Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Plenty of Embassies in Jerusalem Already—Just Not to Israel by Eylon Aslan-Levy

...Clearly, Jerusalem is the subject of a striking double standard, which no foreign ministry is willing to rationalize or justify. On the one hand, Israel is withheld recognition of its capital, and told it cannot host embassies there lest it give the impression that the international community recognizes its sovereignty in the city. But on the other hand, the Palestinians enjoy the privilege of diplomatic missions in the very same city, without any qualms in the international community about the effective hypocrisy.

Eylon Aslan-Levy..
Issue 48-March '17..

Much has been made in recent months of President Donald Trump’s pledge to move the U.S. embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem and its possible repercussions. The public conversation has generally concentrated on the potential diplomatic and political fallout, especially the possibility of a new outbreak of Palestinian violence. Lost in all the controversy, however, is the fact that the U.S. is one of nine countries that already has a de facto embassy in Jerusalem. But these are all embassies to the Palestinians, not Israel.

The U.S. embassy in Israel is located in Tel Aviv, but much less well known is that the U.S. consulate-general sits in Jerusalem, just around the corner from the Prime Minister’s residence—and it handles diplomatic relations with the Palestinian Authority. It is one of nine consulates-general in Jerusalem, all of which serve the same purpose. Five of them—the UK, Turkey, Belgium, Spain and Sweden—are in eastern Jerusalem. The consulates-general of the US, France, Italy, and Greece are in western Jerusalem. The European Union also has a representative office in eastern Jerusalem, and the Holy See has an Apostolic Nunciature there, alongside the Palestinian offices of several international agencies.

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