The Arabists of the US Embassy in Israel

The United States relocated its embassy in Israel to the Jewish State’s capital of Jerusalem in 2018. Its website seemingly moved to Ramallah.

The embassy in Israel’s website has eight main categories: Visa, US Citizen Services, Our Relationship, Business, Education & Culture, Embassy, News & Events, and Palestinian Affairs Unit. The last category is designed to handle the needs of the Stateless Arabs of Palestine (SAPs). The website offers translation options for each category:

US Citizen ServicesArabic and Hebrew
Our RelationshipArabic and Hebrew
Education & CultureArabic
News & EventsArabic
Palestine Affairs UnitArabic
Translations offered on US Embassy in Israel website

Why would the US State Department not have a consistent method of handling translation for all of its services? It would make sense for translations of the English-language site to be in Hebrew and Arabic for every section of its website. However, the site is mostly translatable only into Arabic, making those only speaking Hebrew – Jews – unable to use the site.

Is the US embassy deliberately excluding Jews from being able to access some of its services? Is it a dynamic because the US State Department is populated by a bunch of Arabists – even in Israel?

The current Charge d’Affaires is Michael Ratney. His bio reviews that from 2015 to 2017 he was based in Syria. From 2012 to 2015 he was “responsible for the U.S. political, economic, and cultural relationship with Palestinians in Jerusalem, the West Bank, and Gaza.” Before that he did tours in Qatar, Iraq, Lebanon and Morocco. He speaks Arabic and French fluently. No Hebrew.

The Deputy Chief of Mission is Jonathan Shrier who spent much of his recent career in Pakistan and Afghanistan. His previous work in Israel was “aimed at improving economic conditions for Palestinians.” His foreign languages “include Chinese, Arabic, French, and Spanish.” No Hebrew.

The prioritization of Arabs in the US State Department shows up in every day matters as well. Consider comments by the US Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield about Israel on October 19 featured on the embassy website (pictured above). She acknowledged Palestinian Hanan Ashrawi and Israeli Daniel Levy giving comments to the UN Security Council – both vilifying Israel – mentioning the Palestinian first. She didn’t protest the fact that no one called out Palestinian terror, corruption and incitement for the lack of peace before the UN body.

When Ned Price spoke about Secretary of State Blinken meeting with Israeli officials, he also mentioned Palestinians first. When Sen. Chris Murphy, Chairman of the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on Near East, South Asia, Central Asia and Counterterrorism spoke to Christiane Amanpour on CNN about his trip to Israel, he led with the critical thing about his trip to Israel was “outreach with the Palestinians.” It’s a persistent theme.

The current configuration of the US State Department – even in the embassy in Israel – is oriented towards Israeli Arabs and Palestinians, not Israeli Jews.

Maybe when Tom Nides, who is Jewish, is confirmed as ambassador to Israel, the embassy and its website will actually start to constructively address Jews in the Jewish State.

Related First One Through articles:

Biden Ignores Own Comments Hiring Vilifier of Netanyahu

Trump’s “eastern Jerusalem” and Biden’s “East Jerusalem”

Ramat Shlomo, Jerusalem and Joe Biden

While Joe Biden Passionately Defends Israel, He Ignores Jewish Rights and the History of the Jewish State

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2 thoughts on “The Arabists of the US Embassy in Israel

  1. Pingback: Does The United States Think That The Holocaust Relates To Israel? | FirstOneThrough

  2. Pingback: Friday in Jerusalem Is Now A “No-Go Zone” For American Diplomats | FirstOneThrough

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