Arab Filmmakers Condemn Trump's "Unforgivable" Jerusalem Move

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On day four of the Dubai International Film Festival, a statement attacking the U.S.' highly contentious decision has received several hundred signatures within just one hour.

President Donald Trump's highly controversial decision to declare that the U.S. will formally recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital has, perhaps unsurprisingly, sparked outrage at the Middle East's biggest film event. 

On day four of the Dubai International Film Festival in the U.A.E., a group of Arab filmmakers, including Palestinian director Annemarie Jacir (Wajib, When I Saw You, Salt of the Sea) and Iraqi helmer Mohamed Al-Daradji (Son of Babylon, The Journey), issued a statement condemning Trump's "egregious" move, a statement that received several hundred signatures within just one hour. 

"At a time when the world is trying to unite against extremism and violence, President Trump, the leader of the most powerful nation in the world, is obliterating hope in the hearts of people working for justice and freedom with his declaration that the occupied city of Jerusalem is the capital of Israel," the statement read. 

"Israel is an apartheid entity that believes in the segregation of people based on religion, whereas we believe that Jerusalem is a city of coexistence and harmony amongst all faiths," it continued. "By doing this, President Trump is also glorifying the military occupation. This is a setback to the collective power of international efforts towards peace, and a violation of human rights and international law. This will go down in history as an unforgivable act that will only deepen the divide between people."

Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, Al-Daradji said that Trump's decision would give rise to further extremism. "You give a reason and give an excuse to extremism to come and feed off poor people, to recruit vulnerable people, people who have doubt, to become extremists," he said. "We don't want that. We fight that in our films."

Al-Daradji added that in naming Jerusalem the Israeli capital, he was damaging any hope of finding peace. "With a movement like that, you cannot be part of the peace process — you have already taken one side."