Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Unconsolable About the Consulate.

First of all, Caroline Glick mentions me, as "exhaustive", in her most recent piece on the US Jerusalem Consulate and writes

while the PLO missions are pushing the BDS agenda in the US, the US consulate in Jerusalem is implementing it on the ground in Israel.

So, let's check up on their non-consular activities (passports, visas, birth certificates, social security, etc.) which provide the extras: programs, donations for projects, student grnats and stipends and trips to the States, visiting delegations, exhibitions, et. al).

Under the auspices of the Consulate, on October 30, 20 Palestinian youth, including 12 YES Alumni - West Bank came together at the Amideast- West Bank office in Ramallah for a full day of training called, “The Idea of Belonging.”  Ms. Stephanie Fox, the Middle East Director for One Solution Global, trained the participants to explore the ideas and feelings of belonging. 

I wonder what they belong to.

Remember that story of conserving Solomon's Pools which the Consulate-General originally promoted as part of "treasured antiquities" of "Palestinian heritage"?  There's a follow-up about a revival of West Bank reservoirs.  We now read that Consul Donald Blome said:

“We share the hope that this site can be a source of pride, hope and discovery for people of every culture, religion and background. Places of this sort of antiquity should stir and inspire all of us to come together and celebrate their beauty” 

The project is defined so:

Restoring the pools could help area Palestinian communities flourish. Economic empowerment of Palestinians is a pillar of U.S. support

The funds, one million dollars, "are designated to make emergency repairs, protect the canals between the pools and create safe walking paths for visitors" as the "project hopes to revitalize the pools and turn them into a West Bank tourist site."

Efrat is quite close. Wouldn't a joint-project further coexistence and peace?  Or is it always to be almost equal but quite separate out here?

The Consulate is also supporting three Palestinian entrepreneurs to participate in the Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) in India. The Summit "empowers innovators, particularly women, to take their ideas to the next level". 

And did you know that the Consulate has an office that helps Palestinian companies do business with American companies? Recently, four Palestinian businessmen went to Dallas to attend the ASIS International annual trade show featuring all sorts of security products like X-Rays, alarms, smoke detectors, and more.

I could go on. For now, I won't. 

Let me be clear. I have no opposition to improving the lives, economic circumstances, social experiences and skills of my Arab neighbors. That is laudable and I would hope that Israel's Civil Administration is doing the same, if not with an American budget at its disposal.

But the United States State Department's policy of excluding Jewish residents in the same geographic region from participating and benefiting by not allowing them to join in these very same programs, which, being non-political, would integrate and adjust the two populations and thereby construct a foundation for peace based on mutual recognition, appreciation and respect, is a major error. 

I have making this point to by now almost two dozen political officers at the Consulate who maintain contact with we "settlers". Some wryly agree but point to those "in charge". 

I am unconsolable over this. Peace could have been so much closer. 

What a consular failure. 


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