capital city

Conservatives say yes; from Satmar, a big no


President Trump’s Jerusalem announcement elicited positive and negative responses from Judaism’s religious left and right.

The left-leaning Conservative movement cheered the president, while a Satmar group attacked it. The Reform movement also slammed the announcement, which it said was “ill-timed” and would “exacerbate the conflict.” (Click here for supportive Reform stance.)

Rabbi Aaron Teitelbaum, Satmar rebbe in Kiryas Joel, said at a motzei Shabbat event, “We declare in the name of haredi Judaism: Jerusalem, the holy city, will not be the capital of the Zionist state, even if the president of the United States says it is.”

“Just as haredi Jews did not recognize President Truman’s declaration in 1948 that Israel is the Jewish state, we don’t recognize it today,” Rabbi Teitelbaum said, according to Arutz Sheva. “Jerusalem is a holy city, a city of piety. Zionism is the opposite of fearing G-d and Torah, and it has nothing to do with the city of Jerusalem.”

A Conservative movement statement said: “The status of Jerusalem is a matter to be settled in direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. But in recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and planning to move the American embassy to a location under uncontested Israeli sovereignty, the U.S. government acknowledges the age-old connection that Israel and the Jewish people maintain with the holy city.”

The statement was authored by the Conservative movement’s Rabbinical Assembly, the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism, Masorti Israel, and Masorti Olami.