If I am not mistaken, the US Consulate General in Jerusalem is the only US consulate in the world that is not subordinate to the embassy in the country where it is located. When it was located in a hostile Arab neighborhood in eastern Jerusalem, the fact that it was not subordinate to the US Embassy in Tel Aviv was upsetting. But it was also easily justified in light of US policy of not recognizing Israeli sovereignty in eastern, southern and northern Jerusalem.
But Arnona is in western Jerusalem. It is a Jewish neighborhood that even the most radical Israeli leftists don't envision transferring to the Palestinians in any peace deal. Putting the consulate in Arnona - and on the site reserved for the embassy no less - is the clearest expression of American rejection of all Israeli sovereign rights to Jerusalem imaginable. And the fact that it is located in the heart of a Jewish neighborhood is far from the only problem with the building.
Israelis who live in Jerusalem and need US consular services are required to go to the consulate in Jerusalem. You can't just go to Tel Aviv to avoid the unpleasantness. This again is due to the fact that the US does not recognize ANY Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem. From the State Department's perspective, people who live in Jerusalem -- even in Arnona and Rehavia and Ein Kerem etc. -- live in a DIFFERENT COUNTRY from people who live in Tel Aviv and Netanya. We can no more receive services from the embassy in Tel Aviv than we can receive services from the embassy in Amman.
I will be writing more about the US's adversarial treatment of Israel as embodied in its treatment of Jerusalem in next week's Jerusalem Post column. But suffice it to say here that Victoria Nuland's statement to AP reporter Matt Lee, (posted below in case you missed it), is a true depiction of America's policy on Jerusalem - and though it, on Israel.
It would be useful for someone to get Mitt Romney on record discussing his position on Jerusalem. Assuming that he says - like every other Republican presidential candidate - that he supports transferring the US embassy to Jerusalem, he should further be asked to explain how, if he is elected president, he will force the State Department to change its policies towards Israel and respect US law by treating Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
Caroline B. Glick is the senior Middle East fellow at the Center for Security Policy in Washington, D.C., and the deputy managing editor of The Jerusalem Post, where this article first appeared.
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