Tuesday, February 19, 2019
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#JerusalemIsTheCapitalofPalestine: Social media reacts

Social media users vent their frustration as US president announces he will recognise Jerusalem as capital of Israel.

East Jerusalem

US President Donald Trump has once again sent shock waves around the world, after announcing he will recognise Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

According to senior White House officials, Trump will direct the state department to begin the lengthy process of moving the US embassy from Tel Aviv to the city.

Leaders in the Middle East and elsewhere had warned Trump that such a move would have grave implications for the so-called peace process and on regional stability.

Jerusalem's status is an extremely sensitive aspect of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Israel claims the city as its capital, following the occupation of East Jerusalem in the 1967 war with Syria, Egypt and Jordan, and considers Jerusalem to be a "united" city.

Palestinians have long seen East Jerusalem as the capital of their future state.

They say that a US move to relocate the embassy would undermine any attempt by Washington to restart the peace process.

Here is what people on social media have been saying:

This user, based in the United States, provided some context. "In 1995, Congress passed the Jerusalem Embassy Act, requiring the movement of the American Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. The executive branch refused to implement the law. That law passed 93-5 in the Senate and 374-37 in the House."

Trita Parsi, founder and president of the National Iranian American Council, said the announcement was "the mother of all dumb moves".

Journalist Syed Talat Hussain wrote: "Trump seems on a mission to wreck the remains of peace in the Middle East and elsehwere. Will be interesting to see how different Muslim countries react to this dangerous gambit."

The Daily Star newspaper in Lebanon tweeted its front-page cover. "No offence Mr. President. Jerusalem is the capital of PALESTINE" the headline read.

That sentiment was prevalent.

Head of the Joint Arab list in the Knesset, politician and lawyer Ayman Odeh, wrote: "Trump is a pyromaniac who could set the region on fire with his madness. It proves that the US can’t be the sponsor in negotiations. If Israeli gov’t wants the world to recognize W. Jerusalem as the capital all it has to do is recognize E. Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine!"

Samar Ziadat, an art historian, tweeted: "Jerusalem is the capital of Palestine. Israel is an apartheid state founded on the illegal occupation of Palestine by the Israeli military. Zionism is the racist & colonial ideology which justifies the ethnic cleansing of my people - the indigenous people of Palestine."

"Jerusalem is the capital of Palestine" also trended in Arabic on Twitter.

Activist and spokesman for Break Gaza Siege @adham922, who is based in Gaza, said: "Be aware of making the issue of Jerusalem a controversial issue, as we must keep it a great value above any dispute between us. Every effort for Jerusalem is appreciated and blessed, as it is the first/main issue of Muslims."

@AAlMashaikhi said: "Trump is an eccentric man. Fighting terrorism and at the same time dealing with the Zionists who do not represent the Jewish religion."

@al3nze_g wrote: "It was destroyed twice, trapped 23 times, occupied and liberated 44 times and attacked 52 times. But Jerusalem remains the city of peace All of them are passing but Jerusalem is remaining."

Other warned of potential unrest.

Ijeoma Oluo, an editor, said Trump was attempting to "stoke violence that he can use to justify the fear & persecution of Muslims here that he uses to get bigots to the polls".

"If Trump moves the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem it will fan flames and provoke those who hold the city dear," tweeted the Jewish Voice for Peace organisation, a vocal opponent of Israeli policies on Palestine and its people.


Ali Abunimah, the co-founder of Electronic Intifada, an online magazine that documents the Israeli occupation, wrote: "There is ALWAYS already violence in Jerusalem: military occupation is by definition violence."

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