Administrations have recognized that the United States should stand as a good faith arbiter for peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians. Recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel outside the framework of a final status agreement between the parties does more to sabotage than to advance peace. A two-state solution is the only outcome that guarantees Israel’s existence as a Jewish, democratic, and secure state, and provides the Palestinians a just and secure future. The decision jeopardizes the future of a two-state solution and the United States’ ability to work with regional partners to foster the conditions for the resumption of peace negotiations.”

Representative Jan Schakowsky (IL-9): “President Trump’s announcement today ignores reality and the consequences of an action that breaks with long-time U.S. policy held by both Republican and Democratic Administrations.”

Representative Jerrold Nadler (NY-10): “I have long recognized Jerusalem as the historic capital of Israel, and have called for the eventual relocation of the United States Embassy to Jerusalem, the seat of the Israeli government. While President Trump’s announcement earlier today rightly acknowledged the unique attachment of the Jewish people to Jerusalem, the timing and circumstances surrounding this decision are deeply worrying. This Administration has carelessly risked inflaming tensions in the region, as well as placing U.S. diplomatic and military personnel in harm’s way. Like so much of the President’s foreign policymaking, this hasty announcement was a media ploy devoid of substance and without concern for American, Israeli, or international security interests.The focus of U.S. energy in the region needs to be a return to the pursuit of a two state solution with direct, bilateral negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians. Of course, in any negotiated settlement, Jerusalem must remain the capital of the State of Israel. Today’s decision by President Trump, however, does not advance the prospect for peace in any way. Instead, it is likely to bring us further away from achieving a settlement that all sides can embrace.”

Representative Sandy Levin (MI-6): “My strong support for the 1995 law was based on the recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel with a waiver available to promote a two-state solution as the basis for permanent peace with security for Israel.  Moving the U.S. embassy to the holy city of Jerusalem was assumed to promote a comprehensive peace agreement, not undermine the prospects for peace. Today’s announcement by President Trump may make such a durable peace harder to achieve by inflaming tensions, so it is vital that the U.S. right now take every feasible step to help move all parties toward negotiating a two-state solution.”

Representative Alan Lowenthal (CA-47): “I believe in a two-state solution in the Middle East and believe that the U.S. should be an honest broker in coming up with a durable lasting peace. I also believe that today–more than ever–a unilateral move by the U.S. in relocating its embassy prior to meaningful peace talks, will be a huge setback to successful peace efforts to create that two-state solution. I support the 1995 law passed by Congress requiring the U.S. to move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. I also understand and appreciate why since 1995 Presidents Clinton, Bush, and Obama declined to move the embassy, citing national security interests. They knew that it was not the right time–just as today is not the right time. This is why I disagree with President Trump’s decision to begin the process of moving the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.”

Representative Gerry Connolly (VA-11): “When President Jimmy Carter sat down at the negotiating table with Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin at Camp David in 1978, he reiterated that Jerusalem’s final status would not be decided unilaterally. Every successive U.S. administration since then has upheld that approach. With President Trump’s announcement today, he has abandoned that commitment and it is incumbent on his Administration to explain to the world how this decision brings us closer to a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.”

Representative Lloyd Doggett (TX-35): “President Trump’s announcement today that the United States recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel is an unhelpful step with no tangible benefits, only serious risks. Contradicting decades of bipartisan presidential policy, it does nothing to advance, and could seriously undermine, the administration’s stated commitment to resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict while potentially threatening Israel’s security and alienating Arab regional partners. With this announcement, the question of whether and when the embassy is actually moved becomes a moot point. The act of recognizing Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem prior to a negotiated peace agreement will have the same damaging impact as an actual move of the embassy. Israel’s capital is in Jerusalem and it should be internationally recognized as such in the context of an agreed two-state solution that also establishes a Palestinian capital in East Jerusalem. In the absence of that final agreement between the parties on the city’s status, blanket recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital is premature and divisive. That is why, since 1967, all administrations have maintained that the final status of the entirety of Jerusalem is to be decided by negotiations, and have avoided any actions that could be interpreted as prejudging their outcome. The president made absolutely clear that this decision was intended to deliver on a campaign promise. Once again, as in the case of the Iran nuclear agreement, ideology and political concerns are triumphing over the commonsense recommendations of US and Israeli security experts and the opinion of the majority of Jewish Americans. We hope it will not result in further violence and suffering for Israelis and Palestinians – but we fear that it might. Members of Congress and Jewish communal leaders concerned about Israel’s security and future should not support this misguided and damaging decision.”

Representative Joe Courtney (CT-2): “The status of Jerusalem is an issue that should be resolved between #Israelis and #Palestinians. This move by @POTUS is needlessly provocative and threatens America’s leadership role in the peace process.”

Representative Keith Ellison (MN-5): “This White House continues to play politics with issues of national security and international peace, and its reckless decision-making should concern us all.”

Representative G.K. Butterfield (NC-1): “President Donald Trump’s decision is reckless. It runs counter to nearly seven decades of U.S. policy and puts the stability of the entire region in serious jeopardy. It also creates greater security concerns for American travelers and diplomats in the region and increases the possibility of violence against our ally, Israel. This move by the president is purposefully provocative. It will severely harm future U.S. efforts to bring about a negotiated settlement for a peaceful and lasting two state solution. It does nothing to further U.S. foreign policy in the region or improve U.S. national security or the security of our ally, Israel. In fact, I believe his decision could incite violence and endanger lives.”

Representative Carol Shea-Porter (NH-1): “President Trump’s plan to move the U.S. Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem threatens American credibility in the region and undermines efforts to negotiate an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement. The status of Jerusalem is one of the most sensitive topics in these discussions, and it should be part of a negotiated settlement between Israel and Palestine, not dictated through unilateral action by the President of the United States. As a Member of the House Armed Services Committee, I am deeply concerned that this decision could provoke increased violence and instability in the region, and I believe it is a harmful setback to efforts to revive the peace process.”

Representative Don Beyer (VA-1): “Donald Trump’s Jerusalem announcement is a misguided, ill-timed move which will antagonize key allies and endanger the peace process.”

Representative Danny Davis (IL-7): “Any heavy-handed attempt by President Trump to unilaterally move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem or preemptively recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel would be a reckless, destabilizing and dangerous reversal of long standing U.S. policy. The question of Palestinian statehood continues to occupy a central place in the Mideast and the final status of Jerusalem is intimately linked to resolution of that question. If we have learned anything from decades of bloody, destructive conflict it is that the path to peace in the region cannot be designed or imposed from outside but must come from a negotiated agreement of the parties. This administration has repeatedly belittled, minimized and depreciated the role of diplomacy and face-to-face negotiations in favor of bellicose and unilateral actions based on sloganeering and threats of military force. The consequences of such a foreign policy will only further reduce our security and the security of our allies. The final status of Jerusalem should be, must be, determined by a diplomatic process led by the parties, supported by the U.S. and other relevant nations and recognizing the legitimate rights of all parties and the need to guarantee security and sustainability for all parties.”

Representative David Cicilline (RI-1): “I think for me, Jerusalem is the capital of Israel and the American embassy should be there. One day, I hope that is the case. What I think this will be viewed as is a unilateral move. And the State Department sent out warnings to the embassies around the world anticipating reaction to this. We are in a moment when the president has spoken of restarting the peace process. You are not going to restart the peace process successfully when you make a move like this at the beginning. People perceive the United States of taking a position on an important issue. This will be resolved in a negotiation when there’s a resolution between the Palestinians and the Israelis. I think undermining our role as an honest broker is not in the interest of the United States. It’s not in the interest of the world. It’s a mistake to take this role, particularly as you try to restart the peace process. And I think it’s very concerning.”

Representative Alcee Hastings (FL-20): “I believe that Jerusalem is and should remain the undivided capital of Israel. To deny the Jewish connection to Jerusalem would be to deny world history. That being said, the manner in which the Trump Administration has announced its recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel is of great concern. In the context of peace negotiations between the Israelis and the Palestinians, the sensitivity of the status of Jerusalem cannot be overstated. The ramifications of this decision could be profound, and I fear that the President made his decision based on political expediency rather than sound foreign policy. The United States has long held that the final status of Jerusalem should be determined as part of an agreement negotiated between the State of Israel and the Palestinian leadership. The President’s announcement undercuts this position, as well as the role of the United States as an honest mediator of the conflict. This announcement puts the security of American embassies and consulates throughout the Arab world at risk. The United States should continue to support a two-state solution that provides for peace, security, and mutual recognition for both the Israeli and Palestinian people.”

Representative Adam Smith (WA-9): “Since its formation in 1948, the nation of Israel has been under near constant threat. I strongly support Israel, and have advocated for robust U.S. engagement to help ensure their security… Long-term peace is a goal that has long eluded all parties, however it is critical that we not lose sight. The President’s decision today to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel will not help advance this goal, and will only serve to increase regional instability. Ultimately the U.S. gains nothing from this announcement, and this Administration has chosen to further isolate itself from our global allies.”

Representative Seth Moulton (MA-6): “In jumping to recognize Jerusalem as the Israeli capital, @POTUS ignores the counsel of his own national security advisors, Secretaries Mattis and Tillerson. His announcement is premature and disrupts critical efforts towards a two-state solution.”

Representative André Carson (IN-7): “I am deeply concerned by President Trump’s decision to overturn longstanding U.S. policy by recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and relocating our embassy. This decision is likely to drive serious unrest across the region, unacceptably putting countless innocent people at risk. It makes lasting peace much more difficult to achieve, makes Israel less secure, and ignores competing Palestinian claims for parts of Jerusalem, which should be resolved through peace negotiations and not unilateral U.S. action.”

Representative Ann Kuster (NH-2): “I worry the decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel & move the US embassy will threaten Israeli security & lead to violence that will cost both Israeli & Palestinian lives.”

Representative Luis Gutierrez (IL-4): “The President’s reckless decision on Jerusalem not only contradicts decades of bipartisan policy, but also ends the United States’ role as peacemaker in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I am for the two-state solution and the U.S. should be for it too.”

Representative Rosa DeLauro (CT-3): “The President’s irresponsible decision to move our nation’s embassy to Jerusalem goes against decades of bipartisan American foreign policy and will likely increase tensions between Israelis and Palestinians, instead of moving us toward a lasting peace agreement. This action may lead to more needless violence and undermines America’s ability to lead the region toward peace, stability, and security. The strength of the United States’ relationship with Israel cannot be understated. They are amongst our most valuable allies, and our bond is unshakable. Peace is only attainable if the United States fully engages diplomatically as an honest broker between the Israelis and Palestinians with the goal of creating a comprehensive and durable two-state solution.”

Representative Debbie Dingell (MI-12): “President Trump’s decision to designate Jerusalem as the Israeli capital outside of a comprehensive two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is deeply disturbing as it undercuts continuing efforts toward peace. The final status of Jerusalem should be determined through negotiations between the two parties as part of a resolution to the conflict, as has been U.S. policy since 1967. This action raises tensions in an already restive region, placing Americans stationed in the Middle East at risk while increasing the chance of a wider regional conflict. I strongly oppose President Trump’s decision, which will serve as an obstacle to future peace between Israelis and Palestinians.”

Representative Dwight Evans (PA-2): “Jerusalem has been and always will be the eternal capital of the Jewish people and the State of Israel. This is a fact of history reaffirmed by Congress that cannot and will not be denied. With this, the United States has always been and always will remain a strong ally of Israel. In the absence of a comprehensive plan for a peace process between the Israelis and Palestinians I am concerned about the further unrest and instability President Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel may cause. As a nation I believe we have an important obligation to play a crucial role in supporting the State of Israel in order to achieve a two-state solution between the Israelis and Palestinians.”

Representative Ro Khanna (CA-17): “The United States and Israel share similar values of peace, democracy, and entrepreneurship. We should always look for ways to strengthen the relationship and address Israel’s legitimate security concerns. The President’s decision to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, however, is misguided and does not advance peace. Going against the advice of Secretaries Mattis and Tillerson, the President’s move is counterproductive to a two-state solution and will harm our standing in the Arab world. This decision has already led to violence protests in the region and puts U.S. servicemembers and embassies around the world at risk of attacks. I hope President Trump reconsiders his decision and understands that this issue should be decided during two-state solution negotiations and not unilaterally by the U.S.”

Representative Lou Correa (CA-46): “I am a strong supporter of Israel and the U.S.-Israel relationship. However, in the interest of peace, I currently do not support moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem. The Clinton, Bush, and Obama Administrations all delayed the moving of the US Embassy. I believe in continuing that policy.”

American Security Experts and Diplomats

Amb. Dan Kurtzer, former Ambassador to Israel and Egypt: “Look, if there were a nuanced statement, as Ayman Mohyeldin indicated, that gave something to both sides, that recognized the reality of Israel’s capital in Jerusalem and also held out a promise of US recognition of a Palestinian capital in East Jerusalem, then in fact, that would be a creative diplomatic move and it might in fact jumpstart things but I don’t believe that anybody seriously thinks that a unilateral action to support only Israel’s position is going to help this peace process.The president says he wants to make the ultimate deal and he’s just really shot himself in the foot on this question.”

Amb. Martin Indyk, former Middle East Peace Envoy: “Don’t underestimate Trump’s desire to disrupt the status quo on Jerusalem on the theory that out of crisis can come an opportunity. He should beware: Jerusalem is a dangerous place to test a theory.”

Amb. Richard H. Jones, former was ambassador to Israel: [He] warned that groups like Hamas and the Islamic State would exploit the issue to incite violence, and predicted that the Palestinian Authority would step up international efforts to boycott and condemn Israel. “This is a risky move, which no doubt will cost lives in Israel and the region, particularly as Israeli settlers use it to justify accelerating their activity further.

Amb. William Andreas Brown, former ambassador to Israel and chief of mission: “If he was going to make this announcement, it ought to be very, very carefully crafted so as to minimize a blowup,” he said, making clear he did not think Mr. Trump had succeeded.

Amb. William Caldwell Harrop, former ambassador to Israel: Called Mr. Trump’s decision “slightly reckless” and even “kind of a masochistic move” that might “undermine his own, repeatedly discussed, ‘great deal’ of bringing peace to the Israelis and Palestinians. Having decided to make his announcement, Mr. Trump could have been explicit that he would place the embassy in West Jerusalem. One has to be pessimistic. We’ll get, before long, more efforts by Palestinians to build up international recognition of the state of Palestine. Some form of intifada is very likely, and there will be more bloodshed.”

Amb. Edward P. Djerejian, former ambassador to Israel: Mr. Trump portrayed his decision more as a recognition of on-the-ground reality than as a sharp change in policy, insisting that “the specific boundaries” of Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem had yet to be settled.

Amb. Nicholas Burns, former Under Secretary of State: “This would be a historic mistake. All prior American Presidents since Truman knew US could not prejudge a future Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement on one of the most sensitive issues. Irresponsible.”

Aaron David Miller, former Middle East negotiator: “Trump leaning toward declaring Jerusalem capital of Israel w/o opening Embassy. A truly dumb move with absolutely no benefit to the US but considerable risk”

Amb. Dennis Ross, former Director of Policy Planning and Middle East peace negotiator, “If you’re trying to be creative by saying we’re recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, you’d better qualify it,” said Dennis B. Ross, a longtime Middle East peace negotiator. “If you don’t qualify it, that means you’ve just accepted the Israeli position on the final status of Jerusalem, which means you’ve lost the Arabs.”

State Department Personnel, via secure diplomatic cables: The State Department has warned American embassies worldwide to heighten security ahead of a possible announcement Wednesday by President Donald Trump that the U.S. recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. “The impending Jerusalem announcement has me very worried about the possibility of violent responses that could affect embassies,” one State Department official told POLITICO. “I hope I’m wrong.”

American Jewish Organizations

Ameinu: We believe that steps taken today by the Trump Administration and its allies in the Israeli government are foolish and dangerous moves — which undermine efforts for peace and Israel’s ties with the Palestinians, Jordan, Egypt, France, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, the European Union and many others around the world, Aronoff added. In the context of a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians, the world will recognize Jerusalem as the capital of both states. Ameinu is dedicated to working to reach that day as quickly as possible.But today is not that day, and all parties, including the United States, must not take actions that will make peace and reconciliation a more tenuous and distant dream.”

Americans for Peace Now: “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.”

J Street: “It would be a profound mistake for President Trump to take action this week that fundamentally changes long-standing US policy on Jerusalem…The effect of moving the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem or of declaring that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital 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…The administration should also note that only a small minority of Jewish Americans – just 20 percent – support unilaterally moving the embassy. Furthermore, moving the embassy or recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital could have destructive consequences for American allies in the region – in particular the kingdoms of Jordan and Saudi Arabia. While we would hope that any announcement would not result in further violence and suffering – in Israel, in the region and potentially around the world – we fear that it might. There will be a time for American recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and for moving the embassy. That time is after an agreement, not before.”

New Israel Fund: “President Trump many not understand what’s at stake here, but we do. Moving the embassy risks igniting the tinderbox of anger, frustration and hopelessness that already exists in Jerusalem. Throwing…balance off with this unilateral gesture could have grave consequences.”

T’ruah: The Rabbinic Call for Human Rights: “President Trump’s decision to declare Jerusalem the capital of Israel constitutes a symbolic gesture that serves no useful purpose, moves us no closer to a peace agreement, indicates his lack of understanding of the complexities of the region, and will likely lead to unrest and even violence. This unilateral move sends a strong signal to the world that the United States is relinquishing its  position as a peacekeeper and choosing instead to appease those on the far Right who have no interest in finding a path toward peace.”

Union of Reform Judaism: “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. While we share the President’s belief that the U.S. Embassy should, at the right time, be moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, we cannot support his decision to begin preparing that move now, absent a comprehensive plan for a peace process. Additionally, any relocation of the American Embassy to West Jerusalem should be done in the broader context reflecting Jerusalem’s status as a city holy to Jews, Christians and Muslims alike…the White House should not undermine these efforts by making unilateral decisions that are all but certain to exacerbate the conflict. We urge the President to do everything in his power to move forward with efforts to bring true peace to the region and take no unilateral steps that will make that dream more distant.”

Israeli Security Experts and Diplomats

The Policy Working Group, an organization of Israeli activists with diplomatic, academic, political and media backgrounds, including former Israeli diplomats such as Ilan Baruch, Alon Liel and Elie Barnavi: “We are deeply concerned by recent reports that President Trump is seriously considering the announcement of his decision to unilaterally recognize Jerusalem as the capital city of Israel…The status of Jerusalem, the city that houses the holy sites of the three monotheistic religions, lies at the core of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and must be determined within the context of resolving that conflict. A declaration by the president recognizing Jerusalem as the capital city of Israel while ignoring the Palestinian aspirations in this respect would further deepen the asymmetry between the two sides, severely harm the prospects for peace and could ignite the entire region.”

Middle East Leaders and Diplomats

Abdullah II bin Al-Hussein, King of Jordan: Strongly cautioned against the move, “stressing that Jerusalem is the key to achieving peace and stability in the region and the world. King Abdullah stressed that the adoption of this resolution will have serious implications for security and stability in the Middle East, and will undermine the efforts of the American administration to resume the peace process and fuel the feelings of Muslims and Christians,” the statement said.

Ali Salman Ahmed Salman, King of Saudi Arabia: “Moving the U.S. embassy is a dangerous step that provokes the feelings of Muslims around the world.”

Prince Khalid bin Salman, Saudi Arabian Ambassador to the US: Warned of “gravely negative consequences” and said, “The implications of such a move will signal a fundamental change and unwarranted shift in the U.S.’s typically impartial position at a time when the world views the United States of America as an integral part of the peace process. Any U.S. announcement on the status of Jerusalem prior to a final settlement would have a detrimental impact on the peace process and would heighten tensions in the region. The kingdom’s policy has been and remains in support of the Palestinian people, and this has been communicated to the U.S. administration.”

Ayman Safad, Jordanian Foreign Minister: Warned Secretary of State Rex Tillerson that such a decision could “trigger anger across the Arab and Muslim world, fuel tension and jeopardize peace efforts,” according to Jordan’s state news agency.

Salmeh Shoukry, Egyptian Foreign Minister: Discussed with Tillerson the “possible negative impacts” on peace and asked that Tillerson avoid taking decisions that could “stir tensions in the region.”

European Leaders and Diplomats

His Holiness Pope Francis, Bishop of Rome and Sovereign of the State of Vatican City: “I cannot remain silent about my deep concern for the situation that has developed in recent days. And at the same time, I wish to make a heartfelt appeal to ensure that everyone is committed to respecting the status quo of the city, in accordance with the relevant resolutions of the United Nations. Jerusalem is a unique city, sacred to Jews, Christians and Muslims, where the Holy Places for the respective religions are venerated, and it has a special vocation to peace. I pray to the Lord that such identity be preserved and strengthened for the benefit of the Holy Land, the Middle East and the entire world, and that wisdom and prudence prevail, to avoid adding new elements of tension in a world already shaken and scarred by many cruel conflicts.”

António Guterres, United Nations Secretary General: “Any unilateral measures that would jeopardize the prospect of peace for Israelis and Palestinians,” underscoring the administration’s departure from decades of American policy. Jerusalem is a final-status issue that must be resolved through direct negotiations between the two parties on the basis of the relevant Security Council and General Assembly resolutions, taking into account the legitimate concerns of both the Palestinian and the Israeli sides. In this moment of great anxiety, I want to make it clear: There is no alternative to the two-state solution. There is no Plan B.”

Federica Mogherini, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy: “During our bilateral meeting we discussed mainly four issues; first of all, the Middle East peace process, the European Union support, the resumption of a meaningful peace process towards a two-state solution. We believe that any action that would undermine these efforts must absolutely be avoided. A way must be found through negotiations to resolve the status of Jerusalem as the future capital of both states so that the aspiration of both parties can be fulfilled.”

Theresa May, British Prime Minister: “Jerusalem should ultimately be the shared capital of the Israeli and Palestinian states. In line with relevant Security Council Resolutions, we regard East Jerusalem as part of the Occupied Palestinian Territories.”

Emmanuel Macron, President of France: The decision by Mr. Trump is regrettable.”France and Europe are committed to a two-state solution.”

Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany: [She] “does not support this position, because the status of Jerusalem is to be resolved in the framework of a two-state solution.”

Paolo Gentiloni Prime Minister of Italy: “Jerusalem’s future will be defined within the framework of the peace process based on the two states, Israel and Palestine.”

Sigmar Gabriel, German Foreign Minister: “U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel will be counterproductive & will only worsen the crisis. A solution to the issue of Jerusalem should be achieved through negotiations.”

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