Opening of US Embassy in Jerusalem is destroying peace process, Palestinian-Americans say

Indoor talk in support of Palestinians to be held Sunday in Coral Gables

HOLLYWOOD, Fla. – For Palestinian-Americans, the relocation of the U.S. Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem is the clearest sign of where the U.S. stands in what is left of the peace process, and the fear remains that there will be more violence. 

For Palestinians, the violence in Gaza is a manifestation of pent-up frustration and anger surrounding the hope for peace. Many living in South Florida described an exasperated people. 

"These are 2 million Palestinians that live in the most crowded area in the world," Palestinian-American Anas Amireh said. "There are basic human rights that are being violated and this is America's No. 1 ally that is doing this."

For Palestinian-Americans, the U.S. decision to move its embassy has done away with the notion that the U.S. is a neutral observer in the conflict. 

The U.S. has cut money to the United Nations' refugee program and, last week, it pulled out of the Iran nuclear deal. 

"What you are doing is destroying any possibility of any peace process now and here after. It's not going to happen," Nihad Sakallah, of the Islamic Center of South Florida, said.  

The embassy move is contentious for Palestinians who hope to claim part of Jerusalem as their future capital. 

"We talk about the Gaza strip as if it's an independent sovereign country and it's not," Amireh said. "They need to stop being fooled that there is a two-state solution. They need to stop treating the situation between the Palestinians and the Israelis as if they are two sovereign states fighting each other. One occupies militarily the other."

The demonstrations along the border have intensified since late March. 

Palestinians are drawing attention to their right to return to homes that were lost since the 1967 Arab-Israeli war. 

"East Jerusalem is occupied land. That is what the U.N. states, so if you are to move the embassy to East Jerusalem, you're declaring war. You're putting the final nail in the coffin for any peace process," Sakallah said.  

An indoor talk in support of the Palestinian people will be held from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. Sunday at the Coral Gables Congregational United Church of Christ.

The church is located at 3010 De Soto Blvd.