US Embassy Baptized With Blood

By Finian Cunningham

May 17, 2018 "Information Clearing House" - On the very hour of the US opening its embassy in Jerusalem, hundreds of unarmed Palestinian civilians, including children, were being slaughtered by Israeli snipers.

Nearly 60 people, including eight children, were brutally murdered in cold blood by Israeli sharpshooters. At least a thousand others were injured from bullet wounds, many of whom will be maimed for life. More bloodshed is expected in coming days.

What kind of criminal world are we living in? When news channels can report this carnage as if it's somehow normal. Where is the outrage of Western pundits who foam at the mouth over alleged atrocities elsewhere?

While American and Israeli dignitaries were regaling themselves with hosannas about their "shared values" of "democracy" and "peace", only a few miles away thousands of Palestinians in Gaza were being shot at for daring to demand respect for their human rights.

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President Donald Trump's decision to relocate the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem has been widely rebuked by the rest of the world. The move is killing whatever little peace process there was between Palestinians and Israelis, with the latter emboldened by Trump to ruthlessly annex all territory.

Trump was not present at the embassy ceremony, sending his congratulations by video link instead. His daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared Kushner headed the American delegation. Kushner in an address praised Israel for its "democratic values" and how the US and Israel were eternal allies. With a solemn face, Kushner said: "those who incite violence cannot be part of any peace process".

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gloated over America's backing for his dream to make Jerusalem the "undivided capital of the Jewish state". Without a hint of shame, Netanyahu crowed that "you can't build peace on a foundation of lies". He called it a "great day".

What Trump has done is give official US endorsement to the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory, including East Jerusalem, which Palestinians and international law designate as the future capital of a Palestinian state supposedly arrived at through negotiations with the Israelis.

Thus, under Trump, Washington is now blatantly complicit in the illegal annexation of Palestinian territory by Israel. The role of the US in sponsoring Israeli violations was always present, albeit deceptively disguised with claims of being a mediator and "honest broker" between Palestinians and Israelis.

Nearly 25 years after signing the Oslo Peace Accords, under President Bill Clinton, the Israelis with Washington's acquiescence have expanded their illegal settlements and carried out countless massacres against the Palestinian population, who are confined to open-air concentration camps like the Gaza Strip.

And yet, given this audacious unmasking by Trump of America's role as a brazen accomplice to Israeli crimes, the American president has the brass neck to say this week that Washington is still committed to "full and lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians".

The opening of the US embassy on Monday was timed to coincide with the 70th anniversary of the founding of Israel as a state in 1948. That foundation was built on pogroms and massacres carried out by Jewish settlers who had migrated to historic Palestine from around the world with their Zionist dream and blessings from the United Nations and Western powers to usurp Palestinian rights.

Netanyahu's speech about peace not being possible on "a foundation of lies" applies, ironically, to the creation of the state of Israel. Appropriately, though despicably, the 70th anniversary and the opening of the US embassy was accompanied with the massacre of unarmed Palestinians.

The following day, Tuesday, is what the Palestinians commemorate as "Nakba" — or the "Catastrophe" — the 70th anniversary marking their dispossession as a people from their historic lands.

Over seven decades, millions of Palestinians have been expelled to refugee camps in neighboring states like Jordan and Lebanon. Others ended up in confined ghettos like Gaza or the West Bank, held under siege by Israeli "defense forces".

Out of these balkanized shards of land, the Palestinians are in theory supposed to gain future statehood. But that is a cynical pipe-dream that neither the Israelis nor the US really believe in. The trite talk of future peace is just a cover for the ongoing slow-motion dispossession of Palestinians until they are driven out altogether by the encroaching Israeli state.

The opening of the US embassy in Jerusalem this week, crushing Palestinians claims to East Jerusalem, is emblematic of the cynical and insidious process of historical ethnic cleansing.

In Gaza, where two million Palestinians subsist in appalling conditions of no clean water or electricity, the UN says that the coastal enclave will become unlivable in a matter of years. Under siege from the Israeli military, the people of Gaza are trapped in an open-air prison. Eventually, when they have been ground down into total destitution, the Israelis will probably evacuate them under some grubby American-backed deal to a compliant neighboring state, and finally, annex Gaza.

It is under these conditions of desperation that the people of Gaza have for the past six weeks taken to protesting at Israeli military penning them in with a so-called "security border". Over the past six weeks, nearly 50 unarmed protesters, including journalists and children, were shot dead by Israeli snipers under orders from high command in a tactic of shoot-to-kill. This week, the death toll more than doubled.

The sickening paradox of Israel is too much for words. The state was set up by Jewish migrants fleeing Nazi persecution in Europe. Today, it is maintained by the murderous practices of the Nazi SS and a Western media propaganda system that would marvel Josef Goebbels.

What adds to the horror is how supine European governments, the UN and the Western media are towards the barbarity being inflicted on Palestinians by the Israeli state and its American sponsor. The Arab client regimes of Saudi Arabia and the other Gulf states are equally odious in their silence.

European officials have called for "restraint" by "all sides", thus obfuscating the sheer criminality of Israel and the US. Why aren't the EU and UN calling for war crimes prosecutions?

The hypocrisy and double standards shown by Western governments is truly shocking. Only a few weeks ago, they were clamoring over an alleged chemical-weapons incident in Syria, and carried out air strikes on that country in "retribution". It turned out that the incident was a fabrication concocted by Western-backed terrorists.

How many times have we heard Western governments and their media pontificate about alleged Russian "annexation" of Crimea?

But these Western hypocrites say nothing about the ongoing murderous annexation of Palestine by the US-backed Israeli state.

We are living in nefarious, lawless times, where Western governments and media say next to nothing about the murder of civilians when it suits their geopolitics. But these same governments make up accusations on the basis of lies and fulminate with righteous condemnation out of cynical expedience against "enemies" like Syria, Iran and Russia.

The opening of the US embassy in Jerusalem this week was anointed with the blood of innocent people shot down by Israeli snipers. That massacre is surely the grotesque sign of the iniquitous and very dangerous times were are living in.

Finian Cunningham has written extensively on international affairs, with articles published in several languages. He is a Master’s graduate in Agricultural Chemistry and worked as a scientific editor for the Royal Society of Chemistry, Cambridge, England, before pursuing a career in newspaper journalism. He is also a musician and songwriter. For nearly 20 years, he worked as an editor and writer in major news media organisations, including The Mirror, Irish Times and Independent.

This article was originally published by "Sputnik" -  


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