Podcast: Palestinians Isolated as US Puts Embassy in Jerusalem

Palestinians demonstrate at the border between Gaza and Israel, May 13, 2018 (AFP)

Today the US has formally opened its Embassy to Israel in Jerusalem, sidelining 70 years of global consensus to maintain the city as an international area rather than giving it to one side or the other.

The immediate fallout from the decision has been the killing of at least 41 Palestinians by Israeli security forces as crowds gathered at the border fence between Gaza and Israel.

The wider consequences could include the escalation of conflicts in an already-fractured Middle East.

They definitely will include the sidelining of Palestinians on the margins of those conflicts, with no prospect of a resolution giving them a State or even a stable area free from blockade and violence.

I discussed the situation with Austria’s Radio FM4 on Monday morning, before the Embassy opening and the killing of the Palestinian demonstrators.

Palestine has taken its place at the back of the queue of the issues upon which people are focused. All these crises have reconfigured alliances, or at least relationships, so that line we used to have between Israel on one side and Arab States supporting Palestine on the other has been erased.

Listen to Discussion from 12:17

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Scott Lucas is Professor of International Politics at the University of Birmingham and editor-in-chief of EA WorldView. He is a specialist in US and British foreign policy and international relations, especially the Middle East and Iran. Formerly he worked as a journalist in the US, writing for newspapers including the Guardian and The Independent and was an essayist for The New Statesman before he founded EA WorldView in November 2008.

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