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Dozens of CNY Muslims, Others Gather to Denounce Decision to Recognize Jersualem as Israel's Capital

Dozens of Syracuse-area Muslims were joined by a handful of Jewish and Christian friends in front of the federal building today to decry President Trump’s unilateral decision to recognize the city of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.  President of the Islamic Society of Central New York Mohamed Khater says the Holy City is sacred to all three monotheistic religions, and Trump’s move does nothing to help the peace process.

Credit Scott Willis / WAER News
A speaker at the protest outlined the meaning of Jerusalem to Muslims, saying the Holy City does not belong to any one of the monotheistic religions.

"He's aggravating all the Muslims and the Christians in the Arab world and the area, saying, 'why is the president doing this?'"

A speaker addressed the crowd:

"Officially changing Jerusalem's status is reckless and dangerous, and would shift the decades-old U.S. position that Jerusalem is a disputed ground, and its status should be resolved through negotiations."   

Khater says the President's move is an injustice:    

"No Muslim, No Arab is saying we don't want the Jews there.  The best [scenario] is to have a broker to get people together, have them talk to each other, to facilitate things.  At this point, why would people trust the United States  because they're always with Israel, and they're not an honest broker."

The rally speaker says Trump's own foreign policy advisors cautioned him against the decision.

"Declaring Jerusalem as Israel's capital not only transgresses the rights of Palestinians who are being ethnically cleansed in their own homeland, but it also threatens U.S. national security and interests.  It severely jeopardizes it's standing around the world, especially within the Muslim world.  It ends any possibility of being an honest broker in the Middle East."

They denounce any violence that might erupt in the Middle East as a result, but acknowledge some Palestinians might feel frustrated and desperate to be heard.  

Credit Scott Willis / WAER News