On 6 December, 2017 the US President Donald Trump, already known for his unrelenting arrogance, stunned the world with his new declaration that the United States would move its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. It implied that Jerusalem would be Israel’s capital and would thus come under Israel with control over the entire Jerusalem, while at present, by repeated international agreement, Israel’s sovereignty over eastern Jerusalem is not internationally recognized. Jerusalem is supposed to belong to Palestine. Trump trumpeted for his declaration as being a mark of ‘beginning of a new approach to conflict between Israel and the Palestinians.’ (AFP—Livemint 07-12-17)
Trump’s decision sparks off fresh conflict
Whether and how far will it mark ‘a new approach’ is sure to be unfolded. But instantaneously this abjectly haughty pronouncement typifying the chieftain of a power-monger brigand of the US imperialism, ushered in near universal condemnation and diplomatic fallout as well as fresh ‘conflict’ between the Israelis and the Palestinians. The Palestinians had come out on the streets with protests and clashes in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip from anxiety, resentment and wrath. There were cries: “The gates of hell will be opened in the West before the East”. The Zionist Israel, usual for them and right now elated at Trump’s declaration, retaliated with tear gas, rubber bullets and live rounds, even air strikes which took a toll of several lives along with more than 1,100 people wounded within a span of just three days from 6 to 9 December. This was reported by Palestinian health officials. In Hebron on 7 December, over 20 Israeli soldiers arrested Fawzi Al-Junaidi, a 14-year-old boy, blindfolded him and marched him off to detention. This inhuman act went viral in social media drawing widespread condemnation including bitter comments like, “Israel is a terrorist state. We will not abandon Jerusalem to the mercy of a child-murder state.” Masses of thousands, even going to tens of thousands protested in countries across the world: the Palestinian territories, Jordan, Turkey, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Iran, Malaysia, Lebanon, Indonesia, Egypt and Morocco and elsewhere. Solidarity actions also took place in London, Brussels, Paris, Rome, Amsterdam and Berlin in Western Europe, in Canada and in the cities all over the United States.
Condemnation rose from streets to diplomatic levels
The condemnation rose from streets to diplomatic levels. So unjust and heinous was the US move in naked violation of international norms and consensus that even the imperialist countries of the world as well as the reactionary rulers of many Arab countries could not but denounce it. In the Arab countries, Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), the Hamas leaders, the leaders of Hezbollah, the Lebanese militant group and the Arab League foreign ministers, among others, expressed their opinions in strongest words, calling the US declaration, ‘a violation of international law’, ‘a provocation’ towards creating a situation of instability’, ‘a declaration of war on… the best Muslim and Christian shrines’. In a summit meet of theirs in Turkey, held a week after Trump’s declaration, the leaders of the OIC demanded of the UN to ensure end of “the Israeli occupation” of Palestine and “just and comprehensive peace based on the two-state solution”. They also committed to recognize the state of Palestine and Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine. ‘Trump rips mask off U.S. phoney ‘peace process’’ was the general reaction. Strikingly, even the traditional US allies, who have hitherto been acting like trusted partners of US imperialism either in the belligerent brigandage of the NATO in Europe or in reckless exploitation and precipitation of wars in the Middle East could not refrain themselves from taking a stand against the US, thereby isolating the US imperialists in the world politics. Thus, the US allies in Europe such as Britain, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, as also the European Union spokesman and the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia in the Middle East are among others who criticized Trump over his decision and questioned the wisdom behind it. Margot Wallström, the Swedish foreign minister termed it ‘catastrophic’. It also came out as one of the few times a Russian foreign policy view had converged with that of most NATO member states.
Defying threats from US rulers, majority countries reject US move in UNSC and UNGA
Not just these. Mr Donald Trump, the chieftain entrusted with holding the banner of the world-ravaging US imperialism, stood isolated also on the world platforms. The US had to use veto in an emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) to stall an Egypt-drafted resolution on which the USA stood alone with all other 14 members of the UNSC standing against it. The resolution affirmed that any “decisions and actions which purport to have altered the character, status or demographic composition of the Holy City of Jerusalem have no legal effect, are null and void and must be rescinded in compliance with relevant resolutions of the Security Council” along with regretting at “recent decisions concerning the status of Jerusalem.” However, it did not name Trump or the USA,
With UNSC failing to pass the resolution, an emergency special session for the UN General Assembly (UNGA) was sought for. Held on 21 December that session of the UNGA also delivered a stinging rebuke to Donald Trump and the USA, voting by a huge majority (128 to 9 with 35 countries abstaining and 21 absent) to reject Trump’s unilateral decision on Jerusalem and to support instead the longstanding international consensus on the status of Jerusalem as a special international city. Baring its ferocious face of international gangster, Nikki Haley, the US ambassador to the UN, who had written to about 180 of 193 member states saying that she would be ”taking names” of the countries who voted for the general assembly resolution against the USA. Even Trump himself threatened to withhold “billions” of dollars of US aid to the West Asian countries such as Egypt, Afghanistan and Iraq. But disdaining all such threats and intimidation, these countries had voted for the resolution against the USA. Such deplorable was the US position that twenty-two of the 28 EU countries in the UNGA including again the UK, France and Germany – which in the past, at most, had abstained on measures relating to Israel— could not but opt for voting in favour of the anti-US resolution. Of the 9 states voting against, besides the US itself and its accomplice brigand Israel, all others were small ‘satellites’ of the US like Togo, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, Marshall Islands, Guatemala and Honduras. Abstaining members and the absentees suggested that the Trump’s warning over cut in funding and Israel’s hectic lobbying in favour of US might have had some effect. But significantly enough, unlike many previous occasions, the UN was found to act against US diktat, thanks to the efforts of smaller countries, apparently innocuous in determining course of events in world politics. The scenario even contained pronouncements of the sort: “No honourable state would bow to such pressure”; or “The belief that ‘I am strong therefore I am right’ has changed. The world today is revolting against injustices”, or “States resort to such blatant bullying only when they know they do not have a moral or legal argument to convince others.” True, bigger powers, even traditional US allies voted against the US with a lukewarm response, may be, out of fear of isolation from the prevailing world opinions. Nevertheless, the US was brazenly cornered for wanton violation of all internationally agreed upon norms and decisions. Zionist Israel, its audacious lackey, expressed frustration when it said of its intention to cut its ties with the UN. (Guardian 21-12-2017) The arrogance and defiance of the two, the USA and Israel, will be further attested from a brief account of the historical background of the issue of Jerusalem involving the imperialists, Palestine and Israel.
Imperialist machination built belligerent Israel, throwing Palestine into dark future
It may be briefly recalled that even before Israel came into being, Palestine had already been there with beautiful habitations of Arabs for centuries, largely as part of the Turk Ottoman Empire. But its native Jewish people spread out over the world in search of a better life. Also about half a century before Israel state was born, the Zionist political movement developed among the European Jews aspiring for a Jewish state in Palestine. With strong, even aggressive religious and ethnic feelings, Jewish settlers, mostly affluent, plantation owners and usurers migrated into Palestine and settled there. They forcibly grabbed land from the native Arabs with the help of their privately raised army, secret terrorist outfits in real terms, as buying land from the Arabs was prohibited. The Arab villagers also provided cheap labour to the settlers. As Zionism became further aggressive, the Arabs started losing their land and home. The shrewd Jewish settlers not just occupied lands. They destroyed everything, every bit of building stones, even the graveyards that belonged to the Arabs, so much so that Arab villages were completely erased from history. The settlers could boastfully present to any visitor that they had built up their villages out of nothing but a desert, a barren, vast land. Divided and disunited among themselves on tribal, ethnic and other grounds, the Arabs were evicted helplessly in thousands. Colonialist- imperialist powers, playing a hand in the Jewish settlers’ design, started looking at Palestine as a country ‘without nation’ and thus encouraged colonialist infiltration of the Jewish settlers. After the First World War, Palestine came under the British rule. In 1917, the British colonialist government dished out the Balfour Declaration for sponsoring a “national home” for the Jews in Palestine, endorsing the Zionist design. Trump’s move on Jerusalem, incidentally, coincides with the centenary year of that Balfour declaration!
However, till 1948 Palestine was a British mandate reeling under the British imperialist exploitation along with the feudal rule of the Jordanian King. But the relation between the British imperialists and the Zionists had already been strained with the US imperialists penetrating into the region. Zionist terrorist outfits, such as Irgun and others, worked against even attacked the British and launched terror attacks on the Arabs. In its direct move, in 1946, the US President Truman approved the recommendation to admit 100,000 displaced Jews into Palestine. In October of that year, he publicly declared his support for the creation of a Jewish state. To give a stamp of approval to this imperialist design for creating a Jewish state, the UNGA on 29 November 1947 adopted Resolution181 to partition Palestine into Jewish and Arab states in May 1948, the year the British colonial mandate was scheduled to end. The area of religious significance surrounding Jerusalem, precious to the major ‘Abrahamic religions’ namely Judaism, Christianity and Islam, was agreed upon to be governed by a “special international regime” under international control, as the city of Jerusalem was recognized as a separate “international city”. So, the imperialists divided Palestine even before Israel was formed!
As per the UN resolution, Israel was proclaimed on 14 May 1948 as an independent Jewish state. The US imperialist rulers had already supported the resolution 181. Now they recognized Israel right on 14 May 1948, but encouraged negotiations between the Arabs and Israel, to keep the prospect with the Arabs alive. Thus Israel was formed through imperialist machinations with the evident US support and the Palestinians were thrown into an uncertain future by the imperialist hawks. The arrangement not only took away the land from the Palestinian Arabs, but also installed a perpetual enemy ready to get at their neck. The Arabs naturally resented it.
On 15 May 1948, there started an Arab-Israeli war which continued till March 1949 in former mandatory Palestine, Sinai Peninsula and southern Lebanon, between Israel. On the one side in support of Israel was a coalition of Arab states then united under Egypt and including Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Saudi Arabia and Yemen, with overt and covert support and assistance of the imperialists, mainly the USA. On the other side was the Arab Liberation Army consisting of volunteers from Palestine and neighbouring Arab countries and the Kingdom of Iraq. The mentors, the designers saw to it that Israel won. Agreement came in 1949, with Israel gaining territory formerly granted to Palestine in the UN resolution and thereby occupying about two-third of the then Palestine. The armistice border left Jerusalem divided, by what was called Green line as it was drawn in green ink. It left Israel in control of the western half of Jerusalem and Jordan in control of the eastern half, which included the famous Old City.
The 1948-9 Arab- Israeli war, thus, had sliced off a large chunk of the former Palestine and handed over to Israel. In reality, the war turned into massacres and forced eviction and expulsion of the Arabs in hundreds of thousands to take refuge in adjacent countries. Those still refusing to yield were pushed back into continuously squeezing territory, nothing more than ghettos. They were assured of peace and statehood by the cunning imperialists, by that time headed by the US imperialists. But subsequently when Israel took the rein of aggressively occupying their territory with all sorts of lethal – financial-political assistance from the imperialists, the Palestinians found in each case of fresh aggression their hope thrashed again and again.
Status of Jerusalem
Thus during the 1967 Six-Day ‘blitzkrieg’ war, Israel seized control of East Jerusalem and the West Bank located in Palestine from Jordan, the Gaza Strip and the Sinai Peninsula from Egypt, and the Golan Heights from Syria. Since then, all of the city of Jerusalem has been under Israel’s authority, though Israel’s sovereignty over East Jerusalem is not recognized internationally. Palestinians see East Jerusalem as the capital of a future Palestinian state.
U.N. Resolution 242 of 1967 asked Israel to withdraw from all territories occupied in the war that had taken place earlier that year. Security Council Resolution 252 of 1968 specified that Israel should rescind “actions that tend to change the status of Jerusalem”, including the expropriation of land and property. In fact there were 10 Security Council resolutions on Jerusalem, dating back to 1967, which included requirements that the city’s final status must be decided in direct negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. But all were in vein! Israel, as usual, expanded its territory forcibly occupying adjacent lands of neighbours and evicting the population there. Particularly gruelling was the Israel’s war of aggression against the Palestinians.
The Arab leadership which was once united was split apart with several countries like Egypt, Saudi Arabia, etc., compromising or even siding with the US imperialists and the revisionist Soviet leadership only playing a weak-kneed role on face of US imperialist aggressions. The Palestinian leadership also suffered split and factional feuds. Yet the people of Palestine, without much resource and arsenals, showed their zeal and determination to keep their fight on three pillars of their cause, namely demand for an independent state for them, the right to return to their lands from which they had been evicted by the Zionist Israel and control of Jerusalem as their capital.
Jerusalem itself bears the same history of treacherous aggression. It had a majority Palestinian population before 1967. Now it is a Jewish majority city, as the Israeli occupiers drove away its original inhabitants and settled Jews on the vacated land. Not only the imperialist countries, even others including the Arab countries did not raise any voice against this glaringly unjust occupation. Even so, more than 40 per cent of the population in the holy city consists of Palestinians. Israel treats Palestinian residents as foreigners who have been benevolently bestowed the right to reside in their city and has issued “permanent residency” cards to them. They live in constant fear of their residency being revoked by the Israeli authorities anytime. Since 1967, Israel has revoked the citizenship rights of more than 14,000 Palestinians and built Jewish colonies in the middle of densely populated Palestinian localities in East Jerusalem. Around 200,000 Jews live in such areas today under the protection of the Israeli security services. According to the U.N., since 1967, 20,000 Palestinian homes have been destroyed by Zionist Israel in Jerusalem.
In July 1980, Israel passed a law that unilaterally declared Jerusalem the united capital of Israel. The United Nations Security Council responded with a resolution condemning Israel’s annexation of East Jerusalem and declared it a violation of international law. The countries which hitherto had embassies in Jerusalem withdrew them after this resolution was adopted. Another Security Council Resolution of 1980 warned Israel to stop construction activities on the West Bank and Jerusalem. Such acts, the resolution warned, amounted to a “flagrant violation” of the Geneva Convention. Again, nonchalant and defiant of all international laws, by which it is bound as a member of the UN, Israel continues with its belligerent onslaughts upon Palestinians.
Gaza aggression exemplifies cruel state terrorism of Israel aided–abetted by the US imperialists
The relatively recent 2008 Gaza aggression stands out as singular instance among these onslaughts showing the savagery of the occupying Israeli army and gruesome plight of the Palestinians. In November 2008, the Israeli army made an incursion into the Gaza strip. Gaza, occupied by Israel in 1967 war and then returned, is often referred as ‘the biggest concentration camp in the world’, where nearly one and a half million (fifteen lakh) Palestinians and others are crammed into a land 40 kilometres long and just 5 to 12 kilometres wide and are held under terrible siege of the Israeli army that blocked even food and basic amenities for months together. Life in Gaza was close to collapse. Besides, the Zionist Israelis constantly attempted to assassinate leaders and activists of the Hamas, duly elected by people. All this drew in a resumption of Palestinian rocket fire in response to Israeli incursion, which Israel, grown into world’s one of the most deadly warmonger forces with immense espionage, subversive and striking power from liberal US aid and assistance, made a plea to launch ruthless attack justifying it with fabricated campaign that it was a retaliatory move only. Since 27 December 2008, Israel has declared an “all-out war against Hamas and its kind” and cruel state terror on innocent civilians. It included relentless air strikes, bombardment from warships, a massive ground operation under cover of Apache helicopters, use of “bunker-buster” bombs, acquired from the US to penetrate underground locations, Global Positioning System (GPS) to locate targets, including supply lines, The Israeli military pounded, pulverized and flattened hundreds of sites even including mosques, schools and university buildings, taking a toll of more than thousand Palestinian lives, women and children included and many more severely wounded. Daily sonic booms created on purpose by Israeli air force jets made children deaf. The Israeli bandits justified targeting civilians as a sort of ‘collective punishment’. The grievous assault was called a crime against humanity by human rights activists and academicians from the USA, who demanded International Criminal Court to intervene. The US imperialist brigand under George Bush II blocked an Arab League resolution in the UN and blaming the Hamas for rocket fire placed the aggressor and the victim on par. Now with situation only worsening with the Zionist Israel acting as a veritable threat to the Palestinians, President Trump rewards the bandits with Jerusalem defying all international norms!
Conspiratorial, treacherous and aggressive role of US imperialism
As stated above, the US imperialists acted in favour of Israel as a Jewish state, even before it was formed. With the influence of the British and the French imperialists dwindling particularly after the Suez Canal incident in 1956, the US imperialists finally took over the rein of using Israel as its military and political base in the Middle East against the Arab countries some of which were seething with national independence struggle at that time. Besides using Israel, the US imperialists carried out divide and rule policy to develop a number of lackeys, pro-US governments in Arab countries like Saudi Arabia, Qatar, etc., the rulers of which also fomented Islamic fundamentalism of different sorts to stay in power by using religious fanaticism to elicit unquestioned allegiance of the common people. To say the least, in banditry, treachery, defiance of norms and principles, fraudulence, in short in every aspect of brigandage, the pattern Israel reflected in its action, virtually replicated the pattern US imperialism, its mentor-sponsor-guide, followed.
All over the world, including the Middle East, in the name of maintaining and establishing peace and democracy, the US imperialists carry out large scale espionage and had already orchestrated several coups to install pliant governments in various countries. If the ruling dispensation of any country refused to bend to their dictates, they had either pressed its espionage machinery to bring about a regime change there or have loudly been advocating for a regime change on fraudulent pretext. They once brought about changes in Iran’s ruling dispensation through conspiracy. But when the Iran government moved away from them, they clamped unlawful inhuman sanction upon Iran. They raised the bogey of using weapons of mass destruction (WMD) against Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, a charge unquestionably proved false, but on that basis they ravaged Iraq, killed Saddam, installed pliant government there and shattered the rare secular ambience prevailing in that Arab country. It is the US imperialists who have been fomenting Shia-Sunni cleavage in the Arab world thereby stoking fratricidal clashes. Even the most heinous Islamic fundamentalist forces like the IS, the Talibans and Al Quida have also been created, assisted and aided by the US imperialists. Then, in the name of pre-emptive war against terrorism, they ravaged Afghanistan and other Arabian countries. The world knows it was the US imperialists which had used chemical weapons repeatedly in different countries, Agent Orange or Napalm bombs in Vietnam, depleted uranium in Iraq and so on. In Syria, they formed, trained, financed and engaged a so-called rebel army to oust Assad government and drew that country into a war continuing for years, bringing about worst humanitarian crisis. The list of gunboat diplomacy and destruction of ‘rogue’ countries opposed to US is endless ever since the end of the Second World War.
With all these, the US imperialists have fostered local and partial wars, surcharged the atmosphere with war psychosis, set people against people, hatched treacherous conspiracies, engineered genocide and committed unpardonable crime on humanity throughout the world including the Middle East. In pursuit of their imperialist objective, they have filled the air with cries of helpless innocent victims. Acting as constant threat to peace, democracy and even humanity, the imperialists headed by the US imperialism with Zionist Israel as most faithful accomplice have turned the Middle East into a hotbed of imperialist machinations and internecine or even fundamentalist conflicts among and within Arab countries. The US imperialist rulers themselves pulled strings from behind to set upon Israel against the Palestine people. But, then unable to ignore growing world opinion against Israeli aggression, they masqueraded as an honest broker in the never-ending peace talks for a “two-state” solution between Israel and the Palestine. It was the US that had promised Palestinians a separate state after they were virtually coerced into signing the Oslo accord in 1993. The US imperialists had also desisted from formally recognising Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. But the outlook and approach of the US imperialists, particularly the powerful Jewish lobby in the corridor of power were reflected in the US Congress voting overwhelmingly in favour of moving the US embassy to Jerusalem in 1995, as per the design of Israel. At long last that arrogant, aggressive section of the American monopolists, including the Jewish tycoons, could find in Donald Trump a candidate of their choice and feather, to get their agenda through and to drive the final nail in the coffin for the Palestinians. However, the US media reports indicate that American people are vehemently protesting against their President’s unilateral highly objectionable decision all over the country. Besides, some important top execu-tives from the State and Defence departments had also reportedly warned Trump against taking such a dangerous and precipitate step. And Trump, too, had to sign a waiver officially delaying the move of the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem for six months, as said by a National Security Council official. Nonetheless, on no count, the belligerent move of Trump could win anything but condemnation.
India aligns with war-monger US imperialists and Zionist Israel at the cost of the just cause of Palestinians
India’s response in the present case was ambivalent. India, which was among the first states to recognise the State of Palestine, did not betray any sign of being serious in the issue of condemning the most heinous role of the treacherous US imperialists and the Zionist Israeli rulers that is aimed at total annexation of Jerusalem and Palestine to Israel. The External Affairs Ministry issued a mild and evading statement: “India’s position on Palestine is independent and consistent. It is shaped by our views and interests, and not determined by any third country.” There was no mention of India’s consistent stand that East Jerusalem was the capital of the State of Palestine or that India supports the two-state solution. It cannot be missed that in this country, the governments run by this or that bourgeois party over the years tried to maintain an apparent cordiality with Arab countries, obviously for economic interests of the Indian monopolists hinged upon oil and their political interest as an aspiring imperialist superpower of maintaining sphere of influence in West Asia. However, of late, the Indian government has been, in a louder way, hobnobbing and even forming military alliance with the fascist forces like the US imperialists and Zionist Israel. It is that compulsion which might have prompted the Indian monopolists and their subservient governments not to take a firm stand against this heinous move of the US imperialists and thus disrespecting and disregarding strong anti-imperialist tradition of Indian people. On the contrary, at the beckon of the ruling monopolists, a group of columnists and political analysts on their pay roll are trying to influence people’s opinion in favour of India government’s pro-US and pro-Israel position, without caring for any consideration as to whether the US or Israel rulers’ role speaks of minimum humanitarian values, civility and justice or not.
Resolving Jerusalem issue and awarding independent Palestine state demand powerful anti-imperialist movement
To conclude, it needs to be emphatically stated that the latest incident of unilaterally awarding Jerusalem to the Zionist Israel by the worst war-monger US imperialists is part and parcel of the worldwide agenda of the imperialists, headed by the US imperialists, of carrying out wars, killings, conspiracies, treacheries and all such acts only to gain and maintain its political-economic-military hegemony. The Arab countries, including the Palestinians must view the problem in this light. Such a problem, thus, cannot be thwarted without surge of a powerful militant anti-imperialist struggle all over the world. Obviously the immediate demand, any right-thinking person of the Arab countries as also of the world, would need to raise is outright reversal of the decision to foster annexation of Jerusalem to Israel once for all. This move is not merely audacious by itself. By virtue of its extension, it spells the doom for the legitimate and long standing dream of the Palestinians for their homeland. So for a lasting solution, movements upholding the just cause of the Palestinians, namely for securing them a sovereign independent separate Palestine state, for ensuring return and rehabilitation of the evicted Palestinians and for maintaining the special status of their precious city of Jerusalem, should be immediately strengthened. Any civilized population, every freedom and peace-loving and right-thinking person would agree that the demands of the Palestine people are the minimum. So the call to raise is for unequivocal support to the just cause of Palestine and voicing all out opposition to the imperialist design of the US imperialists and Zionist Israel to annexe Jerusalem.