JNS: The day after Yair Lapid and Naftali Bennett formed their government, Biden administration officials threw a diplomatic grenade at them. Last Monday, administration officials told reporters “unofficially” that U.S. President Joe Biden intends to appoint Hady Amr, his Assistant Secretary of State for Israel and the Palestinians, to serve as U.S. Consul General to the Palestinians—in Jerusalem.
“Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass.” 1 Samuel 15:KJV
To deploy Amr to Israel’s capital as consul, the administration will first need to open a consulate in Jerusalem. In accordance with the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1996, the Trump administration closed the consulate and turned the building into the Ambassador’s Residence following the transfer of the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem in 2019. And under the Vienna Convention, the United States must ask Israel to permit the opening of the consulate and accredit the head of mission.
The administration’s decision to deploy Amr to Jerusalem as ambassador-in-everything-but-name to a hostile, non-Israeli entity is a double assault on Israel. First, it sends the clear message that the Biden administration supports the division of Israel’s capital.
Second, by sending Amr specifically to Jerusalem, the administration is making clear that it intends to legitimize and work with Hamas. Read More