Photo by AFP/Getty
About a dozen Palestinian activists chanting "America Out" and “America is the head of the snake” barged into and shut down a business meeting between Palestinian officials and an American delegation at the Chamber of Commerce inoccupied Bethlehem Tuesday in yet another sign of the growing chasm between Palestinians and our current Ugly Americans. Enraged by Trump's mindlessly inflammatory moves in the region - declaring Jerusalem the capital of Israel and threatening to cut off humanitarian aid to over five million Palestinian refugees - the protesters carried placards with images of Trump, Pence and Netanyahu, all "X"ed out, below "Zionism = Nazism = fascism" and "USA = ISIS = terror.” After the Americans hastily left and began climbing into cars, the activists followed, pelting the convoy with eggs, shoes and tomatoes and kicking the vehicles as they pulled away.
Soon after, Palestinian Authority police arrested the activists, who mostly live in the nearby Aida refugee camp that earlier protested and burned effigies of Trump/Pence; they were later released after residents and a Palestinian human rights lawyer confronted police. Still, PA leader Mahmoud Abbas felt obliged to condemn the protest. So did the US State Department, which said it "absolutely opposes the use of violence and intimidation to express political views,” which is weird given the billions it gives to a crypto-fascist state that consistently intimidates, attacks and imprisons Palestinians. After their release, the protesters said they acted on behalf of a Palestinian call to boycott any Americans associated with the Trump regime: "This was a message (they) are not welcome here anymore." The sentiment is widespread: Protests are growing, faith in peace is fading, and a grievous new poll shows support for armed struggle has almost doubled among increasingly hopeless Palestinians, from 21% to 38%. In wrenching video of the protest, see and feel that fury, and mourn the coming darkness.
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Palestinian kids awaiting aid. Reuters photo