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Friends of Palestine Protest US Embassy Move to Jerusalem

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Image: Megan Davies/Edd Church

Friends of Palestine society took to the outside of the Forum on Monday afternoon to protest United States President Donald Trump’s decision to move the US embassy to Jerusalem, alongside Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as capital of Israel.

Chants of “Free free Palestine”, “Hands off Jerusalem”, and “From the River to the Sea, Palestine will be free” could be heard from around 2pm as the impassioned students stood outside the back of the Forum building. This comes as President Trump publicly declared that the United States of America would recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and that he move the US embassy there, on Wednesday the 6th of December at a speech at the Whitehouse. Trump is the first US president to make such a declaration, with many world leaders in overwhelming opposition to it and an emergency United Nations Security Council session on the 7th of December condemning the move.

Chants of “Free free Palestine”, “Hands off Jerusalem”, and “From the River to the Sea, Palestine will be free” could be heard

Here at Exeter, public demonstrations against Trump, and in reaction to the Israel-Palestine crisis, have happened often in the last few academic years— some of which led by Friends of Palestine. Monday’s rally at one point was asked to move aside from the door of the forum by a university health and safety official due to concerns over blocking a fire exit, but was allowed to continue. In the past, the society has run into problems such as having a mock Israeli Checkpoint (as part of its ‘Israel Apartheid week’ event) shut down earlier this calendar year.

XpressionFM and Exeposé spoke to an attending member of the society, who said:

“We are Exeter friends of Palestine and we’re out in the forum to protest Donald Trump’s Decision to move the American Embassy to Jerusalem in violation of International Law.

“Basically, international law has since the 1947 partition plan has affirmed that Jerusalem is supposed to be set up as what’s known as a Corpus Seperatum, a separate area, that until there’s the context of a full peace agreement between the Israelis and Palestinians there shouldn’t be the location of an embassy of the Israeli government. To move the American embassy to Jerusalem is to affirm Israel’s claim to the entirety of the city which is in violation of the international consensus of the city’s status.

“Jerusalem is supposed to be set up as what’s known as a Corpus Seperatum, a separate area”

“It’s not possible to get peace if you’ve already prejudiced before negotiations even begin to occur. The idea of how the city’s going to end up, who’s sovereignty it’s going to end up under. If you say in advance of negotiations that you believe that the city is intended to be Israeli, you’re basically massively prejudicing the rights of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians who live in the city and are denied basic rights by the Israelis and don’t have citizenship.”

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