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Decoding the US Embassy move to Jerusalem: Why Trump did it

14 6 48
21.05.2018

Two important truths have to be restated in order to understand the context of the US government’s decision to relocate its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, which officially took place on 14 May.

First, the precarious relationship between the US government and international law. Historically, the US has used international law to achieve its own political ends, and relegated international and human rights laws when they were seen as obstacles to US political and military ambitions.

A case in point was the US government’s manipulation of United Nation resolutions that paved the way for war against Iraq in 1990-91; yet, its dismissal of the UN as “irrelevant” when international consensus rejected American military intervention in Iraq in 2003.

However, a far more consistent example is the US attitude towards Israel and Palestine. For decades, the US has used its “veto” to block scores of resolutions condemning Israel’s military occupation of Palestinian land or calling for practical mechanisms to bring an end to Palestinian suffering and subjugation.

Palestinian outrage as US embassy opens in Jerusalem, 70 years since Nakba

While the strategy works well at the UN Security Council, it has faced considerable limitations at the General Assembly, which is, by far, a more democratic and internationally representative body than the UNSC. Various US ambassadors – notable amongst them Madeline Albright and, today’s Nikki Haley – have unleashed wars of verbal abuse, threats and outright bullying against countries that refused to toe the American line.

Haley, in particular, although the least politically-experienced of all US ambassadors, has been the most outspoken. Her attacks on Palestinians and their supporters – as in the majority of the international community – are now staple in media coverage of UN proceedings.

While it is true that........

© Middle East Monitor