Reform movement’s rejection of Trump call on embassy move to Jerusalem irks Israel


(JTA) — The Reform movement’s negative reaction to President Donald Trump’s call to prepare moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem is “deeply frustrating and disappointing,” Israel’s consul in New York said.

Dani Dayan made the remarks on Wednesday, according to the Makor Rishon daily, following a statement by Rabbi Rick Jacobs, who heads the Union for Reform Judaism, the congregational arm of the movement.

Trump recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and directed the State Department to prepare for moving the embassy there from Tel Aviv.

Jacobs wrote that the declaration by Trump on Wednesday “affirms what the Reform Jewish movement has long held: that Jerusalem is the eternal capital of the Jewish people and the State of Israel. Yet while we share the President’s belief that the U.S. Embassy should, at the right time, be moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, we cannot support his decision to begin preparing that move now, absent a comprehensive plan for a peace process.”

Dayan said the statement was “deeply frustrating and disappointing because Jerusalem is the uniting force of the Jewish People.”

Jacobs also said that the White House should not undermine efforts toward making peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians by “making unilateral decisions that are all but certain to exacerbate the conflict.”

The Republican Jewish Coalition praised the president for his announcement of a “significant change in U.S. policy” by recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and announcing a plan to begin the process of moving the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv.

Malcolm Hoenlein, president of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations, said Trump was doing “the right thing.”

“When President Trump visited the Western Wall and made a declaration recognizing Jerusalem as holy to the Jews after the denunciation of UNESCO, there was not even one warm-up, not one demonstration, because when you do the right thing, you do not have to ask questions, you just do it,” Hoenlein said Wednesday in an address at the launching of the Lobby for the Protection of the Mount of Olives in the Knesset.

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