With the Biden administration’s plan to reopen the PA consulate in Jerusalem facing an intense backlash from inside Israel and from supporters of Israel around the world, Arutz Sheva attended today’s demonstration entitled “There is only One Jerusalem” in order to speak with attendees about how they are making their opposition heard.
The rally featured 20 organizations putting out a joint, public call to the Israeli government to stand strong against the pressure being applied by the U.S. to reopen the consulate.
“An additional consulate here in West Jerusalem in addition to the consular services in the [American] embassy makes no sense at all. First of all, it goes against international sovereignty in the Land of Israel and Jerusalem in particular. It goes against Israeli control of our capital city by forcing us to open another consulate in addition to the already existing consular services in the American embassy in Jerusalem,” says Chaim Silberstein, Founder and President of Im Eshkachech – Keep Jerusalem.
Silberstein remarks that it is a clear “violation of international law.”
“You can’t open a consulate without the expressed agreement of the host country. The American want to do it against our will,” he says.
He notes that the reopening is against the 1995 American “Jerusalem embassy law” upheld by the Trump administration when they moved the US embassy to Jerusalem. It is also against Israeli law, the Basic Law of Jerusalem.
“So there are many reasons why we should not open this consulate,” he says. “We are here today to say, ‘America, President Biden, Secretary Blinken, do not open an additional consulate here.’”
Attorney Marc Zell, Chairman of Republicans in Israel, was also at the event to make his presence felt not only as the chair of his organization but as a Jew who “loves this city.”
“Jews all over the world and millions of lovers of Israel have supported the idea of a united Jerusalem for nearly six decades,” Zell says. “This is something that we shouldn’t be arguing about.”
The White House plan to reopen the PA consulate is sending a message “that has only one meaning. Someone wants to turn the wheels of history backward.”
Zell adds: “Jerusalem needs to remain united. Most everybody agrees on that. Those who don’t they have an alternative. Go to Ramallah. Make. your consulate in Ramallah and do whatever you want with the Palestinian Arabs there, that’s their business. But in Jerusalem? No way.”
Naomi Kahn, Director, Regavim International Division, says that Regavim “has been sounding the alarm for over a decade.”
“The state of Palestine is being created every day, one dunam at a time. The Palestinians are not interested in negotiating. They are not interested in anything we have to say,” Kahn says.
She notes that “they are physically building the state of Palestine” through planting trees, building schools and paving roads. Opening an embassy will plant a foothold in Jerusalem and “will be the embassy in the capital of the state of Palestine.”
“Thats why we’re here today,” Kahn says.
Attorney Yotam Eyal of the Legal Forum for the Last of Israel says that the American plan can have only one meaning: “The meaning of the consulate in Jerusalem is to split Jerusalem in half and give up on Jerusalem as the Jewish capital.”