Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Consulate General In Jerusalem Admits: We're Only Here For The Arabs (Updated)

In Website Of The US Consulate Of Jerusalem--Jews And Israelis Need Not Visit, I expanded on Cliff May's post about how the Consulate there was geared more towards the interests of the Arabs than the Israelis.

I wrote a letter to the consulate about this, and received the following reply:

Dear Sir,

Thank you for your feedback on the U.S. Consulate General Jerusalem's Website. Just to clarify, the Consulate General in Jerusalem is the principal representation to the Palestinian Authority. We also provide services to American citizens in Jerusalem, the West Bank, and Gaza. The U.S. embassy to Israel is in Tel Aviv and is focused on the bilateral relationship with Israel. Their website is http://usembassy-israel.org.il/. The American Center in Jerusalem also provides information about the United States to the Israeli public. Their website is http://usembassy-israel.org.il/ac/ .

U.S. Consulate General Jerusalem


Apparently the message sent by having a consulate in the capital of Israel that does not address the interests of that country does not phase them. If they seriously consider themselves "the principal representation to the Palestinian Authority," why would they not set up shop in the West Bank? It seems they don't care about the implication that the West Bank is too unstable to risk US personnel there. But if they are wary of getting too close to the West Bank, why foist the area on Israel as a second Palestinian state?

UPDATED: Bill Narvey left the following comment to the copy of my post on Soccer Dad:

I wrote to the U.S. Consulate General Jerusalem on July 31st, 2009 and
got the very same reply as above posted.

I then wrote to some e mail buddies for their information and added the
following comments.

I wonder what this government organization is independent of.

Secondly, why is this government agency in Jerusalem catering to
Palestinians who lay claim to Jerusalem, yet the US Embassy for Israel
is in Tel Aviv?

The U.S. does not recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital and claims it
does not want to prejudge the outcome of peace negotiations.

One might conclude that this U.S. agency is an arm of government that
does recognize Palestinian claims to Jerusalem.

It could have operated just as well in Hebron, Ramallah, Jenin, etc. or
in Tel Aviv, if it really was not prejudging the outcome of

What do you make of it?

The State Department is focused only on their own agenda, and consistency--let alone fairness--is not part of it.

Crossposted on Soccer Dad

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Anonymous said...

Quick question. Do we have any intelligence on the content of the Consulate's website under the Bush administration? Has the Jerusalem office always been considered the principal representative to the PA or is this a recent gambit by the obama crew?

Daled Amos said...

In my original post I linked to an old copy of the page at Archive.org from May 2007 which is basically the same. It's a State Dept. issue, not a Bush vs. Obama issue.

Seth said...

It has been like that since the website was created. I have tried emailing them several times over the years with zero response. That said, I think its getting about time for the US to get out of the world's politics, including Israel, and start dealing with their own issues.

NormanF said...

The US consulate reports independently to Washington. This is an unusual arrangement as a consulate is normally subordinate to an embassy and reports through it. Given the particular history of foreign consulates in Jerusalem, they cater overwhelmingly to Arabs. A cross sample of websites could establish this fact. Naturally, the fact two thirds of Jerusalem's population is Jewish goes unmentioned by them. So foreign governments receive a very distorted picture of life in Jerusalem that bears little resemblance to the actual reality there.

Anonymous said...

it's about time this consular office was shut down, and they be invited to move

Daled Amos said...

At this point in time, Israel has to pick its battles. Making an issue of this now would not pay.

Anonymous said...

I'm a bit confused. About 30-40% of the population of the West Bank and East Jerusalem is Jewish. If present demographic trends continue (even taking into account Obama's failed leftwing/Judenrein Jerusalem policy) then the West Bank and East Jerusalem will be a majority Jewish within a decade.

Include West Jerusalem, then the majority is already not Islamofascist.

So if that's the case - American representation to the West Bank and Jerusalem should take into account the majority population, and not just the violent Islamofacist minority.

Daled Amos said...

Actually, According to Wikipedia:

2,407,681 population in the West Bank, excluding Israeli settlers.

2,771,681, including Israeli settlers 187,000 Israeli settlers in the West Bank and 177,000 in East Jerusalem (July 2008 est.)

So excluding East Jerusalem, Jews make up about 7% and including East Jerusalem make up about 13%