Trump’s ‘carte blanche’ attitude toward Israeli policies not good for United States

Press Releases
January 25, 2017


Kristin Szremski
National director of media and communications
202.796.8417; [email protected]

(WASHINGTON DC 01/25/2017) –The American Muslims for Palestine, a national education organization, today is expressing great concern over the fact that President Trump and his likely ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, are fundamentally and unilaterally shifting U.S. policy toward settlements, Jerusalem and Palestinian self-determination in a manner that will hurt American credibility with our global partners, inflame tensions in the Middle East and threaten U.S. national security.

Without a comprehensive understanding of the history and current geopolitical context to guide his words and actions, Donald Trump is more intent on catering to pro-Israel supporters including his own son-in-law Jared Kushner who, along with his family, has donated millions of dollars to the extremist settler movement in Israel. From pledging to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem to remaining silent on Israeli plans to build 3,000 new units in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, the Trump administration is setting a new bar for Israeli impunity.

“The Israelis feel emboldened because of what they see as President Trump’s tacit approval of the occupation and settlements,” said Dr. Osama Abuirshaid, AMP national policy director. “Trump, along with his son-in-law Jared Kushner and potential U.S. Ambassador David Friedman, is actually reforming U.S. policy without input from the career diplomats in State Department, the intelligence community, and Middle East experts. This is absolutely unacceptable.”

U.S. policy has always viewed settlements as illegal and illegitimate, a position backed up with the December 2016 UN Security Council Resolution 2334, which confirmed Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem have “no legal validity.” The resolution, which passed on 14 votes and the historic U.S. abstention, also does not recognize land annexed by Israel into Jerusalem outside the June 4, 1967 lines. 

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his government have become emboldened by Trump’s stance and the likelihood that Friedman, who is the president of an American organization that funds Israeli settlements, will become U.S. ambassador to Israel. This week, Netanyahu lifted construction restrictions in East Jerusalem, opening the door for the massive resettlement of Israeli Jews into Arab neighborhoods; and the White House remained silent when the Israeli government announced plans to build 2,500 new housing units in the West Bank. The new attitude coming from the Trump administration prompted Education Minister Naftali Bennet to Tweet: “For the first time in 50 years, the prime minister can decide: either sovereignty or Palestine.”

“Trump’s disregard for Palestinians rights is appalling but not surprising based upon the racist and bigoted comments he made during the campaign,” Abuirshaid said. “Trump has caved to Zionist interests and that is definitely not in the best interest of the United States.” 

NOTE: AMP is organizing #FreeJerusalem rallies across the nation to protest Donald Trump’s pledge to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem as well as his nomination of pro-settler movement attorney David Friedman as U.S. ambassador to Israel. The rallies will take place in New York City on Feb. 2; and in Washington DC, Philadelphia, Columbus Chicago, and Los Angeles on Feb. 4. For more information, contact Media Director Kristin Szremski at 202.796.8417; [email protected].