An American political scientist slammed President Donald Trump on Tuesday over his indifference to the issues the Palestinian people are exposed to.
Speaking at a panel organized by the Arab Center, a Washington-based think tank, Georgetown University Professor Michael Hudson said Trump is "the most Zionist and least understanding" president when it comes to the Palestinian cause.
Hudson also said Trump would get the worst grade out of any U.S. president for handling it.
The U.S. intends to officially relocate its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem on May 14 to coincide with the 70th anniversary of Israel’s establishment in 1948 — an event Palestinians refer to as the “Nakba” or “Great Disaster”, when more than 700,000 Palestinian Arabs fled or were expelled from their homes.
Trump sparked an international outcry last December when he unilaterally recognized Jerusalem as Israel's capital and vowed to relocate Washington's embassy to the city.
George Washington University Professor Ilana Feldman, the other speaker at the panel, said the Palestinians who had to flee their homes after the Nakba became refugees in the occupied territories and neighboring Arab countries and this has contributed to the fragmentation of the Palestinian community.
Emphasizing that the UN supports the Palestinian people living in these refugee camps, Feldman noted that Palestinian human rights organizations are making efforts to help them.
Zaha Hassan, a Middle East fellow at the Washington, DC based think tank New America, also highlighted that there were 80,000 Arabs in Gaza before the Nakba, but the number swelled to 200,000 overnight, which means the majority of the more than 2 million Palestinians in Gaza are refugees or their descendants.
Criticizing the international community for not adequately addressing the refugee crisis in Gaza, Hassan added that this has greenlighted further displacement.
Tensions have been high between Palestinians and Israelis across the Gaza border as Palestinians hold ongoing rallies demanding the right of return to their homes in historical Palestine from which they were driven out in 1948 to make way for the new state of Israel.
Since the rallies began on March 30, at least 47 Palestinian demonstrators have been killed and hundreds injured, according to Palestinian Health Ministry figures.