Zionist Organization of America (ZOA) President Morton A. Klein released the following statement:
At an on-the-record meeting with Israeli Minister of the Interior Ayelet Shaked at the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations (CoP) last week, ZOA President Morton Klein asked Minister Shaked whether it would be helpful and important to Israel for American Jewish organizations to publicly oppose the current U.S. administration’s policy to open a divisive, illegal, dangerous consulate for Palestinian Arabs in Israel’s eternal undivided capital Jerusalem. Minister Shaked responded strongly confirming that it would definitely be very helpful and important for U.S. Jewish organizations to issue public statements opposing the consulate. (Presently, ZOA is virtually alone among major Jewish groups in publicly opposing and campaigning against such a consulate in Jerusalem.) Minister Shaked also proclaimed that Israelis and Israel’s leaders from all parties – including Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, Minister of Justice Gidon Sa’ar, and herself – are united in strongly opposing the opening of the consulate in Jerusalem.
Also at the CoP meeting, ZOA Director of Research and Special Projects Liz Berney, Esq. asked Minister Shaked if more public statements from Jewish organizations asking the Biden administration to re-instate sanctions on the International Criminal Court (ICC) would be helpful and important. (Biden lifted the previous administration’s sanctions on ICC personnel.) Again, Minister Shaked confirmed that it would definitely be very helpful and important for Jewish American organizations to push the Biden administration to re-impose the sanctions on the ICC. Minister Shaked also spoke about how the ICC is a political body that is harassing Israel and the United States – and is not a legitimate court. Indeed, the ICC is investigating phony war crimes against Israel when the ICC does not even have the legal jurisdiction to do so. Minister Shaked also encouraged everyone to contact their Congressional representatives to oppose the consulate, and to re-impose the ICC sanctions.
ZOA has been actively working on those issues: ZOA erected giant billboards and banners on sides of buildings in Israel, saying “No to the Consulate”; is speaking with government officials; sent out action alerts to our activists; spoke on TV and radio; held webinars, and published op-eds. A U.S. consulate for Palestinian Arabs in the heart of Jerusalem would undermine Israel’s sovereignty over Jerusalem; violate the U.S. Jerusalem Embassy Act; violate the Vienna Convention on Consular Affairs if opened without Israeli consent; and will likely result in violating the Oslo Accords, which prohibit the Palestinian Authority from engaging in foreign relations. The consulate is also a diplomatic insult to Israel; it would send a terrible message that Jerusalem does not really belong to Israel, and reward and encourage the Palestinian Authority terror regime to continue to pay Palestinian Arabs to murder Jews and to continue inciting hatred.
ZOA also noted that then Senator Joe Biden stated during the Congressional hearings on the Jerusalem Embassy Act on October 24, 1995:
“The only way there will be peace in the Middle East is for the Arabs to know that there is no division between the United States and Israel — none, zero, none… it should be clear to all that the United States stands squarely behind Israel, our close friend and ally.”
ZOA urges all other Jewish groups and pro-Israel individuals to heed Minister Shaked’s call to join our efforts to oppose the divisive, illegal consulate and to press the Biden administration to re-impose the ICC sanctions.