Why does the US embassy in Jerusalem provoke violence in Israel?

In Gaza the death toll already exceeds 50 and the injured exceed 2000, what is happening?

Why does the US embassy in Jerusalem provoke violence in Israel?

On Monday, May 14, the United States opened its new embassy in the State of Israel in the city of Jerusalem, which has caused great outrage among the Arab community and has generated protests in various parts of the country. In the Gaza Strip alone, the Israeli army has killed more than 50 people, and wounded approximately 2,000 people who were protesting against the transfer of the embassy.

Leer en español: ¿Por qué la embajada estadounidense en Jerusalén provoca violencia en Israel?

The president of the United States, Donald Trump, described the opening as "historic." Also, his son-in-law and adviser for the Middle East, Jared Kushner, said that the protesters "are part of the problem" that impede the stability of the region. Even the Americans vetoed the possibility that an independent commission requested by the UN would enter to verify the death of the protesters.

The transfer of the embassy coincides with the seventieth anniversary of the creation of the State of Israel, when the Zionist Movement declared the independence of their country, after the British Mandate for Palestine ended and the plan of partition of the territory was rejected by the Arab community .

Why is the transfer an affront to the Arab community?

To answer this question it is necessary to refer to November 19, 1947, when the General Assembly of the United Nations approved the Partition Plan for Palestine. Among the mandates established by the plan, it was contemplated that the cities of Jerusalem and Bethlehem would be under international control.

Jerusalem is of great importance for the three great monotheistic religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. For the Jews it was in that city where the Solomon's Temple was raised by the mythical king, where the Ark of the Covenant and other relics were contained. However, the temple was destroyed in the 6th century BC, rebuilt 60 years later and destroyed again in 70 AD, leaving only the famous Wailing Wall.

On the other hand, for the Islamic community Jerusalem is relevant because it was in that city where its maximum figure, the prophet Muhammad, ascended to heaven to meet God. In the place where it is considered that the events occurred, the Dome of the Rock was built, which keeps the rock where Muhammad was at the time of his ascension. It is also thought that this place is where Abraham tried to sacrifice his son Isaac.

With this in mind, the original intention to designate Jerusalem as an international territory potentially freed additional tensions from the nascent conflict in the Middle East. However, after the Israeli Declaration of Independence on May 14, 1948, the armies of Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and Transjordan invaded the Palestinian territory and initiated the Arab-Israeli War.

After this war, Jerusalem was occupied to the west by the Jews, while the east of the city was in the hands of the Arabs. While this meant a balance for the end of the war, the so-called "Old City" came under Jordanian administrative control.

Later, in 1967, a new conflict broke out between Israel, on the one hand, and Egypt, Syria, Jordan and Iraq, on the other. The so-called Six-Day War allowed the Jews to occupy Jerusalem in its entirety, among other territories. However, the controversy did not end there, because in 1980 and with the approval of the Jerusalem Law, the city was proclaimed as the "eternal and indivisible capital" of Israel.

Despite this, 128 countries refused to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. In 2017, a vote was promoted among the UN members on the recognition of the United States of Israel's "new capital". Only 9 other countries supported the resolution, including Guatemala, which also moved its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Another 35 abstained from voting, including Colombia, Argentina, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay and the Dominican Republic.


Perhaps the most criticized is that while the United States makes the occasion a holiday, it does not seem to give the necessary relevance to the social and political disaster that the Trump government is sponsoring. There are no efforts to prevent the killing of unarmed civilians or to curb other abuses such as the establishment of Israeli settlements on Palestinian land.

As long as the American government continues to sponsor the status quo in Israel, hopes for peace in this region will fade with time.

What is happening may not have strong international support, but it is a symbolic aggression both to the pretensions of normalization of relations between the Arab community and the Jewish people and to the dignity of non-Jewish communities within Israel. The transfer of embassies means turning our backs on the implementation of solutions that will satisfy the opposing parties.

Latin American Post | Iván Parada Hernández

Translated from "¿Por qué la embajada estadounidense en Jerusalén provoca violencia en Israel?"