Reform Movement opposes Trump’s US embassy move to Jerusalem ‘at present’

"We cannot support his decision to begin preparing that move now, absent a comprehensive plan for a peace process,” said Jacobs.

December 6, 2017 17:03
2 minute read.
Rabbi Rick Jacobs

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas meets with Rabbi Rick Jacobs. (photo credit: WAFA)


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The Reform movement in the US stated on Tuesday night that it opposes US President Donald Trump’s plan to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and move the US Embassy outside of a “comprehensive plan for a peace process.”

In its statement, President of the Union for Reform Judaism Rabbi Rick Jacobs described the move as “ill-timed” and said that moving the embassy would “exacerbate the conflict.”

Likewise, Jacobs said that relocating the US Embassy to Jerusalem should also reflect “Jerusalem’s status as a city holy to Jews, Christians and Muslims alike.”

The rabbi did, however, underline the Reform Movement’s position that Jerusalem is the capital of the Jewish people and of Israel and that the embassy should eventually be moved to the holy city.

“Yet, while we share the president’s belief that the US Embassy should, at the right time, be moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, we cannot support his decision to begin preparing that move now, absent a comprehensive plan for a peace process,” said Jacobs.

“Additionally, any relocation of the American Embassy to west Jerusalem should be conceived and executed in the broader context reflecting Jerusalem’s status as a city holy to Jews, Christians and Muslims alike.”

Jacobs pointed out that Jared Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser, said this week that an Israeli-Palestinian agreement would help bring stability to the Middle East, but Jacobs argued that “unilateral decisions” by Trump regarding the US embassy “are all but certain to exacerbate the conflict.”

On Wednesday, the heads of all the major Christian denominations in Israel also called on Trump not to move the US Embassy to Jerusalem.

In an open letter to the US president, Patriarch Theophilos III of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate; Pierbattista Pizzaballa, Apostolic Administrator of the Latin Patriarchate; Archbishop Joseph-Jules Zerey of the Greek-Melkite-Catholic Patriarchate; Archbishop Suheil Dawani of the Anglican Church in Israel; and several other Christian leaders said that the move “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.”

The Christian clerics called on Trump “to continue recognizing the present international status of Jerusalem,” adding that “The Holy City can be shared and fully enjoyed once a political process helps liberate the hearts of all people that live within it from the conditions of conflict and destructiveness that they are experiencing.”

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