Angry protesters chased a group of U.S. diplomats out of the Palestinian town of Bethlehem on Tuesday amid frustration over President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Yerushalayim as the capital of Israel.
“You are not welcome anymore!” shouted one of the demonstrators as they broke into a training session organized by the U.S. Consulate in Yerushalayim and held at Bethlehem’s chamber of commerce and industry, video posted online showed. The event aimed to educate local businesses on the benefits of social media, and an American expert had been scheduled to speak.
“America = ISIS = Terror” read one sign held by a protester, with a picture of Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. “You are not welcome anymore!” one shouted. The men pelted the U.S. delegation’s car with tomatoes as it drove off, and broke off a wing mirror.
“The program was one part of long-term U.S. engagement to create economic opportunities for Palestinians,” the State Department said in a statement. “Though no one was hurt, the objective was clearly intimidation. The United States absolutely opposes the use of violence and intimidation to express political views.”
(c) 2018, The Washington Post · Loveday Morris