Locals discuss Jewish, Muslim impact of Jerusalem decision

By Gina Ender

Last update: Wednesday, December 6th, 2017

Santa Clarita locals of Jewish and Muslim faith are not going to let the international controversy surrounding President Donald Trump declaring Jerusalem as the capital of Israel interfere in their relationships.

Though Jewish people are thrilled with this decision, according to Rabbi Ron Hauss of Congregation Beth Shalom, he hopes it will not cause any tension with their Muslim counterparts.

“There’s a lot of shared issues Americans can come together on,” Hauss said. “On a working level, Jews and Muslims deal with more local issues.”

For Mahgiub El-Arabi, a trustee with Al-Umma Center of SCV, there is no animosity between Santa Clarita Valley Muslims and Jews.

“As Muslims, we don’t hold our brothers or sisters of the Jewish faith accountable for the actions of President Trump,” El-Arabi said. “They have not caused this to happen.”

While Hauss predicts the vast majority of local Jews will be in favor of the international decision, El-Arabi said he anticipates the opposite will be true in the Muslim community.

In fact, El-Arabi said he knows many Muslim people in the Santa Clarita Valley who have relatives who live in Israel and will experience the ramifications of the decision.

Though both men agree Jerusalem is a sacred city for their faiths, they disagreed on what this decision means in relation to history.

“There is no question in the Jewish community’s mind that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel,” Hauss said. “It’s just recognizing the reality that has long been a reality.”

Current peace is not at stake concerning the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, according to the rabbi, because the two groups are not speaking as it is. The decision to make Jerusalem the capital will allow for negotiations to restart, he said.

“The fear is that it might scuttle the peace process, but there isn’t much of a peace process to scuttle,” he said.  

Trump’s decision was “ill-advised” and will only add to tensions in Israel, according to El-Arabi.

“President Trump and his advisors do not understand history,” he said. “If they did, they would have followed previous presidents’ example.”

Hauss assumes Dec. 6 will mark a turning point for the better while El-Arabi said it will be a reminder of a “sad” day.

“This will only harm future prospects of peace in that part of the world,” El-Arabi said.  

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Locals discuss Jewish, Muslim impact of Jerusalem decision

Santa Clarita locals of Jewish and Muslim faith are not going to let the international controversy surrounding President Donald Trump declaring Jerusalem as the capital of Israel interfere in their relationships.

Though Jewish people are thrilled with this decision, according to Rabbi Ron Hauss of Congregation Beth Shalom, he hopes it will not cause any tension with their Muslim counterparts.

“There’s a lot of shared issues Americans can come together on,” Hauss said. “On a working level, Jews and Muslims deal with more local issues.”

For Mahgiub El-Arabi, a trustee with Al-Umma Center of SCV, there is no animosity between Santa Clarita Valley Muslims and Jews.

“As Muslims, we don’t hold our brothers or sisters of the Jewish faith accountable for the actions of President Trump,” El-Arabi said. “They have not caused this to happen.”

While Hauss predicts the vast majority of local Jews will be in favor of the international decision, El-Arabi said he anticipates the opposite will be true in the Muslim community.

In fact, El-Arabi said he knows many Muslim people in the Santa Clarita Valley who have relatives who live in Israel and will experience the ramifications of the decision.

Though both men agree Jerusalem is a sacred city for their faiths, they disagreed on what this decision means in relation to history.

“There is no question in the Jewish community’s mind that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel,” Hauss said. “It’s just recognizing the reality that has long been a reality.”

Current peace is not at stake concerning the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, according to the rabbi, because the two groups are not speaking as it is. The decision to make Jerusalem the capital will allow for negotiations to restart, he said.

“The fear is that it might scuttle the peace process, but there isn’t much of a peace process to scuttle,” he said.  

Trump’s decision was “ill-advised” and will only add to tensions in Israel, according to El-Arabi.

“President Trump and his advisors do not understand history,” he said. “If they did, they would have followed previous presidents’ example.”

Hauss assumes Dec. 6 will mark a turning point for the better while El-Arabi said it will be a reminder of a “sad” day.

“This will only harm future prospects of peace in that part of the world,” El-Arabi said.  

About the author

Gina Ender

Gina Ender

Gina Ender is a journalist covering city government and breaking news in the Santa Clarita Valley. She joined The Signal as a staff writer in February 2017. You can contact Gina Ender at gender@signalscv.com, 661-287-5525 or follow her on Twitter at @ginaender.

  • Brian Richards

    “For Mahgiub El-Arabi, a trustee with Al-Umma Center of SCV, there is no animosity between Santa Clarita Valley Muslims and Jews.”
    .
    How magnanimous of you! Jerusalem has been the Jewish capital for 3,000 years. In 1995 the Senate voted 90-0, that’s NINETY TO ZERO, to have the U.S. recognize Jerusalem as the Israeli capital although Presidents Clinton, Bush, and Obama cowardly signed 6 month extensions on that action for the last 22 years. Frankly, the Islamic community in the Middle East requires no reason to be outraged and it’s time we fulfill our commitment to our good ally Israel and if the Islamic world doesn’t like, too bad.

  • Dirk McGivens

    I’m sorry why should we care, the only people that have a problem with it are Muslims.

  • Ron Bischof

    Speaking of whom has an understanding of history, here’s a refresher:

    S. 1322 (104th): Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995

    The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress.

    10/24/1995–Passed Senate amended. Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 – Declares it to be U.S. policy that: (1) Jerusalem remain an undivided city in which the rights of every ethnic religious group are protected; (2) Jerusalem be recognized as the capital of the State of Israel; and (3) the U.S. Embassy in Israel be established in Jerusalem no later than May 31, 1999. States that, subject to the President’s waiver authority granted below, not more than 50 percent of the funds appropriated for FY 1999 to the Department of State for “Acquisition and Maintenance of Buildings Abroad” may be obligated in the fiscal year until the Secretary of State determines, and reports to the Congress, that the Embassy has opened. Makes specified amounts of such funds available until expended in FY 1996 and 1997 only for construction and other costs associated with relocating the U.S. Embassy Jerusalem. Requires the Secretary of State to report to the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the Committee on Foreign Relations of the Senate on: (1) the Department of State’s plan to implement this Act; and (2) progress made toward opening the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem. Authorizes the President to suspend for six months (with possible subsequent six-month extensions) the 50 percent limitation on the obligation of funds with respect to the opening of the Embassy if he determines and reports to the Congress that a suspension is necessary to protect the national security interests of the United States.

    https://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/104/s1322/summary#libraryofcongress

    Here’s are statements by Clinton, Bush and Obama:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jg-bxpZWj3I