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Biden Pressuring Israel on Reopening Jerusalem Consulate

The Biden Administration is committed to reopening the US consulate to the Palestinians in Jerusalem, despite the political, diplomatic, and legal problems with that plan.


Yesterday, Barak Ravid broke the story for Axios that during Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid’s visit to Washington last week, Secretary of State Antony Blinken proposed “the formation of a small team including Lapid and himself along with one or two aides from each side to discuss the issue with maximum discretion.” Ravid states the crux of the problem:

The issue is so politically charged because the US would once again have separate missions for the Israelis and the Palestinians in Jerusalem. The Israelis believe that would infringe on their sovereignty in the city. For the Palestinians, it could strengthen their claim to part of Jerusalem.

Both Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and FM Lapid have told US officials that reopening the consulate would be destabilizing for the Israeli government. Yaakov Katz, writing at the Jerusalem Post says President Joe Biden is undeterred by all this:

Biden seems determined to press ahead with the consulate, and Secretary of State Antony Blinken repeated this commitment on Wednesday when he said that the US plans on “moving forward with the process of opening a consulate as part of deepening of those ties with the Palestinians.” For now, Israel has a promise from the US not to do anything before [Israel’s] state budget passes in mid-November.

Katz continues:

But the opening of a consulate in Jerusalem is a far greater problem than just the technical difficulties it will create. Other countries might follow suit, and it also might weaken the coalition, but the bigger problem is that it will undermine a historical truth: Jerusalem has been the capital of the Jewish people since King David moved there and so declared it.


Instead, the opening of a consulate will offer a false narrative that will make the Palestinians even more intransigent in future peace talks with Israel.

Itamar Marcus notes that reopening the US consulate in Jerusalem would also violate American law, the Jerusalem Embassy Act of 1995. That law, which recognizes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and mandates that the US embassy be established there, was delayed many times over the years until it was finally implemented in full by President Donald Trump.

URGENT: Ask your lawmakers to oppose the irresponsible reconciliation bill!

Democrats in Congress want to use special “reconciliation” procedures to push through a bill that would fund their entire radical agenda. If they succeed, we’ll see the biggest tax hike in American history, a dramatic increase in the national debt, the “Green New Deal”, inflation, and even more federal regulations and rules affecting our lives. We must oppose this bill!


Please make your voice heard NOW!


US Rejoins UN Rights Council Days After Council Endorsed Antisemitic Hate Fest

Adam Kredo reports at the Washington Free Beacon:

The Biden administration on Thursday rejoined the UN Human Rights Council, just days after the council overwhelmingly voted to endorse an anti-Israel resolution that several Western nations boycotted due to its antisemitic nature.


The United States was elected to the body just three days after the Human Rights Council by a 32-10 vote endorsed the "Durban Declaration," a resolution that affirms support for the notoriously anti-Israel 2001 Durban Conference and its conclusion that, of all nations, only Israel is guilty of racism.

… Whereas the Trump administration withdrew from the council in 2018, citing the body's anti-Israel bias and antisemitic agenda, the Biden administration says a seat at the table will help the United States reform the body. Former senior Trump administration officials and Republicans in Congress criticized the Biden administration's move, saying the United States should play no role in an organization that routinely targets Jews and includes among its members some of the globe's foremost human rights abusers, such as China, Cuba, Russia, and Venezuela.

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Short Takes

Passing of Dr. Jeffrey Feingold

The RJC marks with great sadness the passing of RJC Board of Directors member Dr. Jeffrey Feingold. For more than 20 years, Dr. Feingold was an active and dedicated RJC leader, a pillar of our Florida region, a respected member of the RJC Board of Directors, and a friend. His energy and insight contributed significantly to the RJC’s success. We are diminished by his passing.

A dire warning about Iran

Reuel Marc Gerecht and Ray Takeyh issue a dire warning in the Wall Street Journal this week, declaring that the idea that the Iranian regime can be deflected from its goal of producing and using nuclear weapons is “delusional.” They write that, “Mr. Khamenei and his henchmen haven’t spent billions and endured a tidal wave of sanctions and social unrest only to get close to a nuclear weapon. They will build the bomb as soon as they can and justify it afterward…There is no longer any meaningful obstacle to the regime’s nuclear ambitions. The Biden administration is too predictable and fearful. The debacle in Afghanistan and the rhetoric about ending ‘forever wars’ has emboldened Tehran, which now toys with the US through on-and-off nuclear talks.”

Remembering Colin Powell

This week saw the passing of Colin Powell, whose distinguished career included 35 years in the military and public service as a national security adviser in the Reagan administration, as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff under President George H.W. Bush, and as the first Black Secretary of State under President George W. Bush. Dov S. Zakheim shares memories of the remarkable Colin Powell in the Washington Jewish Week.






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You can see recordings of many past RJC virtual events. Go to the RJC homepage and scroll down to the "RJC Live" section. There's a drop-down menu there to select the video you want to see.

RJC staff have returned to their offices for in-person work. Contact information for our offices can be found on our web site. Please visit us online for the latest RJC news, to see details of upcoming events, and to donate to the RJC. Read past editions of this newsletter here.

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