The horrendous bloodshed this week in Gaza is directly related to US President Trump’s controversial decision to relocate the American embassy to the contested city of Jerusalem.
The US bears responsibility in large part for the atrocity in which more than 60 unarmed Palestinians were shot dead by Israeli military. This was a cold-blooded massacre.
Thousands of others were maimed from live fire. An eight-month-old baby girl, Layla Ghandour, was among the victims after she died from asphyxiation from tear gas fired at the protesters.
Washington’s shameless defense of Israel’s brutal use of lethal force as “restrained” and its subsequent blocking of an independent UN inquiry into the mass shootings only compound Washington’s culpability in the massacre. A massacre which threatens to add further tensions to an already combustible region.
The question is how much of US complicity was a deliberate calculation by Washington to provoke widespread violence, not just in the occupied Palestinian territories, but in the wider Middle East?
Trump’s decision to relocate the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem was implemented despite international warning that the move violated global consensus that Jerusalem should be a shared capital between Israel and a future Palestinian state. Trump’s decision recklessly snubbed Palestinian rights by symbolically siding with Israel’s claim to Jerusalem as its “undivided capital”.
Not only that but the US embassy move was pointedly scheduled to coincide with the 70th anniversary of Israel’s foundation as a state on May 14, 1948. The date is also marked by Palestinians as the “Nakba” or “Catastrophe”, when millions of Palestinians were forced from their homes and ancient land by Israeli settlers.
Such a move by the Trump administration was bound to exacerbate already heightened Palestinian grievances after decades of injustice against their right to statehood and their right to return to ancestral homelands. Some 70 per cent of Gaza’s two million residents claim to be refugees who demand the right to return to their homelands in what is now Israeli-occupied Jerusalem and elsewhere in the modern state of Israel.
Trump’s blatant partisan intervention on the side of Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory flies in the face of UN resolutions and international consensus which views Palestinians as having an inalienable claim to statehood. Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territory has expanded without relent despite countless UN resolutions condemning such expansion as illegal.
At least one thing is incontestably clear now. Washington’s role in the decades-old conflict no longer has the pretense of being “an honest broker” or “neutral mediator”. For decades, the US has tacitly sponsored Israel’s illegal occupation of Palestinian lands. It is 25 years since President Bill Clinton oversaw the Oslo Peace Accords. Today, the so-called peace process is dead and Palestinians are further than ever from realizing their right to a state in coexistence with Israel.
Trump has made it clear that as far as the US is concerned there is no peace process, that there is no “Two State Solution”.
It is telling that Palestinian leaders no longer recognize the US as a mediator. The US is part of the ongoing problem of an illegal colonialism against Palestinian people. Israeli governments are not interested in finding an honorable peace settlement. Their tacit position seems to be one of relentless conquest and driving the remaining Palestinian population out of the entire land between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean.
What is the solution? It seems now that the only decent arrangement is for a One State Solution to be striven for, in which all the people of the Holy Land are entitled to share equal rights. However, that is something that is anathema to the Israeli leaders who want only to create a solely Jewish state.
The international community must face up to the illusion of a Two-State Solution. The world must somehow muster the political will to advocate for the rights of Palestinians to live in the land which was formerly known as Palestine.
For seven decades, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has been the source of ongoing conflict in the entire Middle East. Without a proper, just peace settlement that recognizes and delivers on the rights of Palestinians the region will continue to be wracked by violence.
Washington’s brazen and reckless intervention in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict should be recognized now as an incendiary role. The US has forfeited any claim to be a mediator. It is a malevolent actor.
Israel’s project of conquest is part and parcel with the wider US ambition to control the Middle East for its imperialist designs. America is not some benign player as its mythical image-making would pretend.
The mass murder this week in Gaza in conjunction with the US giving its stamp of approval to Israeli annexation of Palestinian territory is a fitting proof of Washington’s real role in the Middle East. Washington cares not a jot for democracy or peace in the region. It is motivated entirely by hegemonic control for American imperial power.
Chaos and conflict is the fuel for American presence and control. Dispossession of Palestinians goes hand-in-hand with Washington’s strategic planning to balkanize and destroy states. We have seen this nefarious policy with regard to Iraq, Syria, Lebanon and elsewhere. Washington needs Israeli conquest in the same way it needs a cluster of other client despotic regimes like Saudi Arabia and the Gulf Arab dictatorships. To crush indigenous democratic rights in order to project its power interests, chiefly for the huge oil wealth of the region, as well as for denying perceived global rivals from gaining influence, especially if that influence might be more progressive.
The US is hellbent on keeping the Middle East in turmoil and conflict. Forget about lofty claims of “democracy building”. Washington’s power relies on creating war and bloodshed. The Project for a New American Century, and other neocon strategy documents, have long prescribed this very policy of creative-destruction, in hoc with Israel, as a formula to consolidate US power, no matter the cost in millions of innocent lives.
Washington’s callous and criminal disregard for Palestinians is a piece of its strategy for mayhem. The renewed confrontation with Iran is also testimony to this pernicious policy.
The cynicism of the US is staggering. This week at the UN, the American ambassador Nikki Haley walked out when the Palestinian envoy, Riad Mansour, began his address to the Security Council about the atrocity in Gaza. For months, Haley has been denouncing Syria, Russia and Iran over alleged violations. Yet she had not the conscience to listen to how Israeli troops butchered unarmed Palestinians in cold blood.
Haley’s rank hypocrisy is closely matched by Western mainstream news media. Their saturated coverage and hysterical distortions over Syria blaming the Assad government and Russia for alleged atrocities was in stark contrast to their muted response to the US-backed cold-blooded murder in Gaza this week.
The criminal arrogance of the US and its complicity in mass murder was exposed this week. It was an object lesson on how the US is not a force for good, as it so often proclaims. Rather, it is evidently a force for destruction in the interests of its own selfish imperialist designs.