Friday, October 19, 2018

On The Merging of the Consulate with the Embassy

Many are writing on the various aspects, political and diplomatic, of the merging of the US Jerusalem Consulate with the Embassy, now located after 70 years in Jerusalem, too. There will be no downgrade of the American representation in Jerusalem, the West Bank, and Gaza. 


Following the merger of @usembassyjlm and @USCGJerusalem, a new Palestinian Affairs Unit will continue to conduct a full range of reporting, outreach, and programming in the West Bank and Gaza as well as with Palestinians in Jerusalem.

I have been on the activities of the Consulate for, well, decades.

To highlight my specific concerns as to possible ramifications of this move, consider this Facebook post by the Consulate:

Are you a Gaza-based student in 9th or 10th grade? Are you looking for an amazing adventure in America?...Apply for the Kennedy-Lugar YES study abroad program via the link below. The deadline is November 1

This is an admirable and positive program. But is it restricted? I mean, can Jewish residents in Judea and Samaria apply?

So, I went to the web site of the Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study Program (YES) and I read that it 

is seeking Palestinian secondary school students to participate in a study-in-the-USA initiative for high school students during the 2019-2020 school year.

Does "Palestinian" exclude Jews?

If that is a geographical term, technically Jews in the 150 Jewish communities are 'Palestinian', in a physical sense.

But I continued to read:

Kennedy-Lugar Youth Exchange and Study Program (YES) scholarships, funded by the US Department of State, give secondary school students in many Arab and Islamic countries an opportunity to study at American high schools and live with American host families for one academic year.  Students will be enrolled in a full academic year, involving ten months of high school study in the US, attending classes, labs and extracurricular programs with their American classmates. 

So, is that program racial-based? That one need be "Arab"?

Is it religious-based?  That one need be Islamic?

I sought out further eligibility requirements and found this

to participate in the YES, students:
Be enrolled in 9th or 10th grade at a secondary school at the time of application;
Must be born between February 1, 2001 and August 1,  2004;
Meet a minimum English proficiency requirement, which will be measured by a test;...
Must not be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, or have been born in the United States;
Be a resident of the West Bank, Gaza, or East Jerusalem

So, if a Jewish school pupil is resident of the "West Bank", which is actually Judea and Samaria (check out the UN's 1947 Partition Scheme borders and other documents which use those exact terms), can he/she apply?

Based on my experience, the answer is no.

This is a sort of American apartheid policy. No Jews allowed.  Even if we live less than a kilometer one from the other or drive on the same roads. American taxpayer dollars at work indicating to the Palestinian Authority that Jews don't belong in the territory of their historic Jewish homeland.  And that, perhaps, the peace they seek, the one in which, like in Sinai and in Gaza, no Jews remain behind, is obtainable.

In that, there seems to be a wrong-directional merging, one with the prejudicial Palestinian Authority's anti-Jewish national identity ideology.



Back in 1951, these principles were fixed:

 E. The Arab States and Israel
3. Economic Aid.
(b)  The programs should be administered on a regional basis and the principle of impartiality must be followed.



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