On December 16th, 2017 a rally was held in D.C. in an effort to protest the validation of President Trump’s voice of support, stating that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel and the U.S. intends to move its embassy to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv. As reported by Al-Jazeera, the 1947 UN Partition Plan was enacted to divide Palestine between Jewish and Arab states, which led to the special status which was appointed to Jerusalem that it shall be placed under international sovereignty and control. The status of this agreement was given based off of the city’s religious importance to the three Abrahamic religions. Unfortunately, the creation of Israel has, since its inception, undermined the rights of Palestinians through the annexation of land and a several decade-long occupation.
So Why Does It Matter if the U.S. Takes Sides?
For decades the U.S. positioned itself as the primary mediator between the Palestinians and the Israelis, which many believe to be essential for peace. However, when President Trump took a pro-Israel position on December 6th he failed to realize the two-state solution would cease to exist. Following Trump’s announcement, a wave of protests rose all around the world- from Turkey to Pakistan and from United States to Tokyo, thousands of people took to the streets to voice their opposition of this decision as we’ve already begun to witness the consequences of this announcement.
- On December 14th, Gaza’s border crossings for goods and pedestrians was closed.
- Israel launched a series of air raids, some of which turned deadly against Palestinians.
- More than ten attacks were carried out in total.
- At least eight Palestinians have been killed by Israel since Trump’s announcement according to the Palestinian health ministry.
- Four demonstrators, including a disabled man in Gaza, were fatally shot by Israeli forces on December 15th.
- The Palestinian Red Crescent has provided medical assistance to more than 1,933 people across the West Bank and Gaza Strip since Washington’s policy change.
- On December 13th a statement made by the Palestinian Prisoners Society said Israeli security forces have arrested more than 260 Palestinians from the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem since Trump’s announcement, several of which were children.
(Reported by Al-Jazeera)
What Can We Do?
- Call or write letters to your representatives and voice your opposition. We have the freedom of speech, use it.
- Attend protests and show your support.
- Spread awareness and educate those around you regarding the issue.
- Most importantly, pray and seek guidance.
“Do not let yourselves become blind followers, saying that if the people are good then we will be good, and if they are unjust then we will be unjust. Rather, make up your own minds. If the people are good then be good, but if they are evil then do not be unjust.” –At-Tirmidhi