The United States must change course

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Dear Editor,
MAY 14, 2018 is yet another date that will go down in the history of the people of Palestine as another tragic date. It has followed a long line of dates since 1948, when the state of Israel was established by force of arms. At the same time, hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were forcefully thrown out of their homes and their lands seized. That was how Israel was born.

At the time of writing, the day is not yet over, but 41 Palestinians were killed so far and some two thousand injured as Israel, with the support of the US, has taken another step to seize all of Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Israel.

I have not known another people in recent history that has suffered such open and blatant injustice and humiliation as the people of Palestine. The US opening of its embassy in Jerusalem is tantamount to rubbing salt in an open wound. The whole population of Palestine is living in open air prisons in the Gaza and on the West Bank of Jordan. Much more than one million are living in refugee camps in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria and other countries in the Middle East and the world.

All the possibilities for a just settlement and a two-state solution have been undermined by Israel with full support of the United States. The establishment of the US embassy is the most tragic event and it will continue to escalate the crisis and cause even more Palestinians lives. It is so tragic to see the US, the most powerful country in the world that fought a civil war to end slavery in the US; that has a glorious anti-colonial history as itís more than 200 years ago it liberated their land from British colonialism. It was the US opposition to colonialism that prevented the invasion of Egypt in 1956 Suez Canal Crisis. A country with such a history is today fully supporting the oppression in Palestine. In a way it is a departure from the history of the United States.

Unfortunately, the world democratic and peace forces have been so weakened that no one is raising their voice at the dehumanisation that is taking place in that tortured land.
Many countries around the world have been muzzled by fear of economic sanctions and even destabilisation. This is so because of the enormous influence that Israel wields in the United States. Often one is left to wonder who is more influential with the US Senate and Congress, the President of the US or the Prime Minister of Israel.

Even though it is quite late, it is still possible for the United States to change course on this issue and become a force for peace and justice instead of being the main supporter of the apartheid Israeli regime. The people of Palestine are bleeding, as many are being killed openly while others are just dying slowly in poverty and frustration. It is time for all peace loving and democratic-minded people in Guyana and the world to make their voices heard, against the worse human rights issue in the world today.

Regards
Donald Ramotar, former President