Almost two years ago, on February 5, 2011 to be exact, I published here a blog post which dealt with, what I termed, the “separate-and-not-equal” policy of the United States Consulate in Jerusalem (which I had dealt with even earlier here). There is no problem with consular activities, I should make clear. I am referring to policy activity in the fields of culture, art, entertainment, sports, science, democracy seminars, student grants, etc. All this falls under the policy of this American administration which seeks to further the establishment of an independent state of Palestine as President Barack Obama made clear at the UN, for example:
I called for an independent Palestine. I believed then, and I believe now, that the Palestinian people deserve a state of their own.
I now found a new one:
Another recent event, a comedy performance, is here.
The extra-curricular activities I listed are intended to assist the Consulate in its overarching goal to which it is committed
to deepening engagement between the United States and local communities on issues of education, exchange, economic opportunity, and science and technology.
“Local communities” do not include Jewish communities.
The Consulate acts on behalf of
the United States in Jerusalem, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip as an independent mission, with the Consul General serving as chief of mission. The Consulate General also provides services to American citizens in this district.
It does not, however, provide fair and equitable services to Jewish Americans, and less so to Israelis, living in those areas.
Among the Consulate’s initiatives are
An Afternoon of Classical Music, Wildlife Conservation, Delivery of Medical Supplies, Economic Empowerment for Palestinian Women, Support for Tourism and Education, West Bank Olive Season support, Support for Palestinian Economic Development, Highlight Political, Economic, and Cultural Engagement, an American TV News Anchor Shares Broadcast Journalism Experience with Palestinian Counterparts and Journalism Students, American Council of Young Political Leaders Visits [East] Jerusalem and the West Bank, Environmental Conservation, a TechCamp for New Technologies, bringing American Hip Hop to Ramallah and Nablus, sponsoring Palestinian Science & Technology Fair, a U.S. Government-Funded Information Technology Entrepreneurship and Incubation Program
among others over the past year and a half.
This is admirable, necessary and I fully support it. But as I wrote then:
in consistently ignoring the Jewish population [in Judea and Samaria and Jerusalem’s newer neighborhoods], the US Consulate is avoiding what peace in the region should be: coexistence. If the Jews and Arabs are always kept apart, what kind of peace can emerge? Essentially, this direction of staging events…encourages local Arabs to assume that once some sort of peace is in place, the Jews will be nowhere to be found. Jews aren''t there when these events took place and so they surely won''t be there when some form of future political administration assumes full control. And that will be what "Palestine" will look like, if it comes to pass, just as the Consulate is promoting.
My suggestion was
I think the time has come for Congressional oversight on this issue and the first items on the agenda of the democratically elected representatives of the American people - unlike appointed officials - should be an instruction to [the] Consulate-General…that there is no "Palestine", on the one hand, and that there are Jews resident in the region under his jurisdiction who deserve increased attention.
That still is the route.