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Vox Sentences: Celebration in Jerusalem, bloodshed in Gaza

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The US opens its embassy in Jerusalem as violence escalates at the Gaza border; Iraqi’s election results come in.


Different scenes in Jerusalem and Gaza

Lior Mizrahi/Getty Images
  • The United States officially opened its embassy in Jerusalem on Monday. [Vox / Alexia Underwood]
  • The move comes about five months after President Trump broke with past presidents to declare Jerusalem Israel’s capital. Trump fulfilled a campaign promise, but observers warned it could undercut the US’s position as an honest broker between Israel and the Palestinians in any peace negotiations. [Vox / Jennifer Williams and Sarah Wildman]
  • Trump delivered a televised speech from Washington, but Ivanka Trump, Jared Kushner, and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin all attended the deduction. The celebratory mood at the embassy’s grand opening offered a marked juxtaposition to violence at the Gaza border. [Vox / Zack Beauchamp]
  • Nearly 40,000 Palestinian protesters pushed toward the Gaza border fence. More than 50 have been killed and approximately 2,400 wounded. Most of the demonstrators were unarmed, though some threw stones or flung Molotov cocktails. Israeli forces responded with live fire. [NYT / David Halbfinger, Isabel Kershner, and Declan Walsh]
  • It’s the bloodiest day since demonstrations began seven weeks ago, to protest Israel’s blockade of Gaza. Hamas, the radical group that controls Gaza, has helped stoke the demonstrations. [Washington Post / Loveday Morris and Hazem Balousha]
  • Israeli Defense Forces claimed they struck five terrorist targets and are responding to “violent acts.” [Guardian / Oliver Holmes]
  • Germany, France, the United Kingdom, and others have urged Israel to show restraint in its response to the demonstrations. [Reuters and the Guardian]
  • The White House took a different tack and absolved Israel of blame. [Vox / Alex Ward]
  • Trump, in his message to mark the embassy opening, said the US is “committed to facilitating a lasting peace agreement.” But the bloodshed at the Gaza border underscores how distant that prospect is right now. [Atlantic / Emma Green]

A surprising outcome in Iraq’s elections

  • A political coalition led by powerful Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr — who targeted American forces during the Iraq War — is the likely (and surprising) winner of Iraq’s elections on Saturday. [Guardian / Martin Chulov]
  • Sadr and his coalition, Sairoon, campaigned on a nationalist, populist platform, vowing to clamp down on corruption. [NYT / Margaret Coker]
  • Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, whom Washington favors, came in a disappointing third, behind another coalition of Iraq’s Shia militia groups, which have close ties to Iran. [CBS News]
  • No coalition is expected to win the election outright, meaning Sadr will likely lead the formation of a majority coalition. Who will become the next prime minister is a decision that’s still many weeks away. [Al Jazeera / Arwa Ibrahim]
  • These were Iraq’s first elections since ISIS’s territorial defeat in Iraq — and one of the first since the US invasion in 2003 without any bombings at polling stations. [Philip Issa and Qassim Abdul-Zahra]
  • But turnout was also at a record low, with fewer than 45 percent of Iraqis participating in the critical election, which will determine who helps rebuild Iraq following ISIS’s expulsion. [BBC]

Miscellaneous

  • Why charities are flailing while tech giants that give tons of money to charity are flourishing. (Hint: Tax breaks are involved.) [Atlantic / Alana Semuels]
  • The makers of Arrested Development “remixed” season four of the show. It did not go well. [Slate / Daniel Schroeder]
  • How a parody site tricked thousands of people on Facebook into sharing a story about the Supreme Court banning Sharia law (it didn’t), and the science behind why we fall for things on the internet. [Politico / Jason Schwartz and Shawn Musgrave]
  • Melania Trump underwent surgery for a “benign kidney condition.” The White House said the procedure was successful, and President Trump tweeted that his wife was in “good spirits.” [NYT / Peter Baker]

Verbatim

“Behold, I will send for many fishers, and after will I send for many hunters. And they the hunters shall hunt them.’ That would be the Jews. ... Then God sent a hunter. A hunter is someone who comes with a gun and he forces you. Hitler was a hunter.” [Rev. John Hagee, in a sermon given in the early 1990s. His remarks resurfaced in 2008 and led then-presidential candidate John McCain to disavow Hagee’s endorsement. Hagee delivered the benediction at today’s opening of the US Embassy in Jerusalem.]


Watch this: Why Stradivarius violins are worth millions

Many musicians prefer these 300-year-old instruments, but are they actually worth it? [YouTube / Dean Peterson]


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