The Biden Administration has decided to pick a fight with Israel over opening an official consulate for the Palestinian Authority in Israel’s capital city of Jerusalem. The logical place to open the office is in Ramallah near the government offices of the Palestinian Authority, like many other countries.
Here is a sampling of some countries with consulate offices in Ramallah:
The Israeli government voiced its strong objections to Biden’s decision to open an office in Jerusalem. Israeli Prime Minster Naftali Bennett said “My position, which has been presented to the Americans by myself and by Foreign Minister Lapid, is that there is no place for an American consulate that serves the Palestinians in Jerusalem.“
In the past, there was a consulate which serviced Palestinian Arabs since 1967 at 18 Agron Street in the area Palestinians call “West Jerusalem,” in a building that the US has used since the Ottoman Empire ruled the area. It proved impractical and dangerous, as the armed guards which escorted American diplomats from the building in Israel to the offices of the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah, had to hand off security at the perimeter of Area A. US President Trump shut the Palestinian consulate and moved the services into the embassy to Israel.
If the United States wants to separate the facilities serving Israelis and Palestinian Arabs, it makes the most sense to open the consulate in Ramallah. Alternative locations can be cities in Area A under the control of the Palestinian Authority. The question is how much the Biden Administration wants to anger Israel, please Palestinians and put American diplomats in danger.
|possible Location of consulate for palestinians||commentary|
|Ramallah||Most practical, as seat of PA government. Many countries have consulates there|
|Jericho||Part of Area A, controlled by the Palestinian Authority|
|Bethlehem||Part of Area A, and also part of what was envisioned as “corpus separatum” along with Jerusalem in the UN 1947 Partition Plan|
|eastern Jerusalem||Annexed by Israel, would anger Israel and please PA as actively challenging Israel’s annexation|
|18 Agron Street, western Jerusalem||Desired location as past location of consulate, but most controversial and impractical|
Related First One Through articles:
Western Jerusalem’s U.S. Consulate and Embassy
Going Green With Embassies in Jerusalem
The Hypocrisy Between An Embassy for Israel in Jerusalem and East Jerusalem, OPT
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What I have been suggesting for years (“If the United States wants to separate the facilities serving Israelis and Palestinian Arabs, it makes the most sense to open the consulate in Ramallah.”)