Today, in response to reports that President Donald Trump will begin the process to move the American Embassy to Jerusalem, Daniel Sokatch, CEO of the New Israel Fund, released the following statement:
“Moving the US embassy to Jerusalem at this time is a symbolic move that helps no one except hardliners. It would be a dangerous, reckless, and irresponsible move by a dangerous, reckless, and irresponsible American president, and Palestinians and Israelis will be the ones to pay the price.
“We, along with Israeli custom and law relate to Jerusalem as Israel’s capital – but international recognition of Jerusalem’s status has always hinged on a successful resolution to the conflict, as part of a negotiated, final status peace agreement. Doing so outside of that context severely damages prospects for a negotiated peace agreement.
“President Trump may 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. Fifty years of occupation, a string of failed peace negotiations since Oslo, and no resolution in sight has created a delicate balance for people on-the-ground and throwing that balance off with this unilateral gesture could have grave consequences.
“As NIF president Talia Sasson wrote earlier this year, “If the United States is not prepared to condemn the continued Israeli construction in East Jerusalem and the West Bank, which with every passing day further repels peace from our region, the least it can do is prevent the tragic conflagration that would consume our region with the transfer of the American embassy to Jerusalem.” ”
Photo by Dennis Jarvis