Thousands protested on Friday, December 8, in the Arab city of Umm al-Fahm in northern Israel against US President Donald Trump’s declaration recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. The protest, one of the largest to take place in an Arab community in Israel since the founding of the state, was organized by the Arab Higher Monitoring Committee.
MK Yosef Jabareen (Hadash – Joint List) addressed the assembled masses and stated that Trump’s decree both denies the historical rights of Palestinians in the city of Jerusalem and spits in the face of the international consensus.
Trump’s announcement reversed decades of US policy, angering the Arab world and alarming Western allies. However, the US president also said that Washington was not laying down a position on “final-status” issues including boundaries of Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem, which the two parties would have to decide in negotiations. The Israeli establishment has long deemed Jerusalem its “eternal, indivisible capital” of the country. Palestinians want occupied East Jerusalem to be capital of an independent Palestinian state they seek to establish on land that Israel has been occupying since June 1967.
“The Trump declaration is comparable to the Balfour declaration,” Jabareen told the Jerusalem Post. “One country gives something it doesn’t own to a side that doesn’t deserve it.” He said that the position of Hadash position is that Jerusalem should be the shared capital of Israel and a future Palestinian state, whether divided between east and west or through an arrangement that will keep the city united.
On Tuesday, December 12, a protest is being planned in Tel Aviv opposite the American embassy and, on Friday, December 15, a major protest intended to draw people from around the country will take place in the northern Arab city of Sakhnin.