By Burcu Arik
The Movement for an Informed Society Malaysia (WADAH) on Friday condemned "in the harshest terms" U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem.
"This move is reckless and provocative, illegal and in total disregard of international norms," the group's president, Ahmad Azam Ab Rahman said in a written statement.
The group said: "The occupation of Jerusalem since 1967 had always been unlawful and that UN resolutions throughout had reaffirmed its status. The future of resolving the conflict between Israel and Palestine crucially and fundamentally depends on mutual agreements on Jerusalem as a final status settlement."
"This outrageous move is only confirming that the U.S. is not a trusted intermediary, not an honest broker and in fact by this act is as if it is a belligerent perpetrator to the ongoing crisis in the region," the president said.
The group denounced Israel "persistent expansion" via illegal settlements and a demographic strategy.
"Previous Israeli leaders have been quoted to say, 'Israel can negotiate forever with the Palestinians' indicating that they are content even if there was no peaceful settlement at all.
"Israel has occupied, illegally seizing and grabbing more and more land, squeezed and strangulated Palestinians in Jerusalem using brutal and inhumane methods upon a defenceless population often imposing collective punishment at will. It quells protests by terror and violence. It conducts ‘administrative detentions’, arresting Palestinians arbitrarily by flaunting laws without due process."
Rahman said Trump had "succumbed to the Israeli lobby probably in his desperation to evade possible impeachment".
"His accomplice is [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu who himself is trying to elude criminal prosecution for corruption. In his announcement, President Trump slurred in his speech which is damaging for his image which is already in tatters worldwide," he said.
He said Malaysia appreciated Europe's position of not condoning or supporting this move.
"Palestinians and Muslims have been on the losing side of the conflict for far too long. Some have already determined that there is nothing left to lose. They have lost lives, limbs, land, liberty and honour. People can only take so much.
"So it has to be time to liberate Al Quds [Jerusalem] for good," he added.
Despite widespread international opposition, U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday announced his decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
According to Trump, the U.S. State Department has been told to begin preparations for relocating the U.S. embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
The dramatic shift in Washington’s Jerusalem policy triggered demonstrations in the occupied Palestinian territories, Turkey, Egypt, Jordan, Tunisia, Algeria, Iraq and other Muslim countries.
Jerusalem remains at the heart of the Israel-Palestine conflict, with Palestinians hoping that East Jerusalem -- now occupied by Israel -- might eventually serve as the capital of a future Palestinian state.
Ahmad Azam Ab Rahman is also a founding member of the Union of NGOs in the Islamic World (UNIW) based in Istanbul and the chairman of Global Peace Mission, a humanitarian relief organization based in Kuala Lumpur.