- Israel’s Monday massacre in Gaza
Whatever their personal failings or policy mistakes, recent US presidents sensibly put off the requirements of the 1995 Jerusalem Embassy Act, shifting the American embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem to ‘protect their national security interests’, knowing well that any imposed change in status of the contested city would spark violent Palestinian unrest, end the supposed American role of ‘honest broker’ in the 70-year Palestinian-Israel dispute and prove the final nail in the coffin for a viable two-state solution. But the impulsive incumbent, Donald Trump, discontinued this prudent practice by a December 2017 waiver, finally facilitating shifting of the US embassy to Jerusalem on Monday, amid much gaiety, fanfare and self-congratulatory speeches on the ‘historic’ occasion by myopic speakers, including Trump’s daughter and Jewish son-in-law, both senior White House aides.
But there was a darker, uglier side to this genial picture. Even as the elated Zionist company was ‘dancing to the jazz band’, the Palestinian ‘ocean liner was sinking’. For the displaced Palestinians of occupied Gaza, over 41 of whom had already been killed and 1,800 injured in Israeli forces’ firing since March 30 while staging the ‘Great March of Return’ on Fridays near the sealed, ‘racist’, border fence, Monday became one of the blackest days of the Palestinian resistance. As thousands, including women and children, protested in the Gaza Strip, Israeli soldiers fired automatic weapons, while drones flew overhead hurling tear gas, resulting in 60 Palestinian dead and nearly 3,000 wounded (and with the bigger ‘Naqba’ demonstration still to come on Tuesday), a grim testimony to Israeli inhumanity and its flouting of international law and moral codes with impunity. Only South Africa, with its apartheid past, and Turkey condemned the IDF sniper’s cold-blooded killings, and recalled their ambassadors, but the general reaction has largely been muted, as usual. However, blaming Hamas for all ills, a key plank of US-Zionist propaganda, will not exonerate the IDF’s deadly killing sprees. Muslim world reaction is pathetic, as usual, but of extreme concern is the close Israeli-Saudi nexus against Iran, which immeasurably weakens the larger Palestinian cause. Israel’s ‘eternal, undivided, capital’ may in time turn out to be a mirage, but then so unfortunately is present Muslim unity.