Report: Democrats to Call on Biden Not to Open Palestinian Consulate in Yerushalayim

YERUSHALAYIM -
View of the U.S. Consulate General on Agron Street in central Yerushalayim. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Democratic members of the Congress are expected to ask President Joe Biden not to open the Palestinian consulate in Yerushalayim, Israel Hayom reported.

While they said their request would be made public, at this stage, the report said that the representatives asked to remain anonymous to bolster the chances of their success.

The Democratic representatives voiced their opposition to the consulate’s reopening at a meeting with Binyamin Regional Council Head Yisrael Gantz and adviser for U.S.-Israel ties Ruth Lieberman. At the meeting, the two explained the opening of the consulate would send a message of support for the future division of Jerusalem and explained such a move was contrary to accepted diplomatic policy and in violation of Israeli and U.S. law.

The representatives said they would demand Biden halt efforts to reopen the US diplomatic mission to the Palestinians, noting both the President and the Democratic Party had more important issues to contend with at this time, chief among them Biden’s massive infrastructure spending plan to boost the US economy.

To date, all efforts to block the reopening of the consulate have been led by Republicans. Last week, 35 Republican senators introduced a bill to stop the move, although they were unable to garner Democratic support for the legislation.

Binyamin Regional Council head Yisrael Gantz told Israel Hayom, “The members of Congress we met with understand the significance of opening the consulate – harm to Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem and harm even to US sovereignty as the transfer of the embassy [to Yerushalayim] at the time was in effect the declaration of Yerushalayim as Israel’s capital.”

Lieberman added: “It turns out the consulate issue is not a partisan one.

“We succeeded in spurring senior members of Congress from the Democratic Party who will not hesitate to express their opposition to the move. They believe the opening of the consulate is a dangerous step for Yerushalayim,” she said.

The two Israeli officials also met with 60 Republican members of Congress. In that meeting, the Israelis presented U.S. officials with evidence of “the Palestinian takeover of the territory” as well as the need to develop the area for the benefit of all residents.