Donald Trump’s decision to move the American embassy and ‘recognise’ Jerusalem as the de-facto capital of Israel has garnered global condemnation from the world’s political and religious leadership. It is a move that has been branded as detrimental to the peace-process and deliberately inflammatory.
Spiritual home to three of the world’s major religions, the move has inevitable ramifications for religious freedom. Senior figures from Islam, Judaism and Christianity have come out in a united voice to condemn the move.
Shaykh Omar Suleiman tweeted,
— Omar Suleiman (@omarsuleiman504) December 6, 2017
American Palestinian civil liberties and human rights activist Linda Sarsour tweeted,
Any sane diplomat, national security and/or foreign policy expert will tell you this is a disaster & will further alienate Middle East leaders and countries. https://t.co/am8E0VCuvo
— Linda Sarsour (@lsarsour) December 6, 2017
Imam Suhaib Webb tweeted,
Six reasons why moving the US embassy is a bad idea. pic.twitter.com/15pKjhlhTI
— Suhaib Webb (@ImamSuhaibWebb) December 6, 2017
There was sharp criticism from some prominent rabbis in the US. Rabbi David Shneyer, founder and director of the Am Kolel Jewish Renewal Community of Greater Washington, said,
“Given the sensitivities and what you can provoke, I don’t think a decision like this can be made by one individual, whether it’s the president of the United States or the creator of the universe. This kind of decision needs to be considered by a larger group of people. It can involve various players who are familiar with all the issues. It’s not a decision that can be taken lightly.”
Ron Klein, a former congressman for Florida and chairman of the Jewish Democratic Council of America, said,
“As is typical with much of his rhetoric, today’s announcement is short on details and substance. Unlike under Presidents Bill Clinton, George Bush and Barack Obama, the current administration has neglected efforts to meaningfully support peace between Palestinians and Israelis. President Trump has abdicated America’s traditional role in the region and created a void that Russia is quickly and dangerously filling“.
In an impassioned address from Pope Francis, he said,
“I cannot keep quiet about my deep worry about the situation that has been created in the last few days, everyone respects the status quo of the city. I pray to the Lord that its identity is preserved and strengthened for the benefit of the Holy Land, the Middle East and the whole world and that wisdom and prudence prevail to prevent new elements of tension from being added to a global context already convulsed by so many cruel conflicts.”
In a Facebook post, the Archbishop of Canterbury wrote,
In a joint letter signed by 13 Patriarchs and heads of Churches in Jerusalem, including the Anglican Archbishop in Jerusalem, it was said,
“We are certain that such steps will yield increased hatred, conflict, violence and suffering in Jerusalem and the Holy Land, moving us farther from the goal of unity and deeper toward destructive division.
We ask from you, Mr President, to help us all walk towards more love and a definitive peace, which cannot be reached without Jerusalem being for all. . . Our solemn advice and plea is for the US to continue recognising the present international status of Jerusalem. Any sudden changes would cause irreparable harm.”