Protests in the Valley over a controversial announcement by President Donald Trump. Local Palestinians are angry over Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. They’re also angry over Trump’s announcement that he wants to start the process of moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem from Tel-Aviv. The Palestine Freedom Project held a rally on Friday night at Shaw and Blackstone in Fresno to protest the potential change.
Jerusalem is a city that has been long fought over for a millenia. The israelis said it’s been their capital since that country established it’s independence in 1948. Their parliament is located there. But, local Palestinians like Layla Darwish said that argument is on the wrong side of history.
“Historically, the old city of Jerusalem belonged to Muslims,” stated Darwish.
Darwish is the president of the local organization the Palestine Freedom Project. She said she was devastated by Trump’s announcement.
She said, “I just thought, this is another provocative decision made by Trump and his administration. And who is he to make that decision on behalf of the Palestinians, Christians, and Muslims?”
Palestinians have been calling for a Middle Eeast uprising or “intifada” since the announcement was made. But local rabbi Levy Zirkind said he supports the President, and is calling for peace.
Zirkind said, “They can protest whatever they want. As a Jew, we celebrate the Sabbath. As a Jew, I will say one thing, the same way God created the world, he gave us Israel and it’s ours, and they shouldn’t have any claims to it.”
Jerusalem is a spiritual epicenter for three of the world’s major religions: Jews, Muslims, and Christians. Zirkind said Jerusalem can be a home for all.
“Everybody’s welcome, and the fact that it was the only capital that the Jews ever had,” ended Zirkind.
Darwish hopes Trump has a change of heart.
She stated, “I hope that he can open up his heart and realize that it’s unfair to oppress a people for no reason at all.”
There are other demonstrations happening around the world, particularly around other Muslim countries. It’s being called the Day of Rage, this is day number three, since Trump announced his decision.