Writers, actors and musicians condemn Trump Jerusalem move

Letter claims US president is furthering Israeli agenda ‘to erase Palestinians from the life of their own city’

Tilda Swinton, Mark Ruffalo, Roger Waters, Peter Gabriel and Brian Eno are among dozens of writers, musicians and actors who have condemned Donald Trump’s move to recognise Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

In a letter to the Guardian, figures from across the arts world says the move by the US president will help to further an Israeli agenda to “erase Palestinians as a political and cultural presence from the life of their own city.”

The letter accuses the Israeli government of subjecting the Palestinian people to “municipal discrimination at every level” and instigating a “creeping process of ethnic cleansing”, which it says will be made worse by Trump’s move to change the status of Jerusalem.

“We reject Trump’s collusion with such racist manipulation and his disregard for international law,” says the letter, whose signatories also include the playwright Caryl Churchill, the director Mike Leigh and the actors Maxine Peake, Julie Christie and Juliette Stephenson.

“We deplore his readiness to crown the Israeli military conquest of East Jerusalem and his indifference to Palestinian rights. As artists and as citizens, we challenge the ignorance and inhumanity of these policies, and celebrate the resilience of Palestinians living under occupation.”

Trump declared last week that the US would recognise Jerusalem as the Israeli capital, breaking the international consensus on one of the most sensitive issues in relations between Israel and the Palestinians. Palestinians believe the capital of a future Palestinian state should be the east of the city, and most countries consider East Jerusalem, which Israel annexed after capturing it in 1967, to be occupied territory.

During a visit by the Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, to Paris, the French resident, Emmanuel Macron, said US recognition of Jerusalem was a “threat to peace”.

The artists’ letter says Macron’s comments did not go far enough. It adds: “In recognising Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, Donald Trump seeks to achieve through a declaration what Israel has been trying to do for 50 years through force of arms.”


Hannah Ellis-Petersen

The GuardianTramp

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