On May 14, Ivanka Trump, Jared Kushner, and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin smiled for pictures in front of the new US embassy in Jerusalem with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. “Big day for Israel,” Donald Trump tweeted. “Congratulations!”
Meanwhile, just miles away in Gaza, Yazan Ibraheem Mohammed Al-Tubassi lay dying after repeatedly being shot by Israeli troops during protests at the Gaza border fence. Elsewhere, relatives of Taher Ahmed Madi — another shooting victim — carried his body home from the hospital to prepare for his funeral.
No words can describe the anger and anguish I feel as a Palestinian in America watching this unfold.
Along the Gaza fence, Israeli troops have gunned down thousands of unarmed Palestinian protesters, killing 60 and injuring over 2,700 in a matter of days. Many were teenagers, women, and children.
The protests weren’t about the relocation of the US embassy. They began several weeks ago to mark the anniversary of the Nakba, or “catastrophe” — the mass exodus and ethnic cleansing of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians since Israel’s founding in 1948.
Every year, while Israelis celebrate the establishment of their state, millions of Palestinians mourn the end to their existence as they knew it.
For the Trump administration to choose this day for the relocation of the embassy while Palestinians were being murdered just 60 miles away is horrendously cruel. The United States has proven that it isn’t only indifferent toward Israel’s treatment of Palestinians, but has actively green lit the violence of the past few weeks.
In 1948, my grandparents, whose families had lived in Palestine for hundreds of years, were forced out of the only home they ever knew. Practically overnight, they were made into refugees and forced to make the almost 200-mile journey to Jordan on foot.
Leaving behind their belongings, family, and memories, they settled in Jordan, hoping the international community would help them one day return to their…