US Embassy Moves To Jerusalem,
Conflict In Gaza
On Monday, the US Embassy in Israel was moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. The official move of the embassy came after a decision President Trump made in December 2017 to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
Birmingham Jewish Federation Director of Community Impact Samantha Dubrinsky was contacted by Fox 6 News to make a statement on the events that occurred today. Other representatives of the Jewish community were interviewed by other news stations as well.
Samantha explained that today was an important day in the US-Israel relationship and the moving of the embassy was long overdue. She also fielded questions about the Palestinian-Israeli conflict in general.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised Donald Trump for “making history by recognizing history” at a ceremony dedicating the new US embassy in Jerusalem, while President Reuven Rivlin thanked the US president for “keeping his promise,” the Times Of Israel reported.
“What a glorious day,” Netanyahu told the crowd at the new embassy building in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Arnona. “Remember this moment, this is history. President Trump, by recognizing history, you have made history.”
“In Jerusalem, King David established Jerusalem as a capital 3,000 years ago,” Netanyahu continued. “King Solomon later built the Temple, and over 2,000 years later, we got to hear the sentence ‘The Temple Mount is in our hands.’ We are here in Jerusalem, and we are here to stay.”
While this historic moment was taking place at around 4 pm in Israel, Israeli military sources said Hamas-spurred groups were trying to breach the border at several spots along the Gaza fence.
Fifty-five Palestinians were killed in the violent clashes with Israeli forces along the Gaza Strip’s border with Israel, Palestinians said, in a burst of bloodshed that cast a cloud over Israel’s festive inauguration of the new US Embassy in Jerusalem, according to the Times Of Israel. The Israeli army said the deaths were precipitated by acts of violence on the Palestinian side and the need for soldiers to defend both themselves and Israel’s border.
It was the deadliest day in Gaza since the devastating cross-border war between the territory’s Hamas rulers and Israel in 2014, the Times Of Israel reported. The Israeli army said around 50,000 Gazans were demonstrating in 12 locations along the border. It said thousands more were gathered at points several hundred meters from the fence.
The BJF also received an email from Julian Resnick, a tour guide in Israel who is well-known to many in the Birmingham community. Julian is currently in the US, but reflected on the situation in Israel. The below is a slightly edited version of Julian’s email:
I’m sitting in the 30th Street station concourse in Philadelphia distressed by the news coming out of Israel and Gaza. Distressed by the loss of life and the Palestinian leadership willing to sacrifice its children to gain international sympathy.
I remember being an infantry soldier in the Israel Defense Forces and how hard we worked to maintain our ethical standards of behavior, and how nobody in the outside world related to this, however hard we tried. Shame on Hamas for sending children to die. I hope that the madness will pass.
I’m thinking back to a conversation last month in Jordan with my Jordanian/Palestinian tour guide colleague. A lovely man, but when I pushed him about accepting that we, the Jews, we’re not going to go away, he told me, and our group, that he could and would not ever accept us being in the neighborhood.
And I had to tell him, we are not going away.
We are not going away.
I say that as someone who still believes in having a Palestinian State as our neighbor.
I believe we should still send food and medical supplies into Gaza, since the ordinary Palestinians are being held captive by a terrorist regime, and their children are not guilty of anything, but are being horribly manipulated.
A plea to our neighbors: Allow those of us who wish to seek peace and pursue it, to have a chance, in a place where more and more people have given up on peace and have reconciled themselves to living by the sword — give us a chance to succeed in the work for peace.
The Birmingham Jewish Federation is receiving reports from Israel via our national organization, Jewish Federations of North America, as a way to keep local communities apprised of the situation. Watch Update for additional details.
(Some of the above is taken directly from the Times Of Israel.)