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‘The Trump Administration is part of the problem, not part of the solution’: US shutters Jerusalem diplomatic mission to Palestinians

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The Trump administration will not longer have separate U.S. diplomatic posts for Israel and the Palestinians, said Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in a statement this morning. The U.S. Consulate General in Jerusalem that services Palestinians will be folded into the embassy in Israel and headed by the U.S. Ambassador to Israel.

Palestinian leaders responded to the closure by accusing the Trump administration of taking a step towards the recognition of “Greater Israel,” a single state between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea, and permanently abandoning Palestinian statehood.

Pompeo said the “single diplomatic mission” will assist Palestinians in the West Bank, Gaza and Jerusalem with consular support “through a new Palestinian Affairs Unit inside U.S. Embassy Jerusalem.”

The unit will be located at the former U.S. consular site on Argon Road in West Jerusalem.

The move does not change the U.S.’s position that “boundaries or borders” are a final status issue, Pompeo said.

“This decision is driven by our global efforts to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of our operations. It does not signal a change of U.S. policy on Jerusalem, the West Bank, or the Gaza Strip,” Pompeo continued.

The former U.S. Consulate on 18 Agron Road, now a branch of the U.S. embassy of Jerusalem that will service Palestinians through a special “Palestinian Affairs Unit.” (Photo: Djampa/Creative Commons/Wikimedia)

Within minutes of the announcement, PLO Secretary General Dr. Saeb Erekat said, “This decision has nothing to do with ‘efficiency’ and a lot to do with pleasing an ideological U.S. team,” he said in reference to the U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, who headed a fundraising group for a West Bank settlement before taking on the role of ambassador.   

“The Trump Administration is part of the problem, not part of the solution,” Erekat said.

Palestinians previously used the Consulate General in Jerusalem to obtain visas. As well, Palestinian-Americans living in the West Bank and Jerusalem went there for American citizen services instead of the U.S. embassy in Tel Aviv, which aided Israeli citizens. The location has posed challenges, as Palestinians—even those with U.S. passports—needed special permits from the Israelis to enter Jerusalem.

For Palestinians, “It has always has been a problem to gain access to Jerusalem, period, east or west,” head of the Arab American Institute James Zogby said, “to some extent this encumbers U.S. citizen service that will be provided by the embassy.”

“Frankly the U.S. is making it clear that they have no interest to declare separate Palestinian sovereignty,” head of the Arab American Institute James Zogby said, “They ought to hang a welcome sign that says ‘welcome to the one-state solution’ over the door.”

Closing the direct diplomatic channel to Palestinians in Jerusalem comes just one week after the PLO Mission in Washington DC shut down by an order from the Trump administration, and transferring the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem last May. 

Zogby described the recent measures as “moving the situation irrevocably forward to the one-state solution. Those who don’t recognize that are diluting themselves.”

“They used to say we are five minutes to midnight, we are now five minutes past midnight,” he said. 

Allison Deger

Allison Deger is the Assistant Editor of Follow her on twitter at @allissoncd.

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27 Responses

  1. Kay24 on October 18, 2018, 6:07 pm

    The world is not going to have any confidence after the occupier absorbs the Palestinian mission and will be at the mercy of those who occupy, steal their lands, and have access to matters pertaining to the Palestinians inside the territories. The occupation goes on, so does America adding insult to injury.
    Their aid is gone, their hospitals in urgent need of life saving medicine, and making life intolerable. Not that their occupier did not.

    Trump is a vindictive scumbag, and this must be Crooked Kushner’s great plans for the Middle East.

    • Marnie on October 19, 2018, 2:57 am

      I don’t know if it’s just me, but it seems like Jared (would love to call him JarHead but that moniker’s taken, maybe just call him lucky#666) always looks like he’s enjoying a private joke. That must be the magical intelligence he supposedly is full of instead of filth like the rest of them in the photo ops.

      Last Week Tonight with John Oliver – Jared Kushner – YouTube

      • Kay24 on October 19, 2018, 6:15 am

        Whatever you call him it is still too good a name for him. He looks smug and arrogant, loving the position of power he was put in because of nepotism.
        I still remember his gloating speech during the opening of the US embassy in Jerusalem, at the same moment Palestinians were being killed when they protested some miles away. Ugly.
        Jared Kushner (kaka head) is like his father in law, rotten to the core.

    • Marnie on October 19, 2018, 9:28 am

      @Kay – ‘Jared Kushner (kaka head) is like his father in law, rotten to the core.’

      His actual father is quite a piece of work too, right? I think of lucky#666 as being almost as big a dick as his wife, Ivanka. ;^P

    • Misterioso on October 19, 2018, 3:01 pm

      @Kay24, et al

      Inter Press Service, Oct. 17/18
      By Thalif Deen

      How sweet it is!!

      “UN Vote on Palestine a Humiliating Defeat for US & its Envoy”

      UNITED NATIONS, Oct 17 2018 (IPS) – “Nikky Haley, the vociferously anti-Palestine US Ambassador to the United Nations, warned member states last year she will ‘take down names’ of those who vote against American interests in the world body—perhaps with the implicit threat of cutting US aid to countries that refuse to play ball with the diplomatically-reckless Trump administration.

      “But that vengeance-driven head count – and not ball playing — could be a tedious exercise for the US when 146 out of 193 member states voted to affirm Palestine as the new chairman of the 134-member Group of 77, the largest single coalition of developing countries at the United Nations.

      “The 146 included some of the strongest Western allies of the US, plus four of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council: UK, France, China and Russia.

      “The only two countries that stood sheepishly by the US were Israel, its traditional client state, and Australia, a newcomer to the ranks of US supporters.”

      • Marnie on October 20, 2018, 12:46 am

        “We cannot support efforts by the Palestinians to enhance their status outside of direct negotiations. The United States does not recognize that there is a Palestinian state,” U.S. Deputy U.N. Ambassador Jonathan Cohen told the General Assembly.”

        Looks like Australia is trying to out-ugly the united states.

        Of course the truth is out there, being that the u.s. will not support ANY efforts by the Palestinians at all to be seen as anything other than prisoners of the bastard ‘state’ of israel. Those uppity Palestinians, who the hell do they think they are anyway?

        So damn glad Nikki Haley is out of the picture. What a snapping little poodle she turned out to be. But now she’s finally got a chance to get off her knees and have a little fun at the expense of the orange blossom special. Wonder when her book wil be out?

      • RoHa on October 20, 2018, 4:47 am

        “Australia, a newcomer to the ranks of US supporters.”

        Australia has been sucking up to the US since WW2.

  2. JWalters on October 18, 2018, 8:21 pm

    Ivanka: Ready everybody?
    Jared & Sara: Cheese!
    Benjamin: And no Palestinians!

  3. Jon66 on October 19, 2018, 12:06 am

    “Those who don’t recognize that are diluting themselves.”

    Is this some kind of solution-dilution pun I’m missing?

    • Mooser on October 19, 2018, 2:23 pm

      “Is this some kind of solution-dilution pun I’m missing?”

      Yes. But you wouldn’t understand it.

    • genesto on October 20, 2018, 4:00 pm

      Sure, let’s take an important post and reduce it to some incorrect English. If we did that with Trump, we wouldn’t be able to talk about anything else!!

  4. Marnie on October 19, 2018, 2:52 am

    ‘Pompeo said the “single diplomatic mission” will assist Palestinians in the West Bank, Gaza and Jerusalem with consular support “through a new Palestinian Affairs Unit inside U.S. Embassy Jerusalem.”’

    How quaint. The u.s. has never shed itself of it’s colonial past and continues to be of great assistance to the thieving, raping, murdering colonial cucks here. Reminds me of u.s. army forts all over so called ‘hostile’ Indian territories, which required the ‘savages’ to appear to the fort regularly for roll call followed by shame, humiliation, some smallpox blankets, degradation of the women among them including an unwelcome pregnancy or 2 or just u.s. army surplus gonorrhea along with a ration of spit, shit, rotten meat and bug-infested corn and flour.

  5. Misterioso on October 19, 2018, 11:53 am

    It’s Caligula’s Rome all over again and will have the same outcome.

    • RoHa on October 20, 2018, 4:49 am

      Horses as senators? You should be so lucky!

      • Maghlawatan on October 21, 2018, 4:02 am

        Groupthinking GOP senators are atrocious. Horses can think but they can’t. Giddy up.

  6. James Canning on October 19, 2018, 11:55 am

    Yet another foolish action by Trump’s team, encouraging Israel to destroy its own democracy by pursuing “Greater Israel” scheme.

    • Maghlawatan on October 21, 2018, 4:04 am

      Short termiam is the essence of Trump. God only knows what damage climate change will do to Israel. Of course Trump ignores it.

  7. Maghlawatan on October 19, 2018, 1:53 pm

    Israel owns US politics but it can’t change reality. Power in DC is weaker than 70% of non Orthodox marrying non Jews. A strong elite and a collapsing base….

  8. Maghlawatan on October 19, 2018, 2:51 pm

    Israel really is a parasite.
    Whiny and needy and how much time does DC spend on it instead of on opioid deaths, climate change or financial instability?

  9. mondonut on October 19, 2018, 5:03 pm


    It’s almost as of the US does not consider Palestine to be a sovereign state with established diplomatic ties. Why can’t the US just get along by playing make-believe like to rest of the world?

  10. Edward Q on October 20, 2018, 6:25 pm

    If the U.S. embassy is located on stolen Palestinian land does this make the U.S. a belligerent occupier of Palestine?

    • mondonut on October 21, 2018, 11:51 am

      @Edward Q, If the U.S. embassy is located on stolen Palestinian land…

      Of course not, the U.S. embassy is not on land that was stolen nor was it ever “Palestinian land.”

  11. Maghlawatan on October 21, 2018, 4:10 am

    Israel shuts down consulates, targets UNRWA and pauperises Palestinians. Then it accuses them of incitement.

    • mondonut on October 21, 2018, 11:49 am

      @Maghlawatan, Israel shuts down consulates…

      Remind me, which consulates did Israel shut down?

      • Maghlawatan on October 21, 2018, 1:34 pm

        EJ. FFS


        Trump, though, stopped short of blaming Bin Salman, saying he would “would love if he wasn’t responsible”. He continued to stress a desire not to disrupt US-Saudi strategic cooperation in the Middle East or jeopardise US arms sales to the kingdom.
        The president reportedly lamented to the Post that ****“we’ve got nobody else over there” to help protect Israel***

      • mondonut on October 21, 2018, 6:27 pm

        @Maghlawatan, EJ. FFS

        Again, which consulates did Israel shut down? Nothing in your link names a consulate shut down by Israel. For simplicity’s sake (rather than bogus links) just list them by name.

  12. Kathleen on October 22, 2018, 4:18 pm

    Only hope to take down the Romanov’s Trump/Kushner tribe is Mueller’s dragnet.

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