Human Rights Attorneys Decry Trump Plan to Recognize Jerusalem as Israeli Capital

December 5, 2017, New York – In response to reports that the Trump administration plans to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, the Center for Constitutional Rights issued the following statement:

Trump’s reckless and disruptive plan to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel runs contrary to fundamental principles of international law as well as decades of U.S. recognition of those principles. Israel unlawfully occupied the West Bank, including Jerusalem, in 1967, along with Gaza. This sudden move flies in the face of a fundamental pillar, and customary norm, of international law: the prohibition of the acquisition of territory by force. With this move, the United States would be in violation of the duty to not recognize an unlawful situation and in violation of UN Security Council resolutions.

This cynical move is part of a pattern of lawlessness when it comes to Israel, from Trump’s advisor, Michael Flynn, approaching Russia to quash a UN Security Council resolution on illegal settlements before he was in office, to Trump’s son in law Jared Kushner’s failure to report his financial ties to settlements, including via a charity run by their controversial appointment for U.S. ambassador to Israel, David Friedman, to their current efforts to stop the UN from publishing a list of corporations doing business with and in the settlements.

Trump is once again playing to the furthest possible right wing position, even aligning himself with the settler movement on Israel’s farthest right. He does so in complete disregard for the long-term consequences of his actions – including the erosion of the rule of law – and undercuts Palestinian self-determination. Palestinians in Jerusalem and beyond have for decades demanded an end to the Israeli occupation, and an end to international complicity in its further entrenchment. It is time we heed their call.

The Center for Constitutional Rights works with communities under threat to fight for justice and liberation through litigation, advocacy, and strategic communications. Since 1966, the Center for Constitutional Rights has taken on oppressive systems of power, including structural racism, gender oppression, economic inequity, and governmental overreach. Learn more at


Last modified 

December 6, 2017