Embassy move: a Gazan’s outlook

First of all, this decision (to move the U.S. embassy) is invalid. Jerusalem is the cornerstone of the Palestinian cause. It’s the foundation on which everything else is built. This is a violation for every Palestinian, for any Arab. This decision is unacceptable.

Video

From a young man in Gaza, Jamal Mushen.

Video by Joyce Lee in the The Washington Post, May 14, 2018.

Advertisements

“March of Return” in Gaza

More here in the future, including a timeline.

The protests in Gaza, allegedly marches, began on  Friday, March 30, 2018, seven weeks before the U.S. set up its Israel embassy in Jerusalem.

The initial plan was to protest each of seven Fridays, leading up to the day commemorating AnNakba — the Day of Catastrophe when the Jewish state in Palestine declared its independence in 1948. This year’s Day of Catastrophe was on Tuesday, May 15, 2018.

Notice that the Nakba is reckoned from when Jews declared a Jewish state in  accordance with the United Nation’s Partition Plan  for Palestine.

U.S. Embassy opens in Jerusalem

by Nesanel Segal | Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Monday’s opening of the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem was not yet the promised move of the embassy from Tel Aviv. The ambassador now has an office in the Jerusalem Consulate General’s annex campus instead of in a rented room at the King David Hotel. A plaque now marks the identity as ‘United States Embassy – Jerusalem, Israel’ and adds President Trump’s name.

This first phase only involves shifting the ambassador and core staff to Jerusalem — less than a half-dozen people. The new presence will operate as a diplomatic nerve center.
Including building modifications and additional security, this first move cost less than $400,000, within the revised budget.

Some Palestinians view moving the embassy as a major betrayal of Washington’s decades-old role as a potential broker for a peace deal with Israel. Those who arrived at the ceremony to celebrate the opening of the new embassy dismissed claims that the move undermines the chances for peace between Israelis and Palestinians.

On Tuesday, May 15th, Palestinians marked the Nakba, Arabic for “catastrophe,” a term used for the flight and expulsion of an estimated 600,000 Palestinians seven decades ago upon Israel’s creation.

President Trump’s national security adviser, John Bolton, asserted that moving the embassy from Tel Aviv is “a recognition of reality” that ends the United States and Israel “operating on a completely different wavelength.”

“Recognizing reality always enhances the chances for peace,” Bolton added.

Adapted from The Washington Post, Ruth Eglash with Brian Murphy, “Jerusalem welcomes the new U.S. Embassy as Palestinians decry ‘hostile’ move,” Middle East, revised, May 14, 2018.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo visits Israel

Plans underway to open the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem

Secretary Pompeo visited Israel on April 29, 2018, having just visited Saudi Arabia and before visiting Jordan.

Pompeo announced that the new embassy will be opened on May 14th, the 70th anniversary of Israel’s independence and 70 years of recognition of the state by the U.S.

A reference to final peace agreements came when Pompeo said that “… the boundaries of Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem remain subject to negotiations between the parties …” Primarily, Pompeo addressed “… efforts to counter Iran’s destabilizing and malign activity throughout the Middle East …”

Irony of ironies: Secretary Pompeo met Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Tel Aviv where the Prime Minister maintains an office. Jerusalem is the seat of Israel’s government, but Tel Aviv will continue to be the practical location for international affairs.

I’ve mentioned before that Israel’s international airport is a short limousine ride from Tel Aviv destinations. Jerusalem, in contrast, is 40-45 minutes away (50 km).

Jerusalem has an airport, but international regulators refuse to authorize international flights into the airport. It’s not yet clear to me why Jerusalem is off limits. If it’s a political issue, the pertinent element is that the airport is in disputed Jerusalem territory.

If we can dismiss political matters, the Jerusalem airport is not secure and safe. The runway lies a short distance from the Jerusalem security barrier and the Palestinian city of Ramallah. Israel police and military forces have made little effort to keep Palestinians away from their side of the barrier. Consequently, Palestinians have been heaving rocks onto the tarmac with impunity.

See the official transcript of Pompeo’s remarks on the website of the U.S. State Department.

 

I’ve postponed my bête noire appointments

This month was going to be dedicated to the Palestinian Authority — how they’ve done nothing helpful for their people.

U.S. President Donald Trump’s policies generally aggravate me (March into April).

On the other hand, pundit Bill Bennett (February) has cut back from being an apologist for President Trump. Listening to him has become less aggravating, sometimes even not aggravating at all.

Coverage by journalists tends to aggravate me. More of that in future months.

U.S. tax forms just aggravated me — the forms, not the tax levy.

So, let me step back to watch the star Sirius.

Let me catch up with Israel’s regional and city planning.

And let me sit back to drink at glass of hot tea with sugar.

Trump proposes to betray an ally

A U.S. withdrawal of its troops from Syria constitutes a betrayal of Israel. Israel’s security depends on a robust American force against the Assad regime. Otherwise, the regime is liable to create mayhem for Israel.

As usual, President Trump did not consult experts when he announced a U.S. withdrawal. Judging by a reported reaction from Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu, no one in Israel’s establishment was consulted either.

What is likely to happen? Mr.Trump has made his point. Making an anti-establishment point is all that the President’s supporters expect. Now, the Pentagon and Congress will continue pretty much as if President Trump had not made his unilateral declaration.

The Palestinian Authority – my bête noire for April

If I examine what the Palestinian Authority doesn’t do for its constituents, I get aggravated. The PA is my bête noire for April.

U.S. President Donald Trump was my bête noire for March by default. Since a few aggravating issues have come up in the beginning of April, I’m granting him an extension for about another week.