Trump has just upended decades of US foreign policy by recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. This effectively hands Israel a blank political check for its illegal annexation of Jerusalem and legitimizes Israel’s ongoing displacement and disenfranchisement of the city’s Palestinian residents. Trump’s move is politically dangerous, and morally egregious.
We are raising our voices in protest of this unprecedented move that flies in the face of international law, and are bringing Palestinian rights back into the conversation. You can read our official statement here, and see our take on the situation in The Washington Post, The Intercept, Middle East Eye, BuzzFeed News, and USA Today.
Trump is telling Israel that its current separate-and-unequal – otherwise known as apartheid – regime between Israeli Jews and Palestinians, which discriminates against Palestinians in municipal planning services, taxation, housing and education, and is designed to demographically engineer a permanent Jewish majority in Jerusalem, is A-okay. He is also legitimizing Israel’s violations in Jerusalem of the Fourth Geneva Convention, including but not limited to its demolition of Palestinian homes, its illegal settlements, and its apartheid wall.
For 70 years now, the US has given Israel tacit approval and diplomatic cover to steal Palestinian land, build illegal Jewish settlements, and deny Palestinians in East Jerusalem and elsewhere their rights. In spite of this, official US policy has always opposed recognizing Israel’s claims to sovereignty over the city.
Not anymore. Trump’s recognition does away with any pretense that the US is an unbiased mediator, and further endorses Israel’s illegal actions and abuses of Palestinian human rights in the city.
This move is but another example of Trump emboldening Israel’s extreme right-wing government and settler movement, and drives home the shared values of Trump and Netanyahu’s right-wing governments: stoking racism, xenophobia, and fear for political gain.
If you are looking for more information about the implications of this move, read our policy paper on the topic, “Moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem: Historical, Legal and Policy Considerations.”
Trump’s announcement makes it glaringly obvious that it is long past time for the world to pressure Israel to respect Palestinian human rights through support for boycott, divestment, and sanctions (BDS). We will continue to uplift BDS as we fight for freedom, justice, and equality. Trump has made clear today that BDS is more important than ever.