ZOA: Biden & Blinken Have No Right to Unilaterally Commit Opening Dangerous Palestinian Arab Consulate in Jerusalem
News Press Release
September 10, 2021

Palestinian Arab Consulate Would Be a Diplomatic Insult to Israel; Undermine Jerusalem’s Unity and Israeli Sovereignty and Safety; Violate U.S. Law & Oslo Accords; and Reward Terrorist Dictatorship

Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) President Morton A. Klein released the following statement:

On August 23rd, ZOA sent out an action alert urging our activists to join us in opposing Israel’s enemy, the terrorist dictatorship of the Palestinian Authority, to re-open it’s consulate in Israel’s sovereign Capitol of Jerusalem, after initial reports emerged that the Biden administration has been pressuring the Israeli government for permission to open such a consulate. Unfortunately, new reports reveal that, in addition to the Biden administration’s previous pressure, President Biden directly pressured Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett to permit the U.S. to re-open a “Palestinian Arab consulate” in Jerusalem, several times during the Biden-Bennett meeting at the White House on August 27th.

During the White House meeting, Biden reportedly “stressed that he made a campaign promise to reopen it and that Secretary of State Antony Blinken had already gone on the record with a pledge to follow through.” (See Biden Told Bennett He Will Not Abandon Palestinian Consulate,” Israel Nat’l News, Sept. 9, 2021.) However, President Biden and Secretary of State Blinken have no right to make unilateral commitments or promises to re-open such a consulate on Israel’s sovereign soil and Capitol City of Jerusalem. U.S. Law states that Jerusalem is Israel’s Capital and the U.S. Embassy is located there. The permission of the host country must always be obtained prior to opening a diplomatic facility. Making unilateral “commitments” to re-open such a consulate is similar to a foreign country’s president announcing to the U.S. that the foreign country has made a “commitment” to open a Taliban or North Korean consulate in Washington DC.

ZOA has previously pointed out the numerous pitfalls, dangers, and potential legal violations involved in opening a Palestinian Arab consulate in Jerusalem. (See Action Alert: ZOA Opposes Re-Opening a U.S. “Palestinian Arab” Consulate in Jerusalem,” Aug. 23, 2021.)

For instance:

  • A Palestinian Arab consulate in Jerusalem would be an attack on, and would continually work to undermine, Israeli sovereignty and Jerusalem’s unity. U.S. law, including the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995, affirms Jerusalem’s unity. (Incidentally, note that the planned location is in the heart ofwesternJerusalem.)
  • A Palestinian Arab consulate in Jerusalem would be a discriminatory insult against Israel. There is no other country in the world in which the U.S. has a consulate serving another entity.
  • A Palestinian Arab consulate would enable the Palestinian Authority (PA) to violate the Oslo accords, which forbid the Palestinian Authority from carrying our foreign relations.
  • A Palestinian Arab consulate would reward the Palestinian Authority terrorist dictatorship, while the PA continues to pay Arab terrorists $350 million per year to murder Jews and Americans.
  • A Palestinian Arab consulate in Jerusalem would undermine the authority of the U.S. Embassy to Israel in Jerusalem. The consulate would thus violate the spirit and essence of President Biden’s campaign promise to keep the U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem.

ZOA accordingly urges President Biden and Secretary Blinken to end the thoroughly inappropriate and divisive effort to re-open a “Palestinian Arab consulate” in Jerusalem. ZOA further urges Israel’s government to continue to refuse to grant permission for the opening of such a dangerous consulate.

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