Israel Says US Plan to Reopen Consulate in Jerusalem a ‘Bad Idea’ | Israel
Israel has said that a US plan to reopen its consulate in Jerusalem, which has traditionally been a base for diplomatic contacts with the Palestinians, is a “bad idea” and could destabilize the prime minister’s new government.
Donald Trump’s previous US administration has shown support for Israel’s claim to Jerusalem as its capital by moving its embassy to Tel Aviv and subsuming the consulate in that mission.
It was among several movements that have infuriated the Palestinians, who want East Jerusalem to be the capital of a hoped-for future state.
President Joe Biden has pledged to restore ties with the Palestinians, support a two-state solution and reopen the consulate. It has been closed since 2019, with Palestinian affairs being handled by the embassy.
“We think this is a bad idea,” Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid told a press conference on Wednesday when asked about the reopening. “Jerusalem is the sovereign capital of Israel and Israel alone, and so we don’t think this is a good idea.
“We know that the [Biden] the administration has a different way of looking at it, but as it is in Israel, we are sure that they are listening to us very carefully.
Asked for comment, Wasel Abu Youssef, an official with the Palestine Liberation Organization, said Israel was trying to maintain the status quo and block any political solution.
The US Embassy did not immediately comment.
Israel views all of Jerusalem as its undivided capital – a status unrecognized internationally. He captured the eastern part of the city, as well as the occupied West Bank and Gaza, in the 1967 Six-Day War.
Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, a nationalist at the top of a multi-party coalition, opposes the creation of a Palestinian state. Lapid said reopening the consulate could destabilize his government, which ended the long-standing tenure of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in June.
“We have an interesting and yet delicate structure of our government and we think it could destabilize this government and I don’t think the US administration wants this to happen,” Lapid said.
Divisions among the Palestinians also cast doubt on the prospects for diplomacy, Lapid said. “I am a strong supporter of the two-state solution … but we will have to admit that it is not doable in the current situation.”