Reactions to Trump's Jerusalem move

Reactions from the Jewish conservatives and liberals were true to their book

Jews on the political right welcomed U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. However, centrist leaders and those leaning to the left expressed worries that the move will fuel tensions in the Middle East. They are afraid peace efforts with Palestinians will take a turn for the worse. The diplomatic isolation of both Israel and the United States will only grow after this decision.

Trump wants the Jewish vote, however, only 24 percent of Jews voted for Trump during the 2016 presidential race. The Jewish vote traditionally goes to the Democrats and in 2016 an overwhelming 71 percent gave their vote in favor of Hillary Clinton. A year later, the Jewish right of center loudly applauded the Trump decision. According to them, it constitutes a historic step. Many of them have expressed gratitude to the Trump administration for taking such a step. The list of such organizations includes Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America, Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, Zionist Organization of America, and Republican Jewish Coalition. Even the Anti-Defamation League, known for its centrist stands, has welcomed the move.

A number of left-wing Jewish organizations have severely criticized the move. The strongest criticism came from the politically liberal J Street. The organization is known for its pro-Israel, and pro-peace stance and advocates the same as U.S. foreign policy. The statement issued by the organization described the decision using words such as “damaging” and “unhelpful.” The biggest American denominational movement inside the United States, Union for Reform Judaism, described Trump’s move as “ill-timed” and said the decision can only increase the conflict among Israeli-Palestinians.

Rabbi Rick Jacobs, the president of Union for Reform Judaism, said Trump's decision reaffirmed what was always held true by Reform Jewish Movement: the eternal capital of the Jews and State of Israel is Jerusalem. Even though his organization shares the belief that the American representative office should be moved from Tel Aviv to the new capital Jerusalem, the transfer right now is not something that can be supported as there is no comprehensive plan for the peace process. The Rabbi also said President Trump must not take any action to torpedo efforts for peace between Israelis and Palestinians. Other than Jewish leaders, a number of leaders of other faiths have expressed their alarm as well.

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