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Sunday, January 04, 2015

Can you imagine what would happen if an Israeli consulate in the US did this?

On Friday, US consulate personnel from 'east' Jerusalem showed up at the Israeli encampment in Samaria known as Adei Ad to 'investigate' the alleged uprooting of trees by local residents. The consulate personnel were accompanying 'Palestinians.' They did not coordinate their visit with the Israeli security forces (as is the accepted protocol) and when the residents started throwing stones at them, at least one consulate security guard pulled a shotgun and an M-16 rifle.
An Israeli police spokeswoman said the delegation arrived at Adei Ad in U.S. diplomatic cars without first having coordinated the visit with Israeli authorities. She said the purpose of the trip was to inspect nearby trees that had been uprooted in what their Palestinian owners suspect was vandalism by Jewish settlers.
"Rocks were thrown at them by residents of Adei Ad. We are investigating. Arrests have yet to be made," the spokeswoman said. She said she did not know of any damage to the vehicles and had no further information on the delegates' identities.
An Adei Ad resident who spoke to Reuters on condition of anonymity said that he had not witnessed the incident but had been told by fellow settlers who were involved that the U.S. delegates came within 50 yards (metres) of the settlement in two diplomatic cars accompanied by local Palestinians.
The resident said several settlers went out to confront the group. He declined to confirm or deny that the settlers threw stones, but said two armed diplomatic guards briefly emerged from the cars.
"One had a pistol, the other an M-16, and they pointed them at the settlers," the resident said.
Asked about this account, the Israeli police spokeswoman said: "We have no indication that anyone in the U.S. delegation brandished weapons."
Can you imagine if the Israeli embassy sent someone to investigate alleged vandalism (against Israeli citizens - here the 'Palestinians' may not have been American citizens) in the US? Everyone involved would be immediately declared persona non grata. And that's exactly what the revenants would like to see happen.
Acting Head of the Samaria Regional Council, Yossi Dagan, has filed a request to the Minister of the Interior Gilad Erdan demanding he immediately expel the American Consulate staff members who entered the Samaria village of Adei Ad Friday and threatened Israeli Jews with an M-16. 
"As revealed through Wikileaks few years ago, these supposed 'officials' are intelligence agents and spies in every respect," said Dagan, adding "this time, they went too far and participated in a provocative tour with the Palestinians in the southern Samaria and north Binyamin, without any coordination as required with the IDF and police, and pulled out a firearm and threatened Israeli civilians."
"This is a crossing of all red lines," he continued. "This event could have descended easily into bloodshed and only as a result of the settlers' responsible behavior was [a scenario like that] prevented."  
"I request that in view of the serious and criminal conduct, that these [US] security guards and officials be deported," he added. 
"If Israeli intelligence officials and armed Israeli security guards stationed in one of the Israeli consulates in the United States had participated in a political provocation without any coordination with the police and threatened American citizens with weapons, at best, they would be arrested and deported, and the more likely case would be them spending several years in federal prison."
Indeed they would. The hostility of the 'east' Jerusalem consulate to Israel is well-known and this is not the first incident involving consulate personnel overstepping their bounds. It will be interesting to see what is said at the State Department briefing on Monday about this incident (there has not been a briefing since last Tuesday). But if the US makes a fuss out of this, Israel should push back hard.

What could go wrong?

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