US Jerusalem Embassy Opening May 14
by Stephen Lendman
US recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s exclusive capital flagrantly violates international law.
Sunday is Jerusalem Day in Israel, commemorating the illegal conquest and reunification of the international city following the IDF’s preemptive Six Day War of aggression.
On Monday, Washington’s embassy opens in its consular facility – ahead of adjacent expanded quarters under construction, completion expected by end of 2019.
A permanent embassy site has yet to be chosen, construction to begin once decided.
Most US embassy staff will continue working in Tel Aviv, including ambassador David Friedman, dividing his time between both locations.
Guatemala is moving its embassy to Jerusalem. Honduras, Romania, and perhaps one or more other countries may follow – breaching international law.
The vast majority of world countries recognize Jerusalem as an international city, not Israel’s capital.
Ambassadors to Israel from 86 nations were invited to the US embassy opening. Only 30 accepted.
America’s delegation will include Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan, Treasury Secretary Mnuchin, Trump’s son-in-law/advisor Jared Kushner, his wife Ivanka Trump, administration international envoy Jason Greenblatt, and congressional members.
Trump will address the opening ceremony from Washington – either live or by pre-recorded message.
He ignored last December’s UN General Assembly vote rejecting the embassy move – symbolically rendering it null and void only.
The non-binding vote was adopted by a 128 member state majority, nine weak-kneed nations voting “no,” another 35 intimidated or bribed to abstain – 21 nations not voting, 65 countries in total failing to do the right thing.
Key “yes” votes came from Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia – the P5+1 countries excluding America voting “no.”
Other nations against the resolution included Guatemala, Honduras, Israel, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, Pauau and Togo.
Countries abstaining included Argentina, Australia, Canada, the Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, Colombia, and Mexico, among others.
According to an administration source, about 800 officials and invited guests will attend Monday’s opening – coinciding with Israel’s 70th anniversary.
Nakba Day will be commemorated on May 15 – a day that will live in infamy forever, one of history’s great crimes, fully supported by Washington, Britain and other Western nations.
Israel’s war without mercy depopulated Palestinian villages and cities. It massacred innocent victims, committed rapes and other atrocities.
Its forces burned, bulldozed, blew up or stole homes, property and other personal possessions. To this day, Israel prevents diaspora Palestinians from returning home, despite international law guaranteeing their right.
About 800,000 Palestinians were displaced or slaughtered. Genocidal ethnic cleansing destroyed 531 villages and 11 urban neighborhoods in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Haifa and other cities.
The late Edward Said called what happened Palestine’s “holocaust,” its people as powerless and abused as Jews were under Hitler.
They endure slow-motion genocide at the hands of a ruthless occupier, denied their fundamental rights, collectively punished, brutalized, murdered in cold blood, arrested and imprisoned for political reasons.
Two-thirds of Palestinians worldwide are internally or externally displaced. Besieged Gazans endure intolerably inhumane conditions with no end of their suffering in prospect.
It’s the reason for weekly Great March of Return Fridays, begun on March 30, continuing through mid-June – targeted by Israeli snipers, killing dozens, wounding thousands, many victims with disabling injuries.
Ahead of Nakba Day, Jewish Voice for Peace displayed a Palestinian and US Jew standing side-by-side, holding signs saying the following:
One poignantly said “I am a Palestinian Arab. I was born in Jerusalem. Palestine is my homeland but I cannot return there.
The other said “I am an American Jew. I was born in USA. Israel is not my homeland. But I can ‘return’ there.”
It’s been 70 years since Palestinians were denied their right of return, guaranteed under international law, prevented by Israel – with full support and encouragement from Washington.
While US and Israeli officials commemorate Washington’s Jerusalem embassy opening on Monday, along with Israel’s 70th anniversary, Palestinians mourn the loss of their homeland, millions subjugated under ruthless occupation – the world community ignoring their suffering.
My newest book as editor and contributor is titled "Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III."