According to reports from the US, hundreds of thousands of persons converged on Washington D.C. on Friday, January 20, to participate in protests during the inauguration of Donald Trump as the 45th president of the United States. In many other countries around the world, demonstrations and protests were also held by those who are unhappy with the new far right US President. Trump plans to escalate the assault on organized labor in the US, to expel masses of migrants and asylum seekers, launch an Islamophobic incitement campaign, violate the right to abortion, expand the use of polluting fuels and accelerate the nuclear arms race.
In Israel, progressives and persons identifying with the left already have a number of very good reasons to protest against Trump – his nomination of a settler-friendly ambassador to Israel, the invitation Trump extended to settler leaders to attend his inauguration, and his provocative pledge/plan to move the US Embassy to Jerusalem. There are also many reasons for Israelis to identify with the protesters in the US on issues which do not directly relate to the local situation here. Trump’s policies, as they begin implementation, have the potential to cause great damage not only to the working people of the United States but also around the world, to say nothing of his chauvinistic world view which must certainly lead to escalating tensions between the US and the other powers, China a Russia in particular. Therefore, it is incumbent upon working people to resist Trump and his policies and chauvinistic messages.Tonight, at 20:00 there will be a vigil outside the US Embassy in Tel Aviv to being doing just that. For details, see the end of this post.
Thousands of Palestinians marched in cities across the occupied West Bank on Thursday to protest alleged plans by the incoming US president, Donald Trump, to move the American embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. During his campaign, Trump pledged that, if elected, he would ensure that the US embassy in Israel was moved to Jerusalem. Such a move would have serious repercussions on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, as it would imply the de facto recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Hundreds of demonstrators waved Palestinian flags during a protest in al-Shuhada square in the city of Nablus, holding signs reading slogans such as “Jerusalem is the key to peace and war” and “Moving the American embassy is a new Balfour Declaration for Palestinians.”
Nasser Abu Jaish, a member of the communist Palestinian People’s Party, told the Palestinian news agency Ma’an, in Nablus that moving the embassy would be tantamount to declaring war on the Palestinian people, as well as on Arab and Muslim nations. “Especially at this time, moving the embassy would confirm that the American administration has decided to end peace process in the region,” Abu Jaish said. Protesters in the city of Ramallah expressed their complete rejection of Trump’s potential decision. Speakers in Ramallah’s al-Manara Square said that recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of a country other than the state of Palestine was a “crime.” At least one other protest took place in the southern West Bank city of Hebron.
The Israeli government has openly expressed its anticipation for a Trump presidency when right-wing politicians believe they will more easily advance plans to expand Israeli settlements and consolidate Israel’s annexation of East Jerusalem and other parts of the West Bank. The fate of Jerusalem has been a focal point of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict for decades, with numerous tensions arising over Israeli threats about the status of non-Jewish religious sites in the city, and the “Judaization” of East Jerusalem through settlement construction and mass demolitions of Palestinian homes.
While members of the international community have founded the solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict on the discontinuation of illegal Israeli settlements and the establishment of a two-state solution, far right Israeli leaders have instead shifted further to the right as many Likud Knesset members have called for an escalation of settlement building in the occupied West Bank, with some advocating for its complete annexation.
A vigil against Trump’s pledges and possible plans to move the American embassy to Jerusllem will take place today, Saturday, January 21, at 20:00, in front of the US Embassy – 71 Hayarkon Street, Tel Aviv.
For details, contact: Adam Keller +972-(0)54-2340749