National Press Club
December 5th 2017
Press Conference organized by American Muslims for Palestine. https://www.ampalestine.org/
My name is Imam Johari Abdul-Malik, Although, I serve on the board of The Interfaith Conference of Greater Washington (IFC) my views here do not represent the IFC.
In recent days President Trump has stated that he intends to declare Jerusalem the capitol of Isreal and to relocate the US Embassy. There appears to be a consensus among US diplomats, career foriegn policy experts and US allies that this proposal leads in the wrong direction.
Jerusalem is a spiritual to Judaism, Christianity and a Islam. As Blackamerican Muslim who has I visited the Holy Land. It felt like the Jim Crow south years ago. I felt the tensions between Isrealis and Palestinians. But, I know people on the ground who are working for peaceful coexistence among the Jewish, Christian, Muslim and secular communities in the Jerusalem and beyond.
President Trump’s reckless statement is an warranted provocation to extremists on all sides of the political spectrum in the Holy Land derail peace in the region.
A Rabbi friend wrote me, “My bottom line (which I have tried without success to get Palestinian and Israeli leaders to mutually call for) is that the US should announce that it will recognize Jerusalem as the capital of each of two states, Israel and Palestine, and it looks forward to moving its official presence to Jerusalem to celebrate the signing of a peace agreement between them”.
Former Ronald Reagan’s imposition of the South African policy of “constructive engagement” failed. President Trump’s call to move the US Embassy and to establish Jerusalem as the political capitol of Isreal should be called “Destructive Engagement”.
We used to say back in the 60’s, “If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem”. Trumps foriegn policy once again is a big “part of the problem”.