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The former US consulate to the Palestinians in Jerusalem

Biden’s Jerusalem Consulate Plan on Hold

Jacob Magid, writing at The Times of Israel, reports:

A US diplomat, a former senior US official and another source familiar with the matter told The Times of Israel this week that the Biden administration has effectively shelved its effort to resurrect the de facto mission to the Palestinians shuttered by former president Donald Trump in 2019.


No final decision has been made, and the official State Department line remains that the Biden administration “will move forward with the process of reopening the consulate in Jerusalem,” but the three sources confirmed that no such process has begun. Moreover, even the administration’s more ardent advocates of reopening the consulate have shifted their focus to policies more likely to impact day-to-day life for Palestinians, the former senior US official said.


The apparent about-face follows significant pushback from Israel, which would have to sign off on the move. And as Israel is already gearing up for a fight with the Biden administration over the latter’s insistence on exhausting the diplomatic route in Vienna to revive the Iran nuclear deal, the US is not looking to open up a second front by moving forward with the consulate reopening at the moment, the source familiar with the matter said.

Magid notes that under President Donald Trump, the work of the consulate to the Palestinians was moved to a subsection of the US Embassy in Jerusalem called the Palestinian Affairs Unit. However, for the past several months that unit, which still works out of the original building on Agron Street, has been sending its reports directly to the State Department in Washington, DC, bypassing the US embassy, just as the old consulate used to do. Magid calls this a quiet, but significant, step back toward the pre-Trump status quo in Jerusalem.


As long as the plan to reopen the consulate to Palestinians remains on the table, the RJC will continue to speak out against it. Thank you to all the RJC members and friends who used our advocacy tool to send emails to their legislators, expressing their opposition to the Biden plan. Watch your emails for more opportunities to make your voice heard on important pro-Israel policy issues.


Further reading: US, Palestinian officials relaunch economic dialogue after 5-year, Trump-era hiatus.

Rep. Ilhan Omar introduced a bill to fight "Islamophobia".

Ilhan Omar Bill Passes House; Republicans Will Block

JNS reports on a bill that passed in the US House of Representatives to establish an office in the State Department to monitor and combat "Islamophobia":

The bill, H.R. 5665, Combating International Islamophobia Act, which was introduced by Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) and Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), passed the house by a vote of 219-212, with all Democrats voting for the bill and all Republicans opposing it.


If passed by the Senate and signed by the president, the bill would create an office to monitor and combat Islamophobia in the State Department—similar to the one that exists for anti-Semitism.


… Republicans opposed the bill, primarily stating that besides the redundancy it could bring to the State Department, which already has offices to handle issues of religious liberty, Islamophobia is a loosely defined term they fear can be used label legitimate criticism of the actions of Muslims throughout the world.

The bill is expected to stall in the Senate, where Republicans will oppose it and could filibuster it.

Republicans MUST win majorities in the House and Senate in 2022 and they need our help now!

Please show your support by donating to the RJC PAC and/or our endorsed candidates today!


RJC in the News

The Jewish News Service sent reporter Ellie Cohanim to the RJC Annual Meeting in Las Vegas last month, where she interviewed top RJC officials and conference headliners. Her interviews are now available online and you won’t want to miss them:


RJC Executive Director Matt Brooks, RJC National Chair Norm Coleman and RJC Board Member Ari Fleischer talk about the Virginia election upset, the future of the Republican party, and if support of Israel is still bipartisan in American politics.



Ari Fleischer on Biden’s Israel and Middle East Policy.



Meet five up-and coming young Republicans running for Congress.


Zionist student activist Jennifer Karlan on what can be done to connect younger Jews to their identity.



Mike Pompeo: Israel has 'duty' to defend itself from Iran absent US support.



Nikki Haley on the US leaving the UN Human Rights Council, defunding UNRWA, and pulling out of the Iran deal.



Mark Levin: It's time to “fight like hell' to save this republic.


Ted Cruz: 'Weakness is provocative'.



Tom Rose, senior advisor and chief strategist to former Vice President Mike Pence, on the US-Israel relationship and US foreign policy.



RJC Seeks CA Outreach Associate

The Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC) is seeking an Outreach Associate to assist with the accelerated growth of membership and to support programming and events in California. Candidates must be organized, motivated, and detail-oriented. This position is based in Los Angeles, CA.


For details about the position and how to apply, click here.

Short Takes

This one-time refugee and former Israeli paratrooper just won a seat in her county legislature

Thirty years after she was airlifted from Ethiopia to Israel fleeing religious persecution, Mazi Melesa Pilip won public office on Long Island earlier this month and will represent the 10th district in the Nassau County’s legislature. Pilip was evacuated to Israel with her family when she was 12, during Operation Solomon in 1991. She served as a paratrooper in the IDF and took undergraduate and master’s degrees from Israeli universities before coming to the US in 2005 with her Ukrainian-born husband. As a two-time immigrant, soldier and mother, Pilip she said she could “bring a lot to the conversation about building a better society, and bring people together.”

What’s in it for the US from its “foreign aid” to Israel?

Yoram Ettinger, whose resumé includes stints as a researcher, diplomat, lecturer, and consultant, explains why “the annual US $3.8bn constitute a most productive investment in – not foreign aid to – Israel, yielding several hundred percent annual rate-of-return to the US.”






FL: Event with Shoshana Bryen
Senior Director, Jewish Policy Center

"Iran's Regional Policies: Nuclear and Conventional, Both Dangerous"




Atlanta: GOP "Job Interview" in GA-06
Live event with five Republican primary candidates for Congress in Georgia's 6th district.


Watch Now: Replay of Past Virtual Events

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.

Republican Jewish Coalition
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