Locals: peace further away as U.S. embassy moves to Jerusalem

LELAND, NC (WWAY) –  This morning marked history in the Holy Land with the United States establishing its Israel embassy in Jerusalem. The opening came with violent backlash as Palestinian protesters in Gaza clashed with Israeli forces and the death count keeps rising.

President Trump announced its move in December. The unveiling comes around the 70th anniversary of establishing Israel as a Jewish state. WWAY’s Andrew James spoke with those locally in the Jewish and Palestinian communities. Each shared concerns about the move.

“For the long haul, it’s not really good for the state of Israel,” said Musa Agil, a Palestinian-American who has called the U.S. home for more than 30 years.

“I understand that this is going to be an extremely painful and problematic move,” said Rabbi Julie Kozlow of B’nai Israel adding, “I feel that we absolutely should be in Jerusalem as our capitol. I absolutely wish that the Palestinians would understand that as well. But I understand why the won’t or don’t.”

Since the state of Israel’s establishment in 1948 tensions remain between Arab Palestinians and the Jewish-Israeli community.

Agil still has family in the West Bank he says day in day out see a police like state and poverty. He believes the embassy move is a step backwards.

“We ought to encourage them to promote more and more peace and stability and peaceful negotiations,” said Agil. “Right now the peaceful negotiations are not going anywhere and will not go anywhere.”

CBS new reports more than fifty Palestinians reportedly died in protests along the Gaza strip Monday. It’s violence that troubles Rabbi Kozlow as well.

“I don’t know what the answer is, but I do know that the direction we’re all going in is not a direction that is going to help any of us in the long run make peace.”

President Trump talking a push for peace in his recorded message at the embassy unveiling. For Agil, the actions by the administration sit louder than words.

“How can you bring peace between two parties when you basically put your full weight behind one party and ignore the aspirations of the other party, the other, being the Palestinians?”

The U.N. Security Council is set to meet Tuesday to discuss the deadly violence along the Israel-Gaza border.

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