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‘America crossed every red line’: Palestinians in Jerusalem protest new US embassy

FeaturesIsrael/Palestine

JERUSALEM — Hundreds of Palestinians took to the streets of Jerusalem in protest as American and Israeli officials celebrated the inauguration of the US Embassy in Jerusalem on Monday, the eve of the 70th anniversary of the Palestinian Nakba.

As US President Donald Trump’s daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared Kushner celebrated the inauguration with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and major Trump donor Sheldon Adelson, Palestinian protesters outside were met by armed Israeli police forces who heavily suppressed demonstrations and arrested several protesters.

Though the several speeches given during the ceremony made no mention of Jerusalem’s 350,000 Palestinian residents, protesters rose their voices in opposition to the move, which broke with decades of US foreign policy in the region.

‘America crossed every red line’

Protesters gathered in the West Jerusalem neighborhood of Arnona, about 200 meters away from where the ceremony was taking place, due to a series of road closures by Israeli police.

Mohammed Abu al-Hummus, a local activist and Jerusalem resident, said America “crossed every red line” with embassy move (Photo: Saleh Zghari)

“The fact that they closed off the streets to block protesters, and sent hundreds of police forces to attack us and arrest us, just shows that they know what they are doing is illegal,” Mohammed Abu al-Hummus, a local activist, told Mondoweiss.

“They tried to keep us far away, so that we could not interrupt their ceremony, and so they could celebrate in peace,” he said.

Abu al-Hummus told Mondoweiss that the transfer of the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem “crossed every red line,” and criticized the presence of Dallas-based Baptist Pastor Robert Jeffress — who has previously called Islam “a heresy from the pit of hell” — at the ceremony.

“Trump made this move to appease his Zionist Christian base and make them happy, without care for the consequences it will have on Palestinian lives,” Abu al-Hummus said.

“In America, they have the statue of liberty and pride themselves on freedom, but then they come to Palestine and support the racism of the Israeli occupation,” he said. “This move shows us that  they do not understand the true meaning of democracy.”

Mamoun Razeq, a resident of Jerusalem, called the transfer of the embassy “an attack on the Palestinian people.” (Photo: Saleh Zghari)

Mamoun Razeq, a resident of Jerusalem who participated in the protests, expressed similar sentiments.

“The American government is not, and will never be part of peace,” Razeq told Mondoweiss amid the crowd of protesters.

“The transfer of the embassy is a dangerous attack on the Palestinian people, and has created tensions that no one can predict the outcome of.”

“This is a provocation against the Palestinian people, and this is why I am here today,” he said. “I have a right over this land as a Jerusalemite, and I must defend it, even if just with my voice.”

Palestinian writer and Jerusalemite Bodour Hassan told Mondoweiss that the embassy move only solidified the distrust Palestinians have long had in the American government.  

“We do not accept the American embassy to be anywhere in Palestine. The transfer of the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem was done to provoke Palestinians,” she said.

“This just shows us the real face of the US. We saw this face before, but to transfer the embassy solidified what we already knew about the US.”

No faith in the international community

Shirin al-Issawi, a lawyer and former prisoner, was among the protesters outside the US embassy opening in Jerusalem (Photo: Saleh Zghari)

Among the hundreds of protesters in Jerusalem was former prisoner and famed lawyer Shirin al-Issawi.

“I came here as a Palestinian woman and Jerusalemite, to raise my voice against the American support of the Israeli occupation and its attacks and crimes against the Palestinian people,” Issawi told Mondoweiss.

“I am here today, because as a Palestinian, it is my duty. If we did not come here as Palestinians and Jerusalemites to defend our land, who else will support us?,” she asked.

“We have always stood alone against the Israeli occupation’s policies, without any help from the international community, and we will continue to protest this transfer of the embassy, and to make sure our rights are upheld here in Palestine and in Jerusalem, the capital of Palestine.”

Al-Issawi criticized the celebration of the embassy opening by Israeli officials and citizens, saying “their  celebration today shows how brutal and monstrous they are, and the racism that they practice in this land.”

Despite the Israeli suppression of protests and disregard for Palestinian opposition to the move, al-Issawi said that she, thousands others like her, will continue to protest.

“We will keep resisting until we free all of Palestine, not just Jerusalem and the West Bank, but all of Palestine,” she said.

yumnapatel
About Yumna Patel

Yumna Patel is a multimedia journalist based in Bethlehem, Palestine. Follow her on Twitter at @yumna_patel

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Akram Al-Wara
About Akram Al-Wa'ra

Akram Al-Wa'ra is a freelance Palestinian filmmaker based in Bethlehem, Palestine.

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About Saleh Zghari

Saleh Zghari is a Palestinian filmmaker and freelance videographer based in Jerusalem

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12 Responses

  1. Citizen
    Citizen
    May 14, 2018, 5:31 pm

    This view is not shown on US TV News.

  2. Kathleen
    Kathleen
    May 14, 2018, 10:27 pm

    https://www.juancole.com/2018/05/millennium-excluded-jerusalem-iran.html

    Palestinians should be placed on that hill that the Israeli soldiers are slaughtering Palestinians from. Trump, Netanyahu, other Israeli officials, the arrogant prick Kushner, Ivanka the prickess put out in those open areas butt ass naked right where the Palestinians are being murdered.

    Trump and the other war criminals should be told to run for cover and the Palestinians on the hill can make their decisions whether to level the killing fields. That would be justice

  3. pabelmont
    pabelmont
    May 15, 2018, 7:56 am

    Maybe, O maybe, the international community will wake up t Israel’s crimes, as Catholic Church woke up to crimes by priests against kids, as Hollywood (and some places in politics) woke up to crimes by powerful men against powerless women.

    Crimes by powerful against powerless are always ignored by media and police because the latter are part of the power structure. How can the international community (heads of governments, CEOs of immense corporations) ignore 70 years of Israel’s crimes against Palestinians? Easily! They ignore so much more and are good at ignoring.

    Watch the greatest crime of all — the ignoring of man-made climate-disruption (aka global warming) and the refusal of most governments to commit the funds — similar to military budgets — needed to effect climate restoration by removal of CO2 from the atmosphere. See needless world-wide death and destruction happen gradually before your eyes.

    And of course see Palestine swept under every available rug.

    • ejran
      ejran
      May 15, 2018, 3:17 pm

      “Watch the greatest crime of all — the ignoring of man-made climate-disruption (aka global warming) and the refusal of most governments to commit the funds — similar to military budgets — needed to effect climate restoration by removal of CO2 from the atmosphere. See needless world-wide death and destruction happen gradually before your eyes.”
      Why is power so difficult to give up? Why is it so terribly difficult to believe that there is another way, there is another way, there is another way, and it may actually be good for all?
      Saving the planet will be good for all. Sure, there will be some losses, great losses, but it is obvious to anyone who contemplates it for a second that the gains will be much more. Achieving justice for palestinians will be good for all, will lead to true peace. Why is it so difficult to take steps in the right direction, to acknowledge wrongdoings, to realize that it is time to try what our conscience knows we need to try? Anyone who contemplates it for a second knows that the peace of mind and the long-term happiness that come from justice are worth every sacrifice to personal comfort and power. Why do we hesitate? Why do we wait? The best things in life are difficult. The best things in life take time. Is it impatience, hopelessness, greed, comfort in the present, fear of change, fear of failure? I want to put my finger on it. Is it possible to completely drug, maybe to death, that justice and truth seeking self?

  4. Maghlawatan
    Maghlawatan
    May 15, 2018, 8:46 am

    Israel is extremist and toxic for non evangelical goys. The next Dem Prez might close the new “embassy”

    https://www.ncronline.org/news/politics/ncr-today/support-israel-continues-see-widening-partisan-divide

    National Catholic Reporter
    “Support for Israel continues to see a widening, partisan divide”
    Mar 23, 2018 by Ra’fat Al-Dajani

    EXCERPTS:
    “The results of a recent Pew Research Center poll have revealed some unexpected findings when it comes to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, namely a widening partisan divide on the question of whether Americans sympathize more with Israelis or Palestinians on the issue of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, a partisan divide that is the widest at any point since 1978.

    “Support for Israel in the broad sense, or as a strategic asset, remains very strong, with the percentage of Republicans, since 2001, sympathizing more with Israel than the Palestinians increasing 29 percentage points, from 50 percent to 79 percent. It is with Democrats and Independents, however, that the drop in sympathy for Israel has been precipitous.

    “Among Democrats in general, only 27 percent said they sympathized more with Israel, reflecting a dramatic drop in sympathy for Israel of 11 points among Democrats since 2001, from 38 percent to 27 percent.

    “Some other numbers worth examining can be found when support among Democrats is broken down. While moderate and conservative Democrats continue to sympathize more with Israel (35 percent) than the Palestinians (17 percent), that number has dropped 18 points since 2016, from 53 percent to its current 35 percent. The share of liberal Democrats who sympathize more with Israel than the Palestinians has also declined 14 points since 2016, from 33 percent to 19 percent.

    “Pro-Israeli leaders and groups have picked up on the danger of sympathy and support for Israel becoming one more point of sharp partisan divide in the increasing, partisan polarization under President Trump, both in Congress and among the American public.

    “Nowhere have the alarm bells begun to ring louder on this issue than at the powerful pro-Israel lobbying group, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, where there has been a growing recognition that navigating through the shoals of an ever more polarized political landscape is the new challenge for an organization that has always prioritized bipartisanship.

    “AIPAC’s leadership recognizes that the pendulum of American politics swings both ways, and that Israel, as an issue, would suffer from being kicked around as a political football. It could well end up becoming one as politically divisive and as politicized as abortion or gun control.”

    “The Trump presidency has only made this navigation more perilous. On the one hand, Trump has delivered on policies on AIPAC’s agenda, such as moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem; pushing Congress to scrap or toughen up the Iran nuclear deal; cutting funds to the Palestinians; and speaking out forcefully against U.N. members who diverge from the U.S. on its Israel policy.”

    “The unintended consequence for AIPAC of Trump’s unabashed support has been the alienation of some Jewish Democrats who once felt at home with the lobby group. A former AIPAC board member described it this way: ‘I feel the right has taken over the organization and there is no respect for other opinions … It’s not a place for me anymore.’”

  5. Boomer
    Boomer
    May 15, 2018, 9:04 am

    NBC News opened this morning (Tuesday) with a report from Richard Engel in Israel. He showed a brief interview with David Friedman, U.S. Ambassador to Israel, in front of the new U.S. embassy (which has Donald J. Trump’s name etched in stone). When asked about the deaths in Gaza, Friedman said that Hamas needs to end its siege of Gaza. Once again, the Zionist inversion of reality is truly breathtaking.

    CBS News this morning opened with extensive coverage of Mrs. Trump’s kidney; Gaza was the second story, starting about 7 minutes into the program. Holly Williams reported from Gaza. Her report was better than Engel’s, for what that’s worth.

    I don’t know how ABC handled it.

  6. JimMichie
    JimMichie
    May 15, 2018, 9:24 am

    I urge you to view this CBS interview, Mondoweiss readers, a rare major network piece providing facts and historical context about the human rights crisis in Palestine:
    CBS News interview presenting facts about the human rights crisis in Palestine
    https://www.facebook.com/JewishVoiceforPeace/videos/10157392479514992/

  7. Ossinev
    Ossinev
    May 15, 2018, 10:56 am

    @James Michie
    Many thanks for the link. I had not heard of Nourah Erekat before. Her synopsis of the situation is superb. Her measured point by point response to the interviewers questions and comments completely dismantled the repulsive Zionist narrative. I hope we see and hear a lot more from her in the future.

  8. Maghlawatan
    Maghlawatan
    May 16, 2018, 1:22 am

    This is very important

    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/may/15/donald-trump-evangelicals-christian-right-jerusalem

    “It was a historic and bloody day for Israel but also a deeply revealing moment in US domestic politics. At the opening of the American embassy in Jerusalem on Monday, a prayer and a benediction were given by two Christian evangelicals from Texas notorious for insulting other religions.

    The selection of pastors Robert Jeffress and John Hagee was a sign of how for some Christians, the recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital is consistent with the biblical prophecy of the second coming of Jesus Christ and the beginning of the Rapture, or end times.

    For others on the Christian right, it was an important show of solidarity with the hardline Israeli prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu.”

    The evangelicals and AIPAC are the only reliable allies Israel has. And evangelicals won’t be bringing any Hebrews up to see Jesus when the Rapture happens.

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