We watch a split screen. On one side: celebrations of the new U.S. embassy opening in Jerusalem. The president’s daughter, son-in-law, cabinet officials, Congress members, all smiling, proud. The U.S. ambassador, longtime settlement financier David Friedman, joins Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, his family, cabinet officials, Knesset members—all waiting for President Trump to join their festivities.
The other screen: solemn faces, tears, teenagers splayed across makeshift stretchers carried by other teenagers to waiting ambulances. Tear gas so thick one can’t see through it even on a television or computer screen. Sharpshooters, with live fire coming so fast that casualty counters can’t keep up. It’s 38 dead—just in one day. No, it’s 40. And then it turns out it’s nearly 60. Another 1,500 injured, no it’s more than 2,000 already. Twenty-four hours later it turns out to be more than 2,400. Not a single Israeli has been killed—the dead are all Palestinians. The killers, the maimers, the shooters, the gassers, are all Israeli soldiers.
And Jared Kushner says that the Palestinian protesters, whom he defines as “those who provoke violence,” are “part of the problem, not part of the solution.”
But the split screen is an illusion: There is only one screen, framing both the embassy carnival and the Gaza massacre. The same screen includes Netanyahu and Trump, as well as people like Sheldon Adelson and the rest of their joint backers across the United States. And the same screen includes Palestinians. Some appear as they are killed in unprecedented numbers, shot by Israeli sharpshooters who claim their commanders approve every bullet’s target. And the others, the living, continue to remind the world that they are here. They are human. They are a nation, and they have human rights.
Some of the embassy backers, like the evangelical Christian Zionists John Hagee and Robert Jeffress who offered prayers and praise of Israel and racist hatred towards Palestinians, claim to speak in the word of God. They celebrate U.S. collaboration with the Israeli government to the tune of more than $3 billion American tax dollars that Washington sends directly to the Israeli military every year.