MEMO TO PRESIDENT TRUMP AND PRIME MINISTER NETANYAHU

THERE’S A REASON WHY EVERY PRESIDENT SINCE JOHN F. KENNEDY HAS NOT MOVED THE US EMBASSSY TO JERUSALEM AND EIGHTY FOUR COUNTRIES HAVE THEIR EMBASSIES IN TEL AVIV AND NONE ARE IN JERUSALEM

The facts of the matter:

The Fourth Geneva Convention (1948) prohibits countries from annexing territories conquered in war. The UN Security Councils there ruled that the annexation of East Jerusalem ws illegal under international law and are not recognized by the international community. This is in response to WWII where Germany conquered countries and made them part of greater Germany. Russia also wanted to make countries such as the Baltics and Crimea part of Russia.

The international community regards Jerusalem as a city whose final status willl be determined in direct negotiations between the Israelis and the Palestinians.. Both sides want Jerusalem as their capitol.

Three main reasons to oppose moving the embassy to Jerusalem.

FIRST, BY MOVING THE EMBASSY TO JERUSALEM, THE U.S. WILL BE DEFYING INTERNATIONAL LAW

But who cares about International Law or the Security Council resolution? They have no teeth.

International Law was codified in response to Nazi atrocities during WWII and designed to prevent history from repeating itself . The Fourth Geneva Convention for example was adopted in August 1949 and designed to govern the treatment of civilians during wartime, including hostages, diplomats, spies, bystanders and civilians in territory under military occupation The convention outlaws torture, collective punishment and the resettlement by an occupying power of its own civilians into territory under its military control. If we in the U.S. trash it – how could we sanction Russia for annexing Crimea. Think of the acceptance of the settlements on the West Bank and annexation of East Jerusalem.

SECOND, MOVING THE EMBASSY BY THE U.S. WILL DISQUALIFY ITSELF FROM ACTING AS A FAIR BROKER OR MEDIATOR IN THE ISRAELI=PALESTINIAN CONFLICT.

It will be explicitedly predetermining the outcome of the negotiations by taking a pro-Israeli position. Moving the embassy will prejudge the permanent status issueof Jerusalem, in direct violation of the Oslo accords, which states “It was understood that several isssues were postponed to permanent status negotiations, including Jerusalem”.

FINALLY, MOVING THE EMBASSY POTENTIALLY WILL BRING ABOUT AN EXPLOSION OF VIOLENCE.

Jordan and other Arab countries have already indicated that this will cause an explosion in the Arab world. The fact is as experts in this area have noted, “we have never witnessed a geopolitical move as potentially shocking and infuriating to the Palestinian sector as moving the embassy. Such a move will tell the Palestinians “Abandon hope. Political processes – negotiations, diplomacy, and the like – will not only not help you they will harm you”.

AND EXPERIENCE TEACHES US THAT VIOLENCE THAT BEGINS IN JERUSALEM VERY RARELY STAYS IN JERUSALEM.

Islamic terrorist organizations will rally support around what they will argue is a threat to Al Quds. U.S; embassies around the Muslim world could be targeted.

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Maya Haber is the director of Programming and Strategy at Partners for a Progressive Israel. She blogs for the Huffington Post and contributed to the Forward, Haaretz, the Post Gazette and +972.

 

Larry Lerner is aPast President of Partners for a Progressive Israel and is President of the Union of Councils for Jews in the former Soviet Union (UCSJ).

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