YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – While the local Jewish community won’t come right out and say they like President Trump’s announcement to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, the Arabs in the Valley aren’t mincing any words — they don’t like it all.
About 50 people from the Arab-American Community around Youngstown gathered Wednesday evening to voice their displeasure with Trump’s announcement.
“Prospects for peace in the region have dimmed even further, while this move is especially offensive to Arab and Muslim countries,” said Moataz Abdelrasoul, a Youngstown State student.
Bonnie Burdman represents the Youngstown Jewish Federation.
“I think that the Jewish community…has always been very supportive of the two-state solution and we continue to hope for peace,” she said.
Burdman would not say whether she liked the President’s announcement or not.
“What he said today wasn’t anything new. Jerusalem has always been the capital of Israel,” she said.
Trump said the recognition “is a long overdue step to advance the peace process.” He also said the U.S. would support a two-state solution and left the future boundaries of Jerusalem open for negotiation, which seemed to please Burdman.
“Those things are…going to be properly negotiated by the two parties on the ground,” she said.
One concern the Arab community has is that Jerusalem will become a purely Jewish city.
“The deep religious, spiritual, cultural, historical attachments of other faiths will be lost,” Ray Nakley said.
“I was ashamed in the fact that President Trump made this decision, rescinding the decisions of prior presidents of this country,” Abdelrasoul said.
The American Embassy in Israel is currently located in Tel Aviv. It will take a few years for the move to be completed.