Torah at Kotel.
(photo credit: BiblePlaces.com)
Over 100 US Jewish studies scholars have expressed their “dismay” over the Trump administration’s declaration that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel.
The petition, signed by 124 scholars from universities and colleges across the county, protests the US government’s decision “to reverse decades of bipartisan US policy by declaring Jerusalem the capital of Israel, and authorizing the relocation of the US Embassy from Tel Aviv, 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.
“Jerusalem is of immense religious and thus emotional significance to Jews, Muslims, and Christians alike,” their statement continues. “It is the focus of national aspirations for both Israelis and Palestinians. We hope one day to see a world in which all inhabitants of the land enjoy equal access to the city’s cultural and material resources. Today, unfortunately, that is not the case.”
The document includes a link to the left-wing Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem, citing alleged discrimination against Arab residents of Jerusalem with regard to municipal services, building permits and home demolitions, among other issues.
“In addition, Palestinians in the West Bank, unlike Jewish Israelis resident in that territory, require a special permit to visit Jerusalem’s holy sites,” they state.
The scholars, therefore, see the US declaration as an endorsement of sole Jewish proprietorship over Jerusalem, “practically guaranteed to fan the flames of violence.”
They called on the US government to take immediate steps to de-escalate tensions and to clarify the Palestinians’ stake in the future of Jerusalem.