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Joint list politicians lead protest in Sachnin, December 15, 2017.(Photo by: COURTESY JOINT LIST)
Thousands of Israeli Arabs protest Trump's Jerusalem decision
By BEN LYNFIELD
12/15/2017
"The future of Israel will not be decided by Trump but rather by the Israeli public which must live in peace not with New York or San Francisco but with the Arab nation and the Palestinian nation.
Thousands of Arab citizens demonstrated Friday in the Galilee city of Sakhnin against US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, with speakers stressing that there will be no peace unless east Jerusalem becomes the capital of an independent Palestine.

Demonstrators, some of whom came from as far away as the Negev, carried Palestinian flags and signs saying “Jerusalem and al-Aksa are a redline,” as they made their way through the city streets to municipality square.

Muhammad Barakei, head of the High Follow-Up Committee, the Israeli Arab community’s leadership body, called on all Arab and Islamic countries to withdraw their ambassadors from Washington in protest of Trump’s declaration.

Raja Zaatry, a committee official, quoted Barakei as telling the crowd: “Jerusalem will not be alone. All the Palestinian people will defend it. The rights of the Palestinian people do not derive from the declarations of American imperialism.

“There will be no peace without east Jerusalem as the capital of the Palestinian state,” he continued.

“We won’t surrender to the threats of the rightist government.

The criminals of the government are [Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu, [Education Minister Naftali] Bennett and [Defense Minister Avigdor] Liberman.”

Barakei also condemned Saudi Arabia, which he said was party to the American move.

East Jerusalem activist Muhammad Jadallah accused the Israel Police of turning the Old City into a “military base.”

“But our spirit will prevail because we have the right and the mission to guard Jerusalem,” he said.

Ghazal Abu Raya, spokesman for the Sakhnin Municipality, told The Jerusalem Post: “Our message is that Trump excluded himself from being a mediator and took a side. He has harmed the peace process, which is a Palestinian and an Israeli interest. We called on the Jewish public, saying that the future of Israel will not be decided by Trump but rather by the Israeli public, which must live in peace not with New York or San Francisco, but with the Arab nation and the Palestinian nation. We called on the Jewish public to disregard this decision.

“Unfortunately, the government of Israel wants to perpetuate the occupation,” he said. “Arabs and Jews must struggle together to free the country from the culture of occupation, which is a moral and economic burden.”
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