60 Palestinian protesters have been killed during the opening of the new U.S. embassy in Jerusalem this Monday. The unarmed protesters, gathered at the Gaza border, were met by the Israeli Defence Force, who showered the Palestinians in gunfire and tear gas. The Guardian reports that over 2,400 people were injured, with 14 children and a paramedic among the fatalities. The U.S. is the first country to move their embassy from Tel Aviv, where all other international commissions are located, sending the message to Palestinians that the sacred city now belongs to the Israelis. This move symbolizes a further decrease in Palestinian territory in their homeland, putting a two-state solution even further out of reach.
It was all smiles and handshakes at the ceremony, with Ivanka Trump and the Senior Adviser to the President, her husband Jared Kushner, officially opening the new Embassy in the President’s absence. President Trump did not acknowledge the conflict, but instead referenced the proceedings in a tweet saying it was “a great day for Israel.” The upbeat occasion was opened with a prayer by Dallas Pastor Robert Jeffress, telling Fox News in advance that he would be thanking God for “supernaturally protecting Israel from all of our enemies.”
Meanwhile, thousands of unarmed Palestinian protesters were being attacked.
America’s role in this conflict is to act as a negotiator for peace talks. With the Guardian describing Monday’s attack as “the bloodiest day in Gaza since the 2014 war,” and the U.S. providing more military aid to Israel than any other state, a resolution while the U.S. involved seems unattainable. Now, the world is left waiting while America stays silent in a staggering lack of responsibility.
Moving the U.S. embassy has been in the pipeline for some time, with the Jerusalem Embassy Act being signed in 1995 by the U.S., which recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. While previous presidents including Obama, Bush, and Clinton all talked about recognizing Jerusalem as the capital, the Embassy was not moved during their terms. Kushner’s speech in the opening referenced this, saying “while presidents before him have backed down from their pledge to move the American Embassy once in office, this President delivered, because when President Trump makes a promise, he keeps it.”
The conflict between the Israelis and the Palestinians has been ongoing since 1948, following a proposal by the United Nations to have separate states for the Arabs and the newly settled Jewish people. The Arab side rejecting this plan, while it had the Jew’s support, is what began this complex and continuing feud.
Time will illustrate the further consequences of Monday’s events, a thought that is sure to be making the 53 countries that rejected their invitations to the event very apprehensive. President Trump was right in thinking that more has to be done to achieve peace in Israel. The 60 lives lost this week, shows that the answer was not this.
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