Sunday, February 24, 2013

A consulate policy both racist and reflecting Apartheid

Daniel Greenfield..
23 February '13..

Traditionally a consulate in a city with a mixed population should be looking to encompass that city. Instead the American consulate in Jerusalem has a long history of completely ignoring the large Jewish population of the city and country that it’s in and instead focusing only on Muslims and Palestinian Arabs.

There are Arabic updates but no Hebrew updates. There are celebrations of Muslim holidays and Muslim events, but no Jewish ones. Not only is the consulate acting as if Israel doesn’t exist, but it’s also acting as if Jews don’t exist.

Now the Jerusalem consulate has finally issued a statement explaining its racist Apartheid policies. Its explanation is that the Tel Aviv consulate handles the “cultural, political and economic” affairs of Israeli Jews, while the Jerusalem consulate exclusively handles those of Palestinian Arab Muslims.

As an arrangement this makes rather little sense. A consulate is not an embassy, nor is there any reason for a consulate to reach out only to members of one religious, linguistic and ethnic group. Nor would it be incredibly difficult for the Jerusalem consulate to also conduct updates in Hebrew, a language that most of its public relations employees have to know anyway in order to operate in Israel.

The vast majority of the residents of Jerusalem are Jewish. The American consulate in Jerusalem is choosing to ignore 64 percent of the population of the city because it disapproves of their existence.

The State Department’s attempt to divide Tel Aviv into the Jewish sphere and Jerusalem into the Muslim sphere is a cynical effort at establishing diplomatic facts on the ground. It’s inappropriate and merits criticism and investigation.


Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is a New York writer focusing on radical Islam. He is completing a book on the international challenges America faces in the 21st century.

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