Daily Israel Report

Jerusalem US Consulate is De Facto Embassy to PA

The US Consulate in Israel's capital is actually intended to be a diplomatic office to the Palestinian Authority, according to the Consul-General.
By Hana Levi Julian
First Publish: 8/18/2009, 4:34 PM / Last Update: 8/18/2009, 5:32 PM

Israel news photo

The U.S. Consulate in Jerusalem is America's embassy to the Palestinian Authority, according to the U.S. Consul-General's response to a letter penned by an irate Jewish American.

Dr. Adam Splaver, a Florida cardiologist, wrote to the American Consul-General in Jerusalem on August 14 expressing outrage that the Consulate's website "did not mention Israel, projects in Israel, the people of Israel or the modern state of Israel. What it does mention is the numerous projects you have with the Palestinians and in their cities and towns."

The consulate building is located in the eastern section of Jerusalem, in an area restored to Israel's capital during the1967 Six Day War. The Palestinian Authority has repeatedly demanded that Jerusalem be recognized as the capital of any future Arab state established alongside Israel. For now, the PA has refused to come to the negotiating table unless Israel first agrees to freeze all construction, including building to accommodate natural growth, in all post-1967 areas of Jerusalem, as well as in all of Judea and Samaria.

Splaver, a former president of the Young Israel synagogue in Hollywood, Florida, wrote that he was "appalled," adding that he believed the omission was not the result of an error, but rather a deliberate statement.

"As an American and as a Jew, I must voice my objections to your political message and clearly, proudly, and defiantly state that a united Jerusalem was, is and will be the capital of the Jewish homeland called Israel," he added.

The reply, received Monday, August 17, speaks for itself:

"Thank you for your feedback on the U.S. Consulate General Jerusalem's Website. Just to clarify, the Consulate General in Jerusalem is the principal representation to the Palestinian Authority. We also provide services to American citizens in Jerusalem, the West Bank, and Gaza.

"The U.S. embassy to Israel is in Tel Aviv and is focused on the bilateral relationship with Israel. Their website is
http://usembassy-israel.org.il/. The American Center in Jerusalem also provides information about the United States to the Israeli public. Their website is http://usembassy-israel.org.il/ac/ .

"Jerusalem is a final status issue. Israel and the Palestinians have agreed to resolve its status during negotiations. We will support their efforts to reach agreements on all final status issues."

While the current seat of the PA government is in Ramallah, the United States government appears to already recognize the Palestinian Authority's claim to Jerusalem. At the same time, successive American governments have failed to officially recognize Israel's declaration of the city as its capital since 1948.

"I am surprised that more aren't aware of the de facto embassy [to the PA in Jerusalem] that the U.S. government has set up," Plaver said in an exclusive telephone interview Tuesday afternoon with Israel National News. "I am in shock!"