More than 100 Jewish scholars condemn Trump's Jerusalem move

More than 100 Jewish scholars condemn Trump's Jerusalem move
Jewish scholars in North America have blasted a decision by Donald Trump to highly contentious move the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
2 min read
10 December, 2017
Jewish groups in North America oppose Trump's Jerusalem move plans [AFP]

More than 100 Jewish scholars in North America issued a statement to President Donald Trump, slamming plans to move the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

The clerics condemned the announcement by Trump on Wednesday that the US would recognise Israel's claims of Jerusalem as its capital, a decision which was met with surprise and universal condemnation.

"A declaration from the United States government that appears to endorse sole Jewish proprietorship over Jerusalem adds insult to ongoing injury and is practically guaranteed to fan the flames of violence," the statement signed by the scholars in the US and Canada said.

"We therefore call on the US government to take immediate steps to deescalate the tensions resulting from the president's declaration and to clarify Palestinians' legitimate stake in the future of Jerusalem," Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported.

It also said the move looks to formalise Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories and makes a peace deal between the two sides almost impossible to reach now.

"[The Jerusalem move] is outside of a negotiated political framework that ends the legal state of occupation and ensures respect for the rights of all Israelis and Palestinians to Jerusalem," the scholars added.

The group noted that Palestinians "endure systematic inequalities" in occupied east Jerusalem and face continued discrimination from Israeli authorities.

Many of the scholars are known opponents of Republican President Donald Trump who attempted to appeal to Democrat-majority Jewish voters by promising to recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

Trump has been criticised for appealing to anti-Semetic groups and media during his election campaign.

His alliance with Breitbart head and the former chief strategist of the president Steve Bannon has been under the spotlight, who once allegedly called Jews "whiny brats".

Bannon is still a firm supporter of Israel and has spoken at right-wing Jewish group meetings in the US, calling on members to back Trump.