Montrealers Gather to Protest U.S. Decision on Jerusalem

Protesters Say Jerusalem is Capital of Palestine

  • With chants of “Solidarité avec Palestine” and “Down with Donald Trump,” about 200 people gathered in front the United States Consulate to protest Donald Trump’s decision to acknowledge Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Photo Vince Morello

With chants of “Solidarité avec Palestine” and “Down with Donald Trump,” about 200 people gathered in front the United States Consulate to protest Donald Trump’s decision to acknowledge Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

“Israel has been violating and taking over, and now it’s crossing even more red lines, it’s crossing Jerusalem which is a holy land for many religions,” said Bara Abuhamed, a student from Concordia. “[For] Donald Trump to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel is really messed. It’s not his place to decide what’s the capital of what.”

Despite some police presence at the demonstration, no actions were taken. The demonstration, which began on the corner of René-Lévesque Blvd. and St. Alexandre St.

“The police has to understand who’s actually at risk of danger here, when they’re going to protect a publically racist person, like President Donald Trump,” Abuhamed said.

On Dec. 6, Trump announced the United States would officially recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, and that they would begin moving their embassy there. Later in the week, the 14 other members of the United Nations Security Council denounced the decision by the U.S. president.

“It’s really emblematic of U.S. foreign policy,” said Yasmine Mosimann of Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights McGill. “This really cements the fact that there hasn’t been a peace process ever.”

In Canada, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that he rejects Trump’s position, and that he would keep Canada’s embassy in the city of Tel Aviv.

“We need to work towards a two-state solution through direct negotiations,” Trudeau said during a news conference in China. “That is why we will continue to engage constructively and substantively in the region and with our partners and friends around the world.”

Abuhamed said that he hopes Trudeau realizes that Israel might not be a very good ally in the future. He added that Trudeau should recognize Palestinian human rights, and that Israel is breaking those human rights.

Sarah Shamy from SPHR McGill, said that there should be more of an emphasis on female activism for causes like this one, which are monopolized by male voices.

“In any politically fraught situation, it’s always women who take the brunt of it, so this needs to be represented in the way that we manifest,” she said. “Women need to yell, need to lead [these causes]. What’s happening in Palestine is a gendered issue and we need to emphasize that.”

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