• Read Amal, the Palestinian girl’s letter of solidarity to artists and writers who opposed Trump’s move to call Jerusalem the capital of Israel

    ICF Team

    December 22, 2017

    On 11th December, 2017, one hundred artists wrote a letter rejecting Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, which appeared in The Guardian on 12th December, 2017. This move by Trump is a belligerent show of power and it paves way for further colonisation and occupation of Jerusalem by Israel. Jerusalem is not under Israel’s sovereignty under international law and East Jerusalem has been under Israel’s occupation since 1967. While states across the world have condemned this move and further the UN General Assembly passed a motion rejecting it with a huge majority, US-Israel are continuing their crude blackmailing and intimidation.

    Jerusalem is home to three major world religions and the symbol of Palestinian resistance. Israel has tried to change its demography by brute force and through decades of ethnic cleansing and settler colonialism. The Palestinians have bravely resisted this and are continuing to do so. This is symbolised by the letter written by a young Palestinian protestor, Amal, whose photograph accompanied the artists’ letter.

    Image courtesy Vijay Prashad

    In her moving response, Amal reiterated that the struggle for “justice, freedom and self-determination” will continue, “until they achieved”.

    Here is the letter by artists on Trump’s recognition:

    The Guardian reports (10th December) President Macron’s comment that recent US moves on the status of Jerusalem are a threat to peace. They are much more than that.

    In recognising Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, Donald Trump seeks to achieve through a declaration what Israel has been trying to do for fifty years through force of arms: to erase Palestinians, as a political and cultural presence, from the life of their own city.

    The Palestinian people of Jerusalem are already subject to municipal discrimination at every level, and a creeping process of ethnic cleansing. In addition to the continuing policy of house demolitions, in the last fifteen years, at least thirty-five Palestinian public institutions and NGOs in occupied East Jerusalem have been permanently or temporarily closed by the occupying forces. Cultural institutions have been a particular target.

    At the same time Israeli authorities and entrepreneurs have spent millions in clearing Palestinian neighbourhoods to create ‘heritage’ projects that promote a myth of mono-ethnic urban identity, said to stretch back 3000 years.

    We reject Trump’s collusion with such racist manipulation, and his disregard for international law. We deplore his readiness to crown the Israeli military conquest of East Jerusalem and his indifference to Palestinian rights.

    As artists and as citizens, we challenge the ignorance and inhumanity of these policies, and celebrate the resilience of Palestinians living under occupation.

    It was signed by writers Angela Davis, Hanan Al-Shaykh and Vijay Prashad actor Mark Ruffalo, director Ken Loach, musician Roger Waters, among others.

    Here is Amal’s response to the artists’ letter:

    I would like to thank you for your solidarity and support, clearly expressed in your letter to the Guardian entitled: Artists’ letter on Trump and Jerusalem, December 12 2017.

    Your letter has been circulating widely here in the occupied Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem. It reinforces our capacity to endure and resist all forms of occupation and oppression.

    We as a people under Israeli military occupation and colonization believe in the justice of our cause, and that we are part of all peoples who have suffered from occupations all over the world.

    We as Palestinian people are no different from other people who have either liberated themselves from colonialism, or are in the process of doing so.

    We must continue to struggle for justice, freedom and self-determination until they are achieved.

    We draw our ability to sustain our struggle from you support and solidarity.

    On behalf of all Palestinians, thank you.

    Amal, the girl in the picture you placed in front of your letter to The Guardian, December 12 2017

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