Today marks the opening of a new U.S. embassy in the Israeli city of Jerusalem, instead of Tel Aviv. For many Israelis, it represents a longtime wish fulfilled, the recognition of the Holy City as the nation’s capital.
But, as news analyst Charlie Sennott explained on Boston Public Radio today, for Palestinians, this day represents something else entirely.
“We see rioting when people are in complete despair,” Sennott said. “What you see in Gaza is like a prison riot.”
Israeli forces have killed more than 50 people today as Gazans tried to enter through the border fence into Israel.
“The Israeli forces have killed protesters en masse, and I’m sad to say I think that number’s just going to keep rising through the day,” he said. “There’s nearly 2000 wounded, many of them severely.”
He explained the movement of the embassy was supposed to have been held as a bargaining chip until the final status talks of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. The relinquishing of that bargaining chip represented a last straw for many Palestinians and people in surrounding Arab nations, said Sennott.
“The U.S. has basically let go of any pretension that it's an even handed broker in the peace process,” he said. “What you’re seeing in Gaza is the expression of frustration and despair among the Palestinians at the decision by the United States.”
Charlie Sennott is a WGBH news analyst and the founder of the GroundTruth Project. To hear his interview in its entirety, click on the audio player above.