Monday, July 15, 2013

Background to A Discriminatory American Policy

One of my major themes here has been what I perceive as the discriminatory practice of America's Jerusalem Consulate General (CG).  Revenant Jews, residing in the area supervised by the CG, that is, Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria, except for consular services such as passports, visas, death certificates (and those are also problematic due to the refusal of the United States State Department, despite the Congressional legislation, to recognize Jerusalem as part of sovereign Jerusalem) are for all intents and purposes ignored by the CG.

To bring this up-to-date, I just checked their site:

-  Jews do not participate in Camp Discovery;

photography exhibits in Shiloh are not hosted;

-  neither are art exhibits hosted in Ariel.

(previous blogs: here; here; here;)

I went back to my files and I will try to outline the problem.

On January 25, 1988 (yes, 25 years ago), Richard Murphy, Assistant Secretary of State, wrote a letter in response to one he received from December 30, 1987, which was a copy sent to State Department Legal Advisor Abraham Sofaer over the issue of the legality - and opportunity to benefit from a tax-exempt status - of donating charity monies to projects across the Green Line.

As noted:

The JNF swindle of Jewish money [done also] by several top Jewish organizations was exposed in 1987. The JNF, Jewish Federation (United Jewish Appeal) and the United Jewish Appeal of Greater New York - all not-for-profits - refused to give any Jewish money to Jews who lived over the so-called Green Line. That Green Line was the 1949 Armistice Line...These organizations claimed (falsely) that they couldn’t give Jewish money over the Green Line because the IRS would take away their not-for-profit tax status. After this false claim was exposed by Hadassah Marcus...*

In his letter, Murphy writes, 

"private voluntary organizations [PVOs now known as NGOs] operating in the occupied territories may use U.S. Fovernment funds only to assist the indigenous Palestinian population."

Who is an indigenous Palestinian?  Can a Jew not be one?

A Jew born in Hebron prior to 1948?

Can an Arab born in the United States to Arabs from Ramallah be indigenous?

Murphy also explained that monies expended by the US in the "settlements" Jewish communities in Judea, Samaria and then also Gaza are viewed as going to what they consider

"an obstacle to a peaceful resolution of the Arab-Israeli dispute through negotiations."

On May 8, 1988, Hadassah Marcus wrote to David Good, at the time Director, Public Affairs at the Consulate, pointing out that it would appear that excluding Jews because they are Jews is a violation of civil rights in that discrimination based on race or religion should be prohibited, not promoted.

His reply was dated June 4 and emphasized that US bipartisan aid program are carried out by the State Department to

"further our foreign policy goals around the world and to provide humanitarian assistance where needed...Israeli settlements and settlement-related activities are an obstacle...therefore they are excluded from U.S. Government assistance programs."

That is the right of the State Dept., perhaps, although a few official visits by senior CG personnel, including the Consul-General, would be appropriate and wouldn't cost anything, as they drive by all the time. But basically, by ignoring the Jews of the Yesha communities, the CG is encouraging the Pals. too think that their apartheid plans have been approved by the US.  By refusing to acknowledge us, the indication is that Jews will have to leave.  

That is getting dangerously close to approving a program of ethnic cleansing.

Not only are we declared non-indigenous but we cannot live here.

In a further letter, dated July 29, 1988, Good, who signed Consul for Information and Public Affairs, added another point:

"the U.S. is providing economic support and security assistance to Israel...It is our policy that these funds are not available for use by Israel in the occupied territories".

That is an economic boycott, of sorts, way before BDS. **

The only practical problem, of course, is that a better idea and policy would have been and should be, to use such funds to foster coexistence programs, joint democracy workshops, civic rights seminars and the such which would sensitize the Arabs, and the Jews, but more the Arabs for after all, in Israel Arabs live as citizens with full rights and protection of the law.

That would be promoting and encouraging peace.  Anything else is instilling in the Arabs the assumption that America backs the most insensitive, inhuman of attitudes amongst Arabs.

All this correspondence was followed up by a letter from Abraham Sofaer on July 28, 1988 restating the above in summary so:

"This policy ['settlements as an obstacle'] is based on important foreign policy objectives, including the peaceful resolution of the status of the territories."

As Marcus points out in her reply of August 18, Sofaer avoided the issue of the category of "indigenous Palestinian population" and implicitly acknowledges that only Arabs are the intended recipients of American largesse.  She referred to the September 21, 1922 resolution passed by Congress and signed into law by President Harding that recognized "Palestine", that is, the territory now known as Israel and Judea, Samaria and Gaza was to be the reconstituted Jewish homeland wherein close settlement was to take place.

She also pointed out that whereas Murphy admitted that PVOs could not use U.S. money for their programs, Good expanded on that to include direct American funding.

Has American programming aided peace, and the negotiations for peace?

Official Palestinian Authority media outlets incite.  Schoolbooks incite and promote anti-Semitic imagery.  Elections in the PA are way overdue by many years.

Here is an opinion relating to that sorrowful situation:

"the Palestinian educational system is an abomination; it, too, is largely funded by the UN, with the substantial support of American taxpayers. In their schools, Palestinian children are taught mendacious versions of their own history as well as of Jewish culture, history, and beliefs. Generations have been fed on propaganda that denies the legitimacy of the state of Israel while simultaneously glorifying intolerance, fanaticism, and “martyrdom.”

Very little that is actually useful—engineering, computer technology, science, finance—is taught in these schools. In the private, religiously funded schools, things are still worse."

That opinion was published by ... Abraham Sofaer in May 2003! in COMMENTARY Magazine.

Amazingly, in a volte face from 1988, he writes this there:

State Department officials have long adhered to the notion that Security Council resolution 242...requires treating those borders [the pre-June 1967 lines] as final...The State Department’s interpretation of resolution 242 is not only mistaken—the literature on this point is formidable—but it could end up presenting at least as great an obstacle to peace as Israel’s policy of building settlements in areas heavily populated by Palestinians. 

In Israel’s history, settlements have a central and necessary place. The road map disregards both this history and the plain legitimacy of building places to live in what Israelis regard as their historic (though not exclusive) homeland. The road map also errs in treating every Israeli settlement as equally troublesome, even though some are obviously defensible on security grounds and minimally disruptive to Palestinian inhabitants of the territories. It thereby once again creates unwarranted expectations among Palestinians.

...In my own view, a pragmatic approach that is not anchored in the pre-June 1967 lines would have a far greater likelihood of success in any set of good-faith negotiations than the unrealistic and indiscriminate proscription contained in the road map. It would require, among other things, considering the settlements in categories.

...By tacitly accepting interpretations of reality that unfairly put the onus on Israel—in this case by demanding a “freeze” on settlements as if all settlement activity were either illegal or evidence of evil intent, or both—the United States helps to perpetuate Arab revanchism and works against the possibility of peace...
Jewish settlers in the West Bank number, at most, a tenth of the area’s population—but the guiding assumption of all international efforts to achieve peace is that no Jew should be allowed to reside in any Palestinian area...The notion of a Palestine in which Jews are not allowed to live is anathema. It implicitly affirms the hatred and violence that has made the Arab and Muslim Middle East virtually Judenrein, and it thoroughly undercuts any hope for peace. It should be anathema, above all, to the United States. Palestinians should be required to agree explicitly that Jews may live in their midst

The State Dept. policy, I would suggest, is a failure and Judge Sofaer seems to now agree.

And it is discriminatory against the Jews, now in their third generation, many tens of thousands of who I would suggest are now, for sure, "indigenous Palestinian residents" in the broadest sense, who live in Judea and Samaria. 

As Sofaer also wrote there

"Beyond, above, and behind every failed policy that has been devised to nudge forward the prospects of reconciliation in the Middle East there lies a simple if often unacknowledged fact: there can be no peace until the Arabs of the region openly accept the existence of Israel as a permanent, sovereign state"

Isn't it time failure is acknowledged and that we Jewish revenant residents are treated as humans by America's State Department?


*     According to Jewish Chronicle of Pittsburgh of November 3, 1988, a class action suit was brought by four US supporters of Gush Emunim against the Jewish National Fund over JNF's refusal to spend donations across the former "Green Line", the boundary that separated Israel from territory captured in 1967.  Mrs. Marcus' $5,000 donation was returned, money she wanted to designate that her gift be spent specifically at Shiloh.  A JNF official was quoted saying, "We don't work in the administered territories, for a number of reasons other than the possible IRS problem".

**     ...on June 30, the European Union has published a binding directive to all 28 member states forbidding any funding, cooperation, awarding of scholarships, research funds or prizes to anyone residing in the Jewish settlements in Judea and Samaria and in East Jerusalem. In addition, the directive requires that any future deal to be signed with Israel must include an item that determines that the settlements are not part of sovereign Israel and therefore are not part of the deal....The most significant part of the directive is the “territorial item” which appears for the first time as a compulsory component in all deals between Israel and the EU. The new item determines which areas inside Israel are eligible to receive cooperation from the EU and which are not. It determines that deals would pertain only to areas within the EU-recognized, pre-1967 Israeli borders.


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