PNN / Jerusalem/
Grassroots Jerusalem has published an overview of May in Palestine in this following article
The second week in May this year was painful and infuriating for the Palestinian people. Tuesday, May 15th, marked 70 years since the Palestinian Nakba, and on Sunday the 13th tens of thousands of Israelis marched the streets of Jerusalem celebrating 51 years since the occupation of the east part of Jerusalem in 1967, what Israel calls the “unification of Jerusalem”. But the worst news came on Monday, May 14th, when the Israeli occupation army massacred 64 Palestinians, and injured around 2700 others in Gaza, during the Great Return March.
The march was at the height of 8 weeks that the people of Gaza (70% of which are Nakba refugees) marched to emphasize their undeniable right to return to their lands from which they were expelled in 1948. In addition, they were also protesting 12 years of the siege on the Gaza Strip, as well as the US embassy move to Jerusalem.
The massacre happened at the very same time that the Israeli occupation government welcomed the representatives of 33 countries at the opening ceremony of the US embassy in Jerusalem. This move has been at the center of a worldwide media storm. Many voices warned that such a move defies international law and jeopardizes the “stability in the region” as well as the “peace process”.
The US embassy move to Jerusalem is indeed dangerous, as it reflects an attempt to force a Zionist identity on the city. Yet, it should not be portrayed as a dramatic change in the US position on the Zionist colonization in Palestine. The continuous and unconditional US support to this colonization started with the birth of the idea of a Zionist entity in Palestine and has continued as consecutive US administrations provided military, economic and diplomatic aid to Israel, all amidst worldwide silence and compliance. Nonetheless, this move is an attempt to end the issue of Palestine through the implementation of the “deal of the century”, a thing that makes the move dangerous despite its symbolism.
For the Palestinian people, the embassy move is yet another expression of the US active part in the Zionist colonization, and yet another phase in the ongoing confrontation with this colonization.
“Such a move requires a struggle on many fronts. Nonetheless, we do not believe that International Law systems should be among these fronts, since for 70 years, such systems have proven themselves to fail in bringing the Palestinian people (or other people) remedy,” Grassroots Jerusalem said.
“Instead, Palestinian advocacy efforts and resources have been spent on calling upon the international community to hold Israel accountable to its crimes, producing – in best case scenarios – UN resolutions criticizing Israel but no actions to stop these crimes. The list of UN resolutions against Israel is long, yet Israel does not abide by them and also sees no consequences. Thus, international law has no teeth,” it added.
“We believe that our efforts should be geared towards community mobilization and networking. This is the only way for our people to lead the struggle for freedom. Our international advocacy would be more effective if addressing the grassroots around the world, rather than their governments. These governments clearly follow their diplomatic and economic interest rather than international law itself. Many have in the past criticized Israel at the UN but continued to do business with it nonetheless,” Grassroots Jerusalem added.
The Israeli colonization is maintained not only by direct aid money that it receives from the US ($3.8 billion yearly) but also by the economic cooperation with European and other countries, especially military industrial trade. While these countries repeat their empty statements regarding their “concern” for the state of human rights in Palestine and Israel’s lack of respect to international law, they continue to do business with Israel because it is in their interest. Aside from being hypocritical, this also is providing Israel with the funds to maintain and strengthen its colonization.
The organization said it believes that the people have the power to tell their governments that they must not remain silent about what is happening in Palestine- They have the power to tell their governments: not with our taxpayer money do you do business with the Israeli occupation authorities.
“We also believe that no solution to the issue of Palestine can be achieved without fulfilling the right of return by Palestinian refugees. No matter how much time passes, something Israel hopes will make the issue die out, the right of return of the refugees is a core principle that the Palestinian people hold high and to which they cling strongly,” it concluded.