The U.S. Should Move Its East Jerusalem "Embassy" to Ramallah

(Washington Post) David Bernstein - American policy with regard to Jerusalem is incoherent. On the one hand, U.S. policy has long favored a negotiated settlement between Israel and its adversaries based in some way on the 1967 armistice lines, which places west Jerusalem firmly in Israeli hands. On the other hand, the U.S. government refuses to officially recognize that any part of Jerusalem is part of Israel. As a result, American citizens born in west Jerusalem must register their country of birth as "Jerusalem," not Israel. Moreover, the U.S. government keeps its embassy in Tel Aviv rather than in west Jerusalem, the seat of Israeli government. Nevertheless, the U.S. government maintains a consulate in east Jerusalem that serves the Arab residents of east Jerusalem and the West Bank. The consulate's own website notes that "the Consulate General has served as the de facto representative of the United States government to the Palestinian Authority." This raises an obvious question: If the U.S. government refuses to place its Israel embassy in west Jerusalem, what possible rationale could there be for its de facto Palestinian embassy to be in east Jerusalem? Informing the Palestinian Authority that the U.S. consulate is moving to Ramallah might even make the P.A. rethink whether it really wants to oppose having the U.S. Embassy relocate to west Jerusalem. The writer is a professor at the George Mason University School of Law.

2017-03-09 00:00:00

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