Democratic frontrunner Bernie Sanders was asked about the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem, but still wouldn’t commit to moving it back to Tel Aviv.
By threatening Iran with war, Donald Trump is proving to be the “perfect little puppet,” as he once put it of his largest donor, Sheldon Adelson, who is close to Netanyahu and once called on Obama to nuke Iran. Too bad the media can’t talk about it.
South Bend Mayor and presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg said he’d keep the US embassy in Jerusalem if he was elected. The comments came just one week after Buttigieg publicly denounced Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s pledge to annex sections of the West Bank and said there were signs that Israel’s government was “turning away from peace.”
After an emergency summit in Saudi Arabia, the 57 countries of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation called for a boycott of nations that move their embassies to Jerusalem. Saudi King Salman said, “The Palestinian cause is the cornerstone” of the organization, in a statement that appeared to be a setback to Jared Kushner’s peace plan that is said to skip over the question of Palestinian sovereignty.
Ambassador David Friedman’s religious remarks in Jerusalem Tuesday went well beyond his comment that Israel is “on the side of God.” Friedman likened the US-Israel relationship to the “altar” in the original Jewish temple in Jerusalem and called the embassy a “shrine” that people pray to and thank God for, and said the U.S. and Israel need to advance the relationship toward greater “holiness.”
Last summer, Trump’s moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem opened the floodgates for a new era of Israeli provocations on the city’s Palestinians. Helena Cobban outlines the decades-long Zionist assault on the Palestinian presence and institutions in the holy city, and says that this new period will likely see greater government support for projects to extend the extremist settlers’ matrix of control over all parts of the Old City.
The US Government today folded the former US consulate in Jerusalem, which served Palestinians, into the Embassy led by ambassador and settler-advocate David Friedman in what Hanan Ashrawi of the PLO called “an act of political assault on Palestinian rights and identity.”
Looking back on this year, it is difficult to choose one moment, one tragedy, or one political decision that stands out among the rest. Palestinians witnessed a tumultuous year in 2018, as they saw hundreds killed from the West Bank to Gaza, their rights slowly stripped away inside Israel, and the heart of Palestinian identity, Jerusalem, pushed further out of reach. But as evidenced by the ongoing fight for the rights of refugees in Gaza’s Great March of Return, the fight against expulsion in places Silwan and Khan al-Ahmar, and the fight for equal rights as citizens in Israel, the fight for Palestinian rights continued as well.
One year ago, US President Donald Trump announced that he was officially recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, breaking with decades of US and international foreign policy in the region. The announcement sparked widespread protests across the occupied Palestinian territory and Gaza, some of which are still continuing today. The political implications of Trump’s decision were clear: the US was virtually erasing any Palestinian claims to the city, specifically occupied East Jerusalem, which Palestinians maintain must be the capital of their future state. And over the course of the next year, Trump and his administration would announce and enact a series of measures against the Palestinians in an effort to wear them down until they were forced to come to Trump and Netanyahu’s negotiating table and take whatever they could get.