More than 100 Jewish studies scholars have condemned President Donald Trump’s announcement of the US recognizing Jerusalem al-Quds as Israel’s capital.
In a petition released on Thursday, at least 110 signatories from universities and colleges across the United States called on Trump to cancel the controversial decision.
“We write as Jewish Studies scholars to express our dismay at the Trump administration’s decision to reverse decades of bipartisan US policy by declaring Jerusalem [al-Quds] the capital of Israel, and authorizing the relocation of the US embassy from Tel Aviv,” the petition read.
“A declaration from the United States government that appears to endorse sole Jewish proprietorship over Jerusalem [al-Quds] adds insult to ongoing injury and is practically guaranteed to fan the flames of violence,” it added.
The petition said the Israeli regime is perpetrating “systematic inequalities” against the Palestinian people.
“Palestinian residents of Jerusalem [al-Quds] endure systematic inequalities, including an inequitable distribution of the city’s budget and municipal services, routine denial of building permits that are granted to Jewish residents, home demolitions, and legal confiscation of property for Jewish settlement,” the petition argued.
“In addition, Palestinians in the West Bank, unlike Jewish Israelis resident in that territory, require a special permit to visit Jerusalem [al-Quds]’s holy sites,” it continued.
In a speech at the White House on Wednesday, Trump officially declared Jerusalem al-Quds as Israel’s capital, saying his administration would also begin a process of moving the American embassy in Tel Aviv to the holy city, which is expected to take years.
“I have determined that it is time to officially recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel,” Trump said. “While previous presidents have made this a major campaign promise, they failed to deliver. Today, I am delivering.”
The US leader also said that Vice President Mike Pence will travel to the Middle East in the coming days “to reaffirm our commitment to work with partners throughout the Middle East to defeat radicalism.”
The announcement was a major shift by Washington that overturns decades of US foreign policy. Trump’s decision was mostly aimed at pleasing his main supporters – Republican conservatives and evangelical Christian Zionists who comprise an important share of his voter base.