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Friday, July 31, 2009

US Consulate in Jerusalem: All 'Palestinians,' all the time

Paul Mirengoff points to the home page of the US Consulate in Jerusalem, where every item on the page relates to the 'Palestinians' and none relates to Jews or Israelis. Paul calls it a fair reflection of where the Obama administration's sympathies lie and how it sees the city.

While Paul's assessment is correct, the problems with the Jerusalem consulate long precede the Obama administration. The consulate, which is located a stone's throw away from the former Mandelbaum Gate, which was the crossing point between Jordan and Israel between 1948 and 1967 (about the only thing that crossed there was the convoy to Mount Scopus that went through once every two weeks during that period), has long seen itself as the US embassy to the 'Palestinians.' It was seen that way 30 years ago when I was a yeshiva student here.

Many Israelis who live in and around Jerusalem rely on that consulate for American consular services. Although there is also an American consulate in the western part of the city (on Agron Street in the center of town), that consulate is largely useless except for handing in your absentee ballots. If you want to have a passport issued, obtain a visa for the US, register for social security or register your children as American citizens, you have to go to the consulate in the eastern part of the city, just over the 'green line' - or go to the American embassy in Tel Aviv.

The consul general in the 'east' Jerusalem consulate, Jacob Walles, is known to be very pro-'Palestinian,' and created a diplomatic incident at a Ramallah checkpoint a year and a half ago. Walles is finishing his term here and has been mentioned as a candidate to be US ambassador to Syria.


At 11:15 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

Israel is the only country in the world with consulates in its capital. No country currently has its embassy in Jerusalem.

At 2:40 PM, Blogger Red Tulips said...

Hey Carl,

Check out the British Consulate web page. It is clearly much worse!


I was literally physically ill upon reading that web page. It is so clearly and unequivocably anti-Israel, it is a bit shocking.

At 10:34 PM, Blogger Lori Lowenthal Marcus said...

Yes, this is clearly related to the US Embassy refusing to budge on over to Jerusalem, but while the Consulate has nothing, nada, gornisht, zip to do with Israel, the Embassy website features a prominent story about the "palestinians."

At 12:42 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

The consulates in Jerusalem all cater to the Arabs. Jews and Israelis need not bother to visit them. The US Consulate does not even have a Hebrew page but it does have one in Arabic. And its complete neglect of its host country speaks volumes about the values of the people who staff it and to whom they reach out in the course of fulfilling their consular responsibilities.


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