How Trump Withdrawing from the Iran Deal is Directly Connected to Moving the American Embassy to Jerusalem this Monday
As Trump and Netanyahu Beat the Drums of War, Hundreds of Young Jews Will Converge on Washington D.C. to Demand Freedom and Dignity for All
By Ari Bloomekatz, member of IfNotNow Wisconsin
For months, U.S. President Donald Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have been beating the drums of war — and Trump’s withdrawal on Tuesday from the Iran nuclear deal and the impending move of the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem are increasing that likelihood in dramatic ways.
It has been infuriating and heartbreaking to watch as, over the last several months, Trump and Netanyahu have abused and manipulated every opportunity in the region to provoke conflict.
Trump catalyzed the process yesterday when he officially withdrew the U.S. from the Iran nuclear deal. In his announcement, Trump cited evidence presented last week by Netanyahu that claimed Iran was hiding the true intentions of its nuclear program and had deceived the U.S. and others.
But that evidence was nothing more than a smokescreen. As the The New York Times wrote a week before Tuesday’s announcement:
“Netanyahu did not provide any evidence that Iran had violated the nuclear agreement since it took effect in early 2016. That suggests that the Israeli prime minister … was hoping that the disclosures would bolster Mr. Trump’s resolve to scuttle the agreement.”
However, the main event in this horrifying series of actions that are bringing us closer to war — and what both Trump and Netanyahu must know is a surefire provocation that will spiral the region into even more violence — is coming next week, when on May 14th Trump officially moves the U.S. embassy in Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
The embassy move, which is bringing dozens of U.S. elected officials to Israel for the opening ceremony, helps both Trump and Netanyahu shore up large portions of their conservative base while simultaneously signaling to everyone that the Occupation is here to stay and peace negotiations are off the table. Their only agenda moving forward is further annexation and displacement.
Over the past several weeks, thousands of Palestinians in Gaza have been protesting as part of the Great March Of Return at the border fence. The protesters have been largely nonviolent, and still have been met by Israeli snipers with live ammunition. More than 40 Palestinians in Gaza have been killed during the protests and some 5,500 others have been wounded, including over 1,500 by live ammunition, according to the United Nations.
Their protest culminates on May 15th — Nakba Day, commemorating the anniversary of the expulsion of Palestinians from their homes in 1948 — with hundreds of thousands of Palestinians expected to participate.
Two days before — sandwiching the embassy move — is Jerusalem Day, an intentionally provocative event. This holiday has become notorious because Palestinians are forced to close their stores so right-wing Israelis can march through East Jerusalem, chanting racist slogans and often using violence against Palestinians.
Announcing the withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal and moving the embassy to Jerusalem in this moment are purposefully reckless acts, intended to further destabilize and incite violence in the region.
While Israel claims all of Jerusalem as its undivided capital, anyone who visits will see that those are just words in direct contrast to the lived realities of Israelis and Palestinians. There is not a single nation in the world that has its embassy in Jerusalem because of its importance to Palestinians, who also claim Jerusalem as their capital (even as they lack international recognition of statehood). Israel annexed East Jerusalem in 1967 and, since then, it has been explicit Israeli policy to Judaize Jerusalem, making it a majority Jewish city.
The moves by Trump and Netanyahu — who, lets not forget, are both under suspicion of corruption — are all too familiar and disgusting political plays. To them, war and conflict are a distraction that will rally their base and garner support, hopefully overshadowing their moral and political wrongdoings.
In order to pull off this horrifying series of events, Trump and Netanyahu know they need the support — or at least the tacit acceptance — of the American Jewish community.
But over the past several weeks, young Jews across the country have been rising up to challenge Trump and Netanyahu’s reckless policies and violence on Gaza. There have been sit-ins and protests at politicians offices like Sen. Chuck Schumer and Sen. Dianne Feinstein, as well as demonstrations outside of the headquarters of AIPAC and the Greater Jewish Federation of Los Angeles.
And on May 14, hundreds of young Jews from across the country are converging on Washington D.C. for an historic demonstration to make it known that Trump and Netanyahu are on the wrong side of history in opening their Embassy of Occupation — and that we will lead the community forward by building our own embassy, an #EmbassyOfFreedom.
Will you join us?
Sign up at: bit.ly/EmbassyOfFreedom
Learn more at: bit.ly/EmbassyOfFreedom_Plan
Ari Bloomekatz is a member of IfNotNow Wisconsin.