In response to Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s statement that there is no place for an American consulate dedicated to the Palestinians in East Jerusalem, Nabil Abu Rudeineh, the official spokesman for Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, said that opening the American consulate in East Jerusalem is an official American commitment.
We in Jerusalem agree with the official Palestinian response and with everything Rudeineh says. But the Biden administration should have also responded to statements from the Israeli prime minister, who is even more right-wing and extremist than his predecessor, Benjamin Netanyahu, whom Bennett has nevertheless denounced. Netanyahu had a personal interest in Bennett becoming prime minister, even though Bennett ultimately only won six seats in the Israeli Knesset.
Given that reopening the American consulate in East Jerusalem is a commitment by the United States to deal directly with the Palestinians, why is President Joe Biden’s administration still reluctant to reopen it? And why does the United States continue to beat around the bush, rather than restrain Bennett and other ministers in his right-wing government who publicly oppose peace and claim that the West Bank is Israeli land, as they continue to defy the world and defy United Nations resolutions?
The United States should quickly open the consulate because every delay calls America’s commitment into question.
The delay also means that the Biden administration is responding to orders from Israel, especially since many ministers in this coalition government periodically declare that the U.S. will not dare rebuff requests from the Israeli occupiers not to reopen the consulate in East Jerusalem, territory the occupying state of Israel has annexed, and along with West Jerusalem, considers its capital.
The Palestinians should push the Biden administration to reopen the consulate, and if the U.S. continues to delay, it should pursue other means and stop betting on the U.S., which considers the occupying state a strategic ally in the region.
This is another of America’s broken promises, since the U.S. also said it would reopen the Palestine Liberation Office in Washington and has not yet done so, along with other broken commitments despite the fact that a year has passed since Biden took the reins of government in America, and we have been left to rely only on ourselves.