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Student Activists Plan to Protest Trump’s Expected Announcement Recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s Capital


Student activists around the country are planning protests of President Donald Trump's expected announcement later Wednesday recognizing Jerusalem as Israel's capital and expressing his intention to relocate the U.S. embassy to the city.

In New York City, the Palestine Solidarity Alliance of Hunter College and Jewish Voice for Peace, a far-left organization, are cohosting a protest titled, in Arabic, "We will not abandon Jerusalem."

Hundreds have expressed interest in attending the demonstration. Students from Columbia University, Brooklyn College, and the New School have marked themselves as "going."

Students for Justice in Palestine (SJP) at the University of Oklahoma have organized a similar protest for this afternoon.

Trump's move would be in "violation of international law," insists SJP.

The group has claimed, "The demonstration is not associated with our organization or any OU association," though the club is listed as the official hosts of the demonstration and promoted the event on their social media page.

SJP did not respond to request for comment and clarification of its role.

Some 300 people may be expected at an "emergency rally" in Boston organized by the Jewish group IfNotNow, which believes Israel is a "daily nightmare" for Palestinians.

Teachers' assistants and students from up and down the New England corridor, including those at Brown University and Northeastern University, plan to be in attendance to mourn the "tragedy for our beloved Jewish people" wrought by the anticipated announcement, as the protest description explains.

IfNotNow organizers call Trump's reported policy decision a "deliberate incitement of violence."

"Our generation of young American Jews will not allow Trump and AIPAC [a pro-Israel lobby] to start a war in our name," they concluded.

J Street, a dovish Jewish organization, came out in strong opposition to recognition of Jerusalem.

J Street President Jeremy Ben-Ami has cautioned that the Trump administration is "playing with fire." Social media accounts affiliated with the group's student arm have issued condemnations and criticisms, as well.

Meanwhile, prominent, progressive anti-Israel activist Linda Sarsour wrote Tuesday on Facebook, "Any sane diplomat, national security and/or foreign policy expert will tell you this announcement is a DISASTER. … Let's be VERY CLEAR, as an American, I don't care what announcements he makes – he DOES NOT SPEAK for me. Jerusalem IS NOT the capital of Israel. It's not internationally recognized as such. This is NOT how this works. A foreign government doesn't just announce/confirm a capital for another country."

Israel is the only country where foreign embassies are not located in the nation's self-proclaimed capital.

Ahmad Abuznaid, the director at the Detroit-based National Network for Arab American Communities, lambasted the international establishment, including "Arab leaders, Palestinian Authority, the British"—many of whom have expressed concern with Trump's reported decision. "[T]here's no washing away the blood on your hands," Abuznaid said, addressing Trump, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the United Nations, and "Zionists of all backgrounds & political leanings."

Palestinian leadership has said U.S. recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital, which they have laid claim to as part of a future state, would mark the end of the peace process. Three "Days of Rage" and violence have been promised by "Palestinian national and Islamic forces" in retaliation.

Trump's expected announcement would fall in line with a law mandating "the relocation of the United States embassy in Israel to Jerusalem," passed by Congress in 1995. All subsequent presidents, including Trump in June, have signed a waiver every six months delaying the move. Trump is expected to sign that waiver again on Wednesday, while signaling his plans to begin the relocation process.