As I wrote in June, there’s absolutely no reason to open a “consulate” to the PLO in Jerusalem except to undermine Israel.
The Palestinian Authority operates out of Ramallah. The Russians and Chinese have their diplomatic missions in Ramallah. That’s not out of sensitivity to Israel, just common sense.
Biden wants to set up a consulate to the PA miles away from the terror state regime that he wants to have close diplomatic relations with. State Department personnel told the media that during the war they thought they were “flying blind” without a consulate. But a consulate in Jerusalem puts them no closer to Abbas and the Palestinian Authority’s government than the embassy they already have in Jerusalem does. If Biden wants a consulate close to Abbas, he could erect one in Ramallah. Otherwise the consulate could operate out of the embassy.
Secretary of State Blinken claims that Biden wants a consulate in Jerusalem “to be able to more effectively engage not just the Palestinian Authority, but Palestinians from different walks of life, the NGO community, the business community, and others.”
Countries don’t have diplomatic relations with NGOs and businesses, but with countries. France doesn’t operate a consulate to Coca Cola or the Sierra Club.
Biden is pushing forward with the terror consulate even though the Israeli government has told him it doesn’t want it there.
Biden raised the consulate issue several times in his bilateral meeting with Bennett and in the expanded meeting with their aides, Israeli and U.S. officials briefed on the meetings tell me.
Biden stressed that he made a campaign promise to reopen it and that Secretary of State Tony Blinken had already gone on the record with a pledge to follow through.
Biden made a campaign promise to whom? The PLO? I didn’t realize that foreign terrorists voted in American elections.
The messy Bennett-leftist-Islamist coalition government has the familiar Italian response, “If you pressure us, we’ll collapse and you’ll have to go back to dealing with Netanyahu.”
The Israeli government would have to give its approval for the consulate to be reopened. And if even one member were to defect over the issue, the government could collapse.
“If the Biden administration wants to see Netanyahu abandoning his Pilates classes and going back to the Prime Minister’s Office, this is the best way to do it,” one senior official quipped to me.
But that assumes the Biden administration cares. The Obama administration might have viewed that as a threat. So would the Clinton administration. But the Biden doctrine, such as it is, appears to be to make payoffs at any cost with no regard to the consequences.
That’s why the Taliban took over Kabul.
It’s really dumb, but Biden is really dumb. And you can’t bluff a greedy, stupid dementia case.
But there would be something fitting about Biden putting the Taliban and Netanyahu back in power. Call it a balance.