MARCH 21, 2012
MARCH 21, 2012
I am old enough to recall pre-1967 when the Consulate in "West Jerusalem" was where it always was for some 150 years - at Agron Street. The library was great. And by the way, the building you mention is the offices of the consular section. Political, economic and other matters are still at Agron, where the Consul-General lives.
But to the politics: A rather disturbing pattern of behavior has emerged from the US Consulate-General in Jerusalem over the past years that would point to a need for Congressional review and oversight.
Except for matters of passports, visas and birth registration, all other activities whether social, educational, scientific, sports, etc. are blatantly discriminatory in that no Jewish American citizen, who lives in the area supervised by the Consulate, can benefit from or take part in. They are intended for Arabs solely.
Jews resident in the area of Judea and Samaria face a policy of exclusion and that, we maintain, would seem to be unconstitutional and illegal. In the same geographical area under the jurisdiction of the Consulate there exist two separate and not equal populations: Jewish and Arab, whether Muslim or Christian.
Is what they are doing legal by American law? Is it in the spirit of the democratic foundations of American democracy? Can the Consulate adopt exclusionist policies that separate between peoples based on race in the same geographic area? Can it create the "state of the West Bank"?
There are almost 350,000 Jewish residents in the communities located in the territory for which the C-G is responsible (the almost 300,000 Jews in the newer Jerusalem neighborhoods and within the Old City is another matter). Almost 15,000 are American citizens. They do not benefit from any of these cultural, social or funding outreach activities and other programs and monies. Jews don't count, other than deserving consular needs like birth registration, visas, etc.