I got up this morning thinking about yesterday’s post regarding the Administration’s move of our Embassy to Jerusalem. Keeping in mind the first Principle of this site – that anything I enter may well be all haywire – I see nothing conceptually amiss with what I posted … but woke up realizing that it was too antiseptic, too clinical an analysis of the foreign policy factors in play. The piece failed to address the physical suffering and emotional anguish being visited every day on people in the Mideast – the overwhelming majority of whom simply want to live their lives and raise their families in peace and without want. It’s hard not to believe that many of those that actively engage in conflicts are guided by many of the same reactions Americans would have if placed in similar circumstances.
While it is likely, regardless of the opening of our Embassy in Jerusalem, that there would have been disturbances along the Gaza Strip on what the Palestinians call “Nakba Day” (the “Day of Catastrophe”), and that these disturbances would have resulted in some number of deaths and injuries, it seems almost certain that the Embassy move exacerbated the Palestinian anger and frustration already existing. Although – as noted in the earlier post — I don’t see what strategic foreign policy objectives we advanced by moving the Embassy, I most sincerely hope that I’ve grossly misunderstood the situation. While some reports indicate that a good number of the Palestinian casualties were members of Hamas, others were not. I want to hope that we are not responsible for additional innocent lives lost or forever marred because of a move made primarily for U.S. domestic political purposes.