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Time to reopen the US consulate in Jerusalem

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Letter to the editor icon2

Letter to the editor icon2

AP news in the Independent Record recently featured a story about a standoff between the US government and the Israeli government. US President Joe Biden wants to reopen the US consulate in Jerusalem. Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett rejected the US effort to reopen that consulate which would once again address the needs of Palestinians. (Trump made the Israelis happy when, as President, he closed the consulate, disappointing the Palestinians.)

Israeli Foreign Minister, Yair Lapid said Israel would allow the US to open a consulate in Ramallah, but not in Jerusalem. US Deputy Secretary of State, Brian McKeon, said we need permission from the host nation before we can proceed. Will the US reopen the consulate or accede to Israeli wishes?

Now we come to why Israelis so dogmatically reject the notion of a US Consulate in Jerusalem – they still harbor hopes of moving all Palestinians out of Jerusalem, it seems. Israeli soldiers continue to spray sewer/skunk water at Palestinian shops, vendors, and people in Palestinian neighborhoods. Businesses are forced to destroy their damaged products. People shy away from shopping in stench-filled streets. Many people report rashes, shortness of breath, nausea, and headaches after being exposed to the foul-smelling odor. Odortec, a private firm which produces the product, says the product is biodegradable and ecofriendly. Israelis say its use guarantees safety and security. Palestinians say its use is meant to destroy the economy of East Jerusalem, forcing Palestinians to leave Jerusalem or remain prisoners in their own homes. Opinions aside… if someone sprayed skunk water into the Helena Farmers Market, that would be a punishable crime.

How long would the Israelis’ criminal government policy survive if a US Consulate were reopened in East Jerusalem and American eyes were opened? I trust not long, but Israelis have long scoffed at American intelligence… At the very least Americans need to stop being apologists for the criminal acts of Israelis and reopen the consulate with an eye toward protecting the human rights of Palestinians.

Dean Grenz

Boulder

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