The Communist Party USA reacts with anger and sorrow to the killing of at least 62 Palestinian demonstrators in Gaza by Israeli security forces on Monday, May 14. The CPUSA directly blames the Israeli government of Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu and the U.S. government of President Donald Trump for this tragedy.
At the same time as the killing was going on, the United States government was celebrating the beginning of Trump’s previously announced move of the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. As the blood flowed in Gaza, Trump’s daughter Ivanka and son-in-law Jared Kushner personally demonstrated the U.S. government’s embrace of the reactionary and bigoted Netanyahu government.
May 15 was the anniversary of what the Palestinians call the Nakba, or disaster, the expulsion of 700,000 Palestinians that took place during the Arab-Israeli War in 1948. Since March 30, Palestinians in Gaza have been demonstrating against the suffering imposed by Israel and its policies. Including in Monday’s slaughter, at least 112 Palestinian demonstrators have been killed and thousands wounded.
The culpability of the Trump administration is enormous. The U.S. has been the main funder of the Israeli security forces, and under Trump, has not used the leverage that this has given this country to haul Netenyahu back from extremist positions and actions.
Trump’s provocative decision to move the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem was spurred by U.S. domestic politics, with the purpose, especially, of bolstering his political support among extreme right-wing allies. As evidence of this, we note the presence at the ceremony of extremist Christian Evangelical clergy, as well as elements of the extreme Zionist right such as the casino magnate and Trump financial supporter Sheldon Adelson.
A clear signal that the Trump administration would be moving in this direction was the appointment of his political supporter David Friedman as U.S. ambassador to Israel at the beginning of his presidency. Friedman is a right-winger who has been involved in support for the expansion of the settlements in the West Bank, and has been at best lukewarm about a two state solution. He has denounced U.S. Jews who have criticized these things as traitors to the Jewish people.
The move of the embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem undercut the possible basis for a final peace settlement between Israel and Palestine because it did not take into account the Palestinian claim of East Jerusalem and the capital of a Palestinian state. And now, in the Security Council of the United States, the U.S. delegation has even blocked a proposal for an independent investigation of the events in Gaza yesterday.
President Trump, responding to the deaths in Gaza, took the same line on the issue as did the Israeli government, blaming the deaths on the Palestinians themselves. This is yet another indication that the U.S. government is now squarely behind the “Greater Israel” project of the most extreme elements in Israeli politics. It is yet another step in the direction of the “apartheid state” in Israel, under which the country cannot exist as a “democratic Jewish state”.
The attitude of the U.S. and Israeli governments has struck a terrible blow to chances for a peaceful resolution of the Israel-Palestine conflict. Trump’s claims that he is going to be the great peacemaker in the region should be seen as yet another example of his meaningless and dangerous braggadocio. But the fact that he is the President of the United States imposes a responsibility on our people to speak out and act to put a stop to this situation.
Fortunately, the Trump-Netanyahu policies are opposed by a probable majority of Jews in the United States, as well as other sectors of our society. A growing number of Israeli Jews are also speaking out.
The Communist Party USA expresses its solidarity with the Palestinian people, and calls upon the people of our nation to speak out, demonstrate and demand:
- That the Trump administration cancel the planned embassy move, and return to the position that the final status of Jerusalem must be left for a general peace settlement.
- That the administration cease and desist from blocking U.N. calls for an independent investigation of the events.
- That the U.S. cease to aid and abet the anti-Palestinian activities of the Netanyahu government, including the blockading of Gaza and the never-ending expansion of settlements in the West Bank.
- That the U.S. cease to provide security funding to the Netanyahu regime.
- That the U.S. cease to block progress toward a just peace in the Middle East based on the now severely undermined two state basis.
- That the U.S. restore funding to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency, which does important human services work in Gaza.
We call upon our members and friends to contact the White House, the State Department, our Senators and Representatives and the national press and media to insist on these things.
Image: Palestinian Peoples Party