I was deeply distressed (though not terribly surprised), at President Trump’s unilateral announcement to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. This really is a new low point in his behaviour.
Palestinians have suffered 70 years of exile in their own land and beyond since the UN creation of the state of Israel. They continue to suffer from settler and military violence, the imprisonment of their children, and the systematic chipping away of their human rights. Trump’s latest move will cause untold suffering and violence and is designed to completely destroy any chance at mutual peace and justice for Israelis and Palestinians.
By this action, Trump is telling the Israeli government and military 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 legitimizes Israel’s violations in Jerusalem of the Fourth Geneva Convention, including its demolition of Palestinian homes, its illegal settlements, and its apartheid wall.
I urge the Canadian government to absolutely condemn President Trump’s decision today, and to work with the United Nations to hold Israel accountable to the standards of international law. Surely we want a peaceful and just co-existence for both Israelis and Palestinians in the land we once called `Holy’.
Rev. Juanita Austin