US President Donald Trump’s latest war has started with his decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and his plan to move the US embassy to that city.
By recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, the US further isolates itself as it becomes the only country in the world to do so. Clearly the US rejects the idea that Jerusalem is an ‘international’ city sacred to Muslims, Christians and Jews both inside Israel and Palestine and all over the world. The United Nations Security Council’s resolution 476 says declaring Jerusalem Israel’s capital would be a flagrant violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention about protecting civilians during war and a serious impediment to a just and lasting peace.
The United States’ recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel will extend further and deeper oppression of the Palestinians by Israel. The US has gone along with 50 years of illegal Israeli military occupation of more than 5 million Palestinians’ lives, the imprisonment of tens of thousands of Palestinians who dare to speak out, hundreds of children jailed for stone-throwing, and thousands of dunams of land grabbed by Israel to build illegal settlements for Israelis only.
Moving the US embassy to Jerusalem signals the Israeli government that the US will continue to aid and abet the occupation. In 2016, the US agreed to fund Israel’s military to the tune of $3.8 billion a year for the next 10 years.
Palestinians, many of whom have lost brothers, sisters, parents or children, to Israeli violence, reject the latest move by the US. Already there have been demonstrations in Ramallah, and the dimming of Christmas lights and cancellations of celebrations in Bethlehem – the town in the occupied West Bank where Jesus was born.
And what will the US gain from this? Trump is clearly playing to his base – to the 90 million Evangelical Christians in the US who blindly support him. His base also includes pro-Israel Americans such as casino-magnate Sheldon Adelson who donated $25 million to Trump’s 2016 election campaign, or investor Robert Mercer whose family gave $1 million.
To move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem will do nothing to achieve a just and lasting peace in Palestine and Israel. It will result in a deepening US sponsored attack on Palestinians who are already living in desperate conditions.
This statement was written by Judy Haiven, a founding member of CAJJP, and a recently retired professor at St Mary's University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.
Watch the video of Dr Norman Finkelstein's
talk in Halifax on 4 November 2014
(best viewed using either the Firefox or Chrome web browser. These can both be downloaded for free on the internet.)
Not So Recent Events
Israel and Palestine: What Has Changed after Gaza 2014?
was the title of the free public lecture presented by Dr Norman Finkelstein on 4 November 2014 to a standing room only crowd in the McNally Theatre Auditorium at St Mary's University.
The son of Jewish survivors of the Nazi genocide, Finkelstein is author of nine books, including
Watch a video of his presentation (best viewed using either the Firefox or Chrome web browser. These can both be downloaded for free on the internet.)
How Israel Spins Gaza to You and to the World
On 9 October 2014 Tyler Levitan was in Halifax to give this talk at the University of King's College, Alumni Hall, New Academic Building.
Tyler is the Campaign Co-ordinator for Independent Jewish Voices, Canada.
Born and raised in a Zionist family in Ottawa, he attended an
all-Jewish elementary school there. He was a committed Zionist until his
early undergraduate years at Queen's University. In his first year at
Queen's he discovered the only way he could get to Israel on the cheap was to
accept a “Hasbara Fellowship". “Hasbara” (which means “explanation” in
Hebrew) has come to mean Israeli propaganda. His experience in Israel
had the opposite effect to what was intended. Tyler has since become a
strong critic of Israeli policy and its occupation of Palestine.
In Israel’s recent attack on Gaza, Hasbara was very much in evidence as
Israel again attempted to “spin” the story to its advantage.
But let Tyler's presentation speak for him.
Negev Dinner Protest - 22 May 2014
UNJPPI Demonstration - 3 December 2013