“Lapid Misled The US About Consulate, Failed To Coordinate With Bennett”

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This Monday, March 4, 2019 photo shows the United States consulate building in Jerusalem. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit); Foreign Minister Yair Lapid (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

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The tension between Israel and the US regarding the re-opening of the Palestinian consulate in Jerusalem stems from a lack of coordination between Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, a political source told Yisrael Hayom.

According to the source, Lapid gave a preliminary commitment to US Secretary of State Tony Blinken to allow the US to reopen the Palestinian consulate in Jerusalem, contrary to the stated position of Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, in one of his first phone calls with Blinken after entering office.

Lapid told Blinken that due to the sensitive political makeup of the government, it would be better for the consulate to reopen only after the passing of the state budget, ensuring the stability of the government. Blinken agreed to wait until November 4, the deadline for the passing of the budget in the Knesset, and meanwhile continued to promote the reopening of the consulate.

In August, Bennett’s senior advisors flew to Washington to prepare for the prime minister’s visit and clarified to the Biden administration that Bennett is opposed in principle to the opening of the consulate irrespective of the political timing. The Biden administration was caught by surprise and was disappointed by the government’s inconsistent messages on the issue.

“One of the reasons that Blinken announced his intention last week to open the consulate davka while Lapid was standing next to him when he knows that Israel is opposed to it is that Lapid misled him,” the source said.

Meanwhile, Lapid claims that the report is incorrect and he has been opposed to the opening of the consulate from the beginning. He also denies the report that if an agreement is not reached on the matter between Israel and the US, the Biden administration will open the consulate unilaterally.

Likud MK Nir Barket, who has been working tirelessly in a campaign against the reopening of the consulate, claims that there is an agreement between the US and Israeli government that the consulate will be opened after the state budget is approved.

“The agreement with Lapid and Bennett is that the US won’t act before the budget passes in order to allow the continued existence of the government,” Barkat said. “But after the budget is passed, the plan is that the new ambassador Nides, will arrive in Israel and unilaterally open the consulate. The goal of the opening of the Palestinian consulate is to establish Jerusalem as the capital of Palestine on the ground and promote the establishment of a Palestinian state.”

There is not one capital in the world where the US has both an embassy and a consulate. Additionally according to Israel’s Basic Law: Jerusalem, passed by the Knesset in 1980, the transfer of authority to a foreign body within the capital city is forbidden as the law establishes Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and the seat of its government.

Furthermore, reopening the US Consulate in Jerusalem is a violation of US law as the 1995 Jerusalem Embassy Act recognizes “undivided” Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. In June, a group of 16 Republican senators led by Marco Rubio (R., Fla.) sent a letter to the Biden administration warning against the reopening of the Palestinian consulate in Jerusalem.

“Reopening this diplomatic mission to the Palestinians in Israel’s capital would wrongly indicate that the U.S. supports dividing the capital city of our close ally and would only reward the Palestinian leadership’s continued hostility toward Israel,” they wrote, adding that the move would be a violation of the Jerusalem Embassy Act.

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)


5 COMMENTS

  1. The current government of shame and danger are doing everything to divide the Jewish Nation – Middoh-kneged-Middoh: US wants to divide Jerusalem!

  2. There’s nothing wrong with lying to Blinken or to any of the other corrupt fools appointed by Sleepy Joe Biden. It’s analogous to talking to a two-year-old child at a level that the child will understand.

  3. thats the new gouverment,the left does not know what the right is doing.Lapid is not capable
    to do anything,to agree with Bennet. both are not leaders to be and lead a country they a trouble for israel
    and damaging relations with other countries

  4. dimwits, do you really believe that I would consider this lie__NEVER__nor will I adhere to your foolhardy ways__lucky Hashem runs the world and none of us have to bump into fools like yourself who LIE LIE LIE___bring back BIBI and hopefully BIDEN will get dumped