Today will go down in history as the day the US encouraged Israel to cross the line towards what numerous US and international leaders have been warning from, a full-fledged apartheid. The reality has evolved into a system of privileging one group and continuing to deny the human and national rights, all granted by international law, of over 12 million Palestinians.
This move marks the end of an era when the United States led international efforts to supposedly achieve the two-state solution, ending Israel’s occupation that began in 1967 including East Jerusalem. Since 1991, millions of Palestinian people held hope that the US was committed to peace, particularly as seen in the written assurances of the United States to implement international resolutions and respect the issue of Jerusalem as a final status issue.
Instead, the US administration has acted in a divisive manner, removing itself from the role of peacemaker, and putting its full weight behind the minority anti-peace forces who believe in a zero sum game, while deepening the already profound uncertainty and anxiety in Palestine and beyond.
This act not only negates history and the lived reality of an entire nation, as we commemorate this week 70 years of Nakba, or Catastrophe, it also dismisses the centrality of Jerusalem in the lives of millions of Palestinian Christians and Muslims.
Tragically, the US administration has chosen to side with Israel’s exclusivist claims over a city that has for centuries been sacred to all faiths. Today’s move of the US embassy gives life to a religious conflict instead of a dignified peace.
We shall not give up our belief that peace can be achieved. We will defend our internationally endorsed rights, including the right to self-determination in an independent sovereign state of Palestine with East Jerusalem as its capital, and will not deviate from our decades-long work with our international partners to realize a better future for all peoples in the region.