Deputy DNC Chairman:
'Recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital a horrible tragedy'

Deputy chair of Democratic National Committee Keith Ellison warns President Trump against recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

David Rosenberg,

Keith Ellison
Keith Ellison
REUTERS

A top Democrat warned President Donald Trump against recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital Monday night, calling the expected declaration “a horrible tragedy”.

President Donald Trump is poised to issue a major statement on US policy vis-à-vis Jerusalem, numerous reports citing senior US officials claim, with either an announcement on the relocation of the US embassy to Jerusalem, or formal recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital city expected.

While White House officials have remained mum on the issue, with the president’s son-in-law and senior advisor Jared Kushner claiming the president remains undecided on the issue, senior US officials have told various Israel and American news outlets that Trump is likely to announce the policy change this week.

The expected announcement has drawn criticism from bureaucrats at home and leaders abroad, with France’s Emmanuel Macron expressing ‘concern’ after a telephone conversation with Trump on the issue.

On Monday, Democratic National Committee deputy chief and Minnesota congressman Keith Ellison also expressed opposition to the possible announcement on Jerusalem, calling it a “horrible tragedy”.

“I believe in a two-state solution – an Israeli state and a Palestinian state side by side in peace and security,” Ellison told Democracy Now!. “So issues of where the capitals will be has always been something that will be negotiated in the course of a peace agreement between Israelis and Palestinians.”

"This unilateral departure from that is really upsetting the idea that we're going to have a negotiated settlement," Ellison said. "It is something simply that will delay peace and make it much more difficult to obtain peace in the Middle East, and it is another dramatic departure from diplomacy, from negotiated settlements. It's just Trump stomping all over what we've been trying to do as a nation to foster a negotiated two-state solution for many, many years. So it's really a horrible tragedy."

Ellison, who in the past expressed support for Nation of Islam leader and black supremacist Louis Farrakhan, denied claims of anti-Semitism last year when he ran for the DNC’s top post.

A video recording of Ellison claiming that American Jews dictate US foreign policy drew criticism from the ADL, which called the comments “disqualifying”.

“The United States foreign policy in the Middle East is governed by what is good or bad through a country of 7 million people,” Ellison, the first Muslim elected to Congress, is heard saying. “A region of 350 million all turns on a country of 7 million. Does that make sense? Is that logic? Right? When the Americans who trace their roots back to those 350 million get involved, everything changes. Can I say that again?”




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