Part of Jared’s “Peace” plan?
“Jerusalem — The United States has officially shuttered its consulate in Jerusalem, downgrading the status of its main diplomatic mission to the Palestinians by folding it into the U.S. Embassy to Israel. For decades, the consulate functioned as a de facto embassy to the Palestinians. Now, that outreach will be handled by a Palestinian affairs unit, under the command of the embassy.
The symbolic shift hands authority over U.S. diplomatic channels with the West Bank and Gaza to Ambassador David Friedman. The Trump bankruptcy-lawyer-turned diplomat has made personal financial contributions to Israeli settlements in the West Bank, notes CBS “Face the Nation” moderator Margaret Brennan, which has led to strong distrust among Palestinians. Consolidating contact with the Palestinians under his control will only add to doubts that the Trump administration will be a fair broker in the long-awaited peace process being brokered by presidential son-in-law and envoy Jared Kushner.
The announcement from the State Department came early Monday in Jerusalem, with the “merger” effective the same day.
“This decision was driven by our global efforts to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of our diplomatic engagements and operations,” State Department spokesman Robert Palladino said in a statement. “It does not signal a change of U.S. policy on Jerusalem, the West Bank, or the Gaza Strip.”