Jerusalem and Gaza -- A world apart

There is a growing canyon between Israelis and Palestinians. They live right next to each other, but couldn't be fart...

Posted: May 15, 2018 1:51 PM
Updated: May 15, 2018 1:51 PM

There is a growing canyon between Israelis and Palestinians. They live right next to each other, but couldn't be farther apart. At no time is that on clearer, starker display than this week.

In Gaza, at least 55 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli security forces, including one boy who was 14 years old, the Palestinian Health Ministry said. In Jerusalem, Israeli leaders ceremoniously hosted an American delegation to officially open the US embassy.

In Gaza, 35,000 Palestinians protested in 12 different locations, burning tires, hurling stones, and flying burning kites. In Jerusalem, American and Israeli flags were projected on the walls of the Old City with the message "Thank you President Trump."

In Gaza, tear gas, mixing with the acrid smoke of burning tires, fell from Israeli drones trying to disperse crowds racing toward the border fence. In Jerusalem, President Donald Trump aired a pre-recorded message hailing the United States as a partner "for freedom and peace."

A mere 80 kilometers separates Jerusalem from Gaza, a two-hour drive with traffic. And yet they are worlds apart.

The official opening of the US Embassy in Jerusalem, in a move Trump promised in his campaign, marked the apex of Israel's month. Last week, Trump withdrew from the Iran nuclear deal at the urging of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. This week, an American delegation led by Trump's daughter Ivanka Trump and son-in-law Jared Kushner hailed the strongest-ever ties between Israel and the US.

Netanyahu gushed with joy, saying, "What a glorious day. Remember this moment. This is history. President Trump, by recognizing history, you have made history. All of us are deeply moved. All of us are deeply grateful."

Guatemala will move its embassy to Jerusalem this week, and Paraguay will follow suit later this month.

In what's almost a caricature of how well this week has gone for Israel, the country won the Eurovision song contest with Netta Barzilai's "Toy." It was another reason for Israelis -- and Netanyahu -- to celebrate.

And it's not over yet. A royal visit from Prince William is expected at the end of next month, the first in 70 years.

Israelis, it seems, have every reason to be elated.

"When there is peace in this region, we will look back upon this day and remember that the journey to peace started with a strong America recognizing the truth," Kushner, a senior adviser to the President as well as Trump's son-in-law, said in Jerusalem Monday afternoon.

Especially on this day, peace couldn't be further away.

Just as US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman was taking the stage in Jerusalem to officially begin the ceremony to inaugurate the embassy in Jerusalem, the number of Palestinians killed in Gaza was rising quickly.

By the end of the day, that number would reach 55, making it the single deadliest day since the end of the 2014 Gaza war.

The Israeli military said it would use live fire only as a last resort, attempting to use tear gas and water cannons to try to disperse crowds before they reached the border fence. Israel blames Hamas for fueling and funding the protests, accusing the group of trying to use the demonstrations as cover for carrying out terrorist attacks.

The military dropped leaflets, urging Palestinians to stay away from the border.

That border became a sharp line between life and death for dozens of Palestinians. Thousands more were injured; no Israeli soldiers have been wounded or killed since these protests began more than six weeks ago.

PLO Executive Committee Member Hanan Ashrawi called on the international community to stop "Israel's ongoing massacre in Gaza," while asking the International Criminal Court for an investigation into what she called "Israel's gross violations and flagrant war crimes."

On TV news channels, images from Gaza played alongside pictures of the embassy ceremony in Jerusalem, a jarring juxtaposition of protests against applause, screams against speeches, and anger against celebration.

Slamming the embassy move, PLO Secretary-General Saeb Erekat said, "This infamous hostile act against international law and against the people of Palestine places the US on the side of the occupying power, Israel, which continues to oppress the Palestinian people and to colonize their lands towards destroying the very possibility of reaching a just, comprehensive and lasting peace."

So many leaders mentioned peace on Monday. American. Israeli. Palestinian. Trump. Netanyahu. Erekat.

They were all talking about the same idea. They just weren't talking to each other.

The age of the Palestinian teenager killed Monday has been updated to reflect the latest information from the Palestinian Health Ministry.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 667262

Reported Deaths: 12737
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion913541660
Lake48729891
Allen36175646
Hamilton32489398
St. Joseph30361514
Elkhart25536420
Vanderburgh21343382
Tippecanoe20240205
Johnson16485363
Porter16077281
Hendricks15955302
Clark12079182
Madison11810323
Vigo11699234
Monroe10440164
Delaware9899179
LaPorte9838201
Howard9127203
Kosciusko8600111
Bartholomew7531147
Hancock7471134
Warrick7456153
Floyd7269173
Wayne6661192
Grant6465158
Boone618691
Morgan6135129
Dubois5942112
Dearborn551570
Cass5489100
Marshall5456105
Henry544395
Noble513878
Jackson465967
Shelby463591
Lawrence4197113
Gibson405585
Harrison404065
Clinton397653
Montgomery391984
DeKalb388278
Miami358463
Knox357886
Whitley352438
Huntington350877
Steuben340455
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Jefferson296574
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Scott252150
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Washington213327
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Owen184254
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Carroll176919
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Blackford120727
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Newton96832
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Switzerland7568
Union67510
Ohio54211
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Ohio Coronavirus Cases

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Cases: 978471

Reported Deaths: 17501
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1130371251
Cuyahoga969331881
Hamilton739231067
Montgomery47536923
Summit40720831
Butler35859531
Lucas35802720
Stark29602826
Warren22593275
Lorain22218424
Mahoning19586551
Lake18564332
Clermont18541205
Delaware16614121
Licking15096194
Fairfield14653188
Trumbull14437424
Greene13664221
Medina13531237
Clark12394256
Wood11670170
Portage11140172
Allen10822216
Richland10376188
Miami10065194
Muskingum8244117
Columbiana8174210
Pickaway8096111
Tuscarawas8083232
Marion8021127
Wayne7939199
Erie6972146
Ross6178132
Geauga6118142
Hancock6032121
Scioto600988
Ashtabula6002154
Lawrence527886
Union516741
Darke5052116
Belmont5000137
Huron4862108
Jefferson4843137
Sandusky4800112
Washington475596
Seneca4738111
Athens466449
Mercer459781
Auglaize456682
Shelby442679
Knox4056105
Putnam400593
Madison395755
Fulton383461
Ashland383083
Brown375252
Defiance374088
Crawford360198
Logan357673
Preble354187
Clinton342755
Highland328551
Ottawa325471
Williams303568
Jackson292046
Champaign291149
Guernsey288945
Perry271348
Fayette270143
Morrow261637
Henry247961
Hardin247359
Holmes244497
Coshocton241156
Van Wert230357
Gallia223938
Adams218339
Pike217328
Wyandot212450
Hocking195154
Carroll182143
Paulding161134
Meigs136031
Noble129233
Monroe117637
Morgan102220
Harrison100731
Vinton76713
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