10:55 GMT +323 January 2019
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    Senior White House Adviser Ivanka Trump and U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin stand next to the dedication plaque at the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem, during the dedication ceremony of the new U.S. embassy in Jerusalem, May 14, 2018

    Jerusalem Embassy Fiasco May Mark End of US Role in Mideast Peace Process

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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The United States can no longer constructively contribute to the Israeli-Palestinian peace process after destabilizing the region even further by relocating the US embassy to Jerusalem in defiance of allies and the UN, analysts told Sputnik.

    Israeli defense forces have killed more than 60 Palestinian protesters in Gaza this week after the United States officially opened its embassy in Jerusalem on Monday. US envoy to the United Nations Nikki Haley on Tuesday blocked a motion to launch a UN probe into the Gaza massacre and tried to blame the violence on Hamas.


    For decades, the Palestinians have sought diplomatic recognition for their independent state on the territories of the West Bank, including East Jerusalem. Given the unsettled status of the holy city, many countries have chosen to base their foreign diplomatic missions in and around Tel Aviv, where the US embassy was located until Monday’s ceremony.

    "[US President Donald] Trump has nothing to contribute to the peace process because transferring the embassy to Jerusalem shows how contemptuous he is of anything resembling an equitable solution," US author and political commentator Dan Lazare told Sputnik. "Of course it's fueling tensions. It's the equivalent of throwing a burning torch into a gunpowder magazine."

    The Trump administration chose Monday to open the US embassy in Jerusalem because it coincided with the 70th anniversary of the establishment of Israel. Mass protests had erupted ahead of the anniversary and the ceremony seemed to exacerbate tensions.

    Palestine Institute of Biodiversity and Sustainability Founding Director Mazin Qumsiyeh told Sputnik Trump has done the opposite of promoting a peaceful resolution to the conflict, especially in light of the bloodshed in the aftermath of the embassy ceremony.

    "The United States is a partner in crime with Israeli colonization, ethnic cleansing and genocide of the native Palestinians," Qumsiyeh said. "The violence is one sided: Israel is committing a massacre — a blood bath against civilians."

    This was policy before and it will be policy after Trump, Qumsiyeh predicted, because the Zionist lobby has been determining US foreign policy for decades, although this decision could be one of the more fateful.

    "The US Embassy move is the straw that breaks the camel's back," Qumsiyeh said. "Yes, resistance will escalate."


    Qumsiyeh also dismissed any prospect that US allies such as France or the United Kingdom might influence Trump to adopt more responsible policies, despite their refusal to endorse the Embassy move.

    "We in Palestine do not put much credit in French or British government," he said. "If Western governments are serious about human rights, they would implement their own laws which forbid aid to countries that persistently violate human rights."

    Qumsiyeh accused the European Union (EU) of flagrantly giving special benefits to Israel and refusing to act to restrain Israeli policies.

    "We see, for example that the EU has one favorite country with ‘special economic benefit’ and significant support to that country and that is Israel," he said.

    The UN and international human rights organizations had also proved ineffectual in restraining Israel’s persecution and oppression of the Palestinians and had failed to make any impact with their objections to the Israeli crackdown, Qumsiyeh pointed out.

    This was, Qumsiyeh observed, because the United States wields its veto power on any meaningful UN resolution to support human rights.

    Lazare also noted that the UN and American allies seem unable to effectively oppose US and Israeli policies.

    "The UN and various human-rights groups have gotten nowhere because Israel's hard-right government believes that Jewish rights are the only ones that count," he said.

    However, Western European leaders were worried that Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would fan the flames of political extremism and racism in their own countries as they pushed ahead with their dangerously incendiary policies, Lazare said.

    "France, Germany, and the other West European states are reluctant to encourage Trump and Netanyahu in any way because they know it will give aid and sustenance to the FN [National Front in France] and AFD [Alternative for Germany] back home," he said. "Given Trump's repudiation of the Iran accord, all they [the Western European nations] can do is bolt the door and huddle in fear over what he and Netanyahu will come up with next."


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