Oklahomans protest Trump’s Jerusalem decision outside state capitol

OKLAHOMA CITY - Oklahomans rallied Saturday morning outside the state capitol, protesting the recent decision by President Trump to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital.

"Mr. Trump, we reject your declaration, because it threatens the people of the holy land and the possibility of a peaceful solution where everyone’s rights are respected," said Sheryl Siddiqui, one of the rally's organizers.

Roughly 80 protesters, some carrying signs, American flags and symbols of the Palestinian state, called for peace and a solution. Since Trump's announcement and word the US will move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, violence between Palestinians and Israeli forces has followed.

"Jerusalem is Israel's capital. No one can deny it," said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu earlier this week during a meeting with European Union leaders, who have strongly rejected the recognition. "It doesn't obviate peace; it makes peace possible."

The holy city to Jews, Christians and Muslims is under Israeli control. Proponents of Trump's decision said there is no way to peace that doesn't include the city being recognized as Israel's capital.

Thousands of miles away, in Oklahoma City, American Muslims, Palestinian-Americans and Christian clergy spoke out against the decision, questioned the politics and argued the unilateral move sets back the chance of peace between the two states.

"It is reckless, irresponsible and endangers the lives of Palestinians and Israelis," said Rev. Robin Meyers, the pastor of Mayflower Congregational United Church of Christ. "As far as for the peace Trump thinks this will bring, so far, it has brought nothing but an escalation of violence."

"This city, the city of God, belongs to all of us," said Imam Imad Enchassi, the Imam of the Islamic Society of Greater Oklahoma City.

"President Donald Trump has exposed US foreign policy as unjust policy," said Rev. Constantine Nasr, a Palestinian-American and retired pastor of St. Elijah Antiochian Orthodox Christian Church. "There are lots of Jewish people, lots of Arab people, American people, more than 161 nations, desire to see a peaceful resolution."

A resolution Nasr believes that could be reached, given the president's decision.

"I thank President Donald Trump for giving the Palestinians in the Arab world and the international community a reason to rise up for the forgotten, suffering people of Palestine," he said.