When people look back in history to January 2015, they immediately think about the massacres committed by Muslim fanatics in Paris, France at the Charlie Hebdo magazine offices and at a kosher supermarket nearby. Muslim extremists wanted to kill the writers at the magazine because they lampooned the Islamic prophet, and at the kosher store because they hated Jews.
Another kind of battle was taking place at the same time in Jerusalem, Israel. The United States Consulate, which serviced Arabs living east of the Green Line, decided it was going to begin arming Arab guards at the compound.
History of 18 Agron Street Consulate
The United States first appointed a U.S. consul to Jerusalem in 1844, at the direction of President John Tyler. The U.S. consulate moved to 18 Agron Street (circled in blue on the map above) in 1912, when the city was still under the control of the Ottomans. Within a few years the Ottomans lost most of their empire at the end of World War I, and Palestine fell under the British Mandate which was directed to continue to facilitate Jewish migration to Palestine which had been actively going on for many decades. The western portion of Jerusalem where the consulate was located was already mostly Jewish in 1912 (Jerusalem has been majority Jewish since 1867), and only became more so over the following years.
When Israel declared itself an independent state in May 1948, the United States quickly recognized it, while the Muslim and Arab world rejected the declaration completely. The armies of five Arab nations invaded Israel and at war’s end, occupied the eastern half of Jerusalem. The dividing line between Israel and Jordan, which illegally occupied and annexed in 1950 the eastern part of the city along with what is now often called the “West Bank”, was marked in green in maps, as shown above. As the United States had originally supported the 1947 UN Partition Plan which called for Jerusalem and Bethlehem to be an international city, it withheld turning the consulate into the official Israeli embassy. Instead, the US placed its embassy in Tel Aviv and opted to use the 18 Agron Street location as an office to handle local meetings, even though it considered the Jordanian annexation of the eastern part of the city illegal.
After Jordan attacked Israel again in June 1967 and lost all of its illegally annexed land to Israel, the US decided to continue to keep its embassy in Tel Aviv and used the 18 Agron building to handle issues for Arabs living east of the Green Line, who had Jordanian citizenship until 1988 and are now referred to as Palestinian Arabs.
War in Peace
In 1993 and 1995, Israel and the newly created Palestinian Authority (PA) signed the Oslo Accords I and II. The PA was handed by Israel a number of cities – including Bethlehem – to administer, and in turn, the PA recognized Israeli authority in all lands that the PA did not control, including Jerusalem. The Oslo plan was for more land to gradually be handed to the PA, with a goal of reaching a full peace deal in five years, in September 2000. Over the five years 1995 to 2000, the PA was handed West Bank land so that most of the Palestinian Arabs living there were either in Area A under full PA control, or Area B, where PA had administrative control and Israel had security control. In September 2000, the head of the PA, Yasser Arafat, refused the peace deal and launched a terrorist war gently termed the “Second Intifada” halting the transfer of any more land to the PA.
Ten years after Oslo II, in 2005, Israel decided to leave Gaza with assurances from US President George W Bush that it would not be forced to assume borders along the Green Line nor would it need to take in Palestinian “refugees” who would be settled in a new Palestinian state. That action enabled the political-terrorist group Hamas to take over and launch wars repeatedly from the territory.
Another decade on, in January 2015, the US consulate in Jerusalem decided that it was too difficult to drive to PA-controlled land in Area A without a single continuous military escort, as the Israeli-armed guards at the consulate were forbidden by law from entering PA-controlled territory and needed to hand security of American diplomats to Palestinian security guards upon reaching the perimeter of Area A. Therefore, the head of security at the US consulate, Dan Cronin, decided that he would train and arm 35 Palestinians from eastern Jerusalem who could enter Area A without difficulty. The problem was that it’s illegal for these Palestinian Arab security guards to carry weapons in Israel. Three Israeli guards at the consulate quit in protest, saying that it’s “in effect setting up an armed Palestinian militia in the consulate. They are being trained with weapons, in Krav Maga, and tactical driving. It’s irresponsible. Who can guarantee that such weapons in the hands of Palestinians won’t spread to terror?””
In 2018, President Trump moved the US embassy to Israel’s capital in accordance with Congress’s Embassy Act of 1995 and shut the consulate offices. Services for Palestinian Arabs are now handled out of that office at 14 David Flusser Street.
In January 2015, when President Obama said he was angered at “an attack on journalists” in Paris while he ignored the attack on Jews which he later belittled as being “random,” he was simultaneously arming Palestinian Arabs inside of the US consulate in Jerusalem in blatant disregard of US-Israeli agreements. Obama’s vice president at that time is now President Biden, who has promised to reopen a consulate to Palestinian Arabs, even as he is warned that such an action will likely bring down the Israeli government.
The Obama Administration essentially set up an armed Palestinian militia inside the US Jerusalem consulate in 2015. Today, Biden is writing his own playbook on using the consulate to destabilize the Jewish State.
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