U.S. Consulate in Jerusalem – the Bottom Line

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Assessment: The complexity and delicacy of the consulate issue are being compounded by the Palestinian leadership’s statements. They are turning the case into a symbolic focal point in their claims to re-divide Jerusalem and to cancel the former administration’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital city…

In addition to the U.S. Congressional commitments over the years, endorsing Jerusalem’s status as Israel’s capital city, the following points of international law cannot be ignored:

  • The May 2018 proclamation by the United States formally recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel constituted a significant change of U.S. policy. It revoked the situation that existed beforehand in which, since the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, Jerusalem had never been considered by the United States to be Israeli sovereign territory.

“Behold, I will make Jerusalem a cup of drunkenness to all the surrounding peoples, when they lay siege against Judah and Jerusalem.” Zechariah 12:2

  • Formal American recognition of Israel’s sovereignty in Jerusalem established a new bilateral legal situation that replaced the former policy of non-recognition, whereby the United States acknowledged the application of Israeli law in Jerusalem.
  • The former situation had enabled the United States, as well as some other countries, to maintain independent consular missions, which existed since the mid-nineteenth century Ottoman administration of the area and intended to serve Americans visiting the Holy Land.
  • With the establishment of the Palestinian Authority by the 1993 Oslo Accords, as an autonomous administration with powers and responsibilities in parts of the disputed territories, the independent and separate U.S. consulate in Jerusalem developed a new role of overseeing U.S. relations with this Palestinian political entity as well as with Palestinian residents of east Jerusalem, the west bank areas of Judea and Samaria, and the Gaza Strip.
  • In acknowledging Israel’s sovereignty in Jerusalem, the 2018 proclamation irrevocably altered this situation and rendered the existence of an independent U.S. consulate in Jerusalem serving the Palestinian administration and population of the territories as redundant and incompatible with U.S. official policy. Read More @ Jewish Press HERE

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