“Having been unable to force upon Israel their plan to open a consulate to the Palestinians in Jerusalem, this is a transparent attempt by the Israel-hating Biden Regime to go round the back door, with a de-facto consulate in clear attempt to water down the Trump administration’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital,” said Arsen Ostrovsky, an Israeli human rights attorney and chairman and CEO of the International Legal Forum.
FOX News (h/t Marvin W) The Biden Regime announced a dramatic yet partial reversal of Donald Trump’s closure of the consulate to the Palestinians in Jerusalem by opening a “U.S. Office of Palestinian Affairs” in the city. Biden’s move is viewed by many as rewarding the Palestinian leadership after a wave of terrorism during which two Palestinians wielding an ax and knife murdered three Israelis in the town of Elad in May.
The previous month, Raad Hazem, a 28-year-old Palestinian gunman from Jenin, killed three people and wounded six others in a crowded bar in Tel Aviv.
Before Trump, “We had a quasi consul-general in
West Jerusalem for decades dedicated just to Palestinian affairs for any consular affairs related to the United States,” says Victoria Coates, a former deputy national security adviser for the Middle East and North Africa under Trump.
However, “Since 2018, their affairs have been handled by a proper U.S. Embassy, which is now located in the Israeli capital in Jerusalem. This unnecessary change with the Palestinians will only prolong the stalemate between them and Israel and will not bring us any closer to peace than the old ConGen [consulate-general] did [before Trump].”
Israel’s former Ambassador to the United Nations Danny Danon observed that the Biden Regime is reverting to past failed practices. Although the announced changes are essentially bureaucratic in nature, with amendments to names and reporting lines, it is the symbolism of the move which hits home for some. It signals an upgrade in relations with the possibility of more fruitless promises to come.”
“The Abraham Accords moved beyond broken paradigms and looked for new solutions,” added Danon, who is also chairman of World Likud. “This new path has been astoundingly successful. It is perhaps time for the current U.S. administration to cast aside past failed policies and look to set new, sound strategy.” The Trump administration helped to negotiate groundbreaking agreements to normalize diplomatic relations between Israel and the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Sudan and Morocco…with more to come.
The Israeli government vehemently opposes a reopening of the Palestinian consulate in Jerusalem because it would undercut the holy city as the undivided capital of Israel. Jerusalem proposes that the U.S. open its Palestinian consulate in Ramallah, the headquarters of the Palestine Liberation Organization and the Palestine Authority. A State Department spokesperson stated that, “The former Palestinian Affairs Unit is now called the Office of Palestinian Affairs (OPA).
The Biden Regime has already moved to improve ties with the Palestinians, in part by restoring more than $350 million in U.S. financial welfare to the Palestinian Authority as well as funding the corrupt U.N. agency (UNRWA) that hands out money to Palestinians pretending to be refugees.
Times of Israel A day after the United States announced that it is cutting all further funding ($365 million annually) to UNWRA – United Nations Relief and Works Agency – which since 1948 has managed to turn generation after generation of so-called Palestinians into perpetual refugees, where they remain dependent for life on UNRWA for their schools, healthcare, and much of their food. The Trump Administration has made clear that it intends to see UNRWA closed down altogether.
Ostrovsky added, “The move, a direct challenge to Israel’s sovereignty, which potentially might also breach the Jerusalem Embassy Act, will only reward Palestinian intransigence and violence, as we have seen in the past months.”
The U.S. Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995 recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and calls for it to remain an undivided city. The diplomatic upgrade means Palestinians will deal directly with the State Department in Washington rather than first go through the American ambassador to Israel.
The department has renamed the Palestinian Affairs Unit The U.S. Office of Palestinian Affairs. But it falls short of Biden administration pledges — and Palestinian demands — for the U.S. to reopen its consulate in Jerusalem, which for decades functioned as a de facto embassy to the Palestinians.