Friday, October 31, 2008

US "Evenhandedness" or, Why Didn't C-G Jake Walles Visit Shiloh?

It's being reported that the

American Consul General in Jerusalem, Jake Walles said on Monday that, settler attacks against innocent Palestinian Farmers [does that mean there are guilty ones also? - YM] during the Olive Harvesting Season are unacceptable.

Walles added, during a solidarity visit [???]to Turmuseya village, north east of Ramallah that the USA has called on the Israeli government to demand and end to these aggressions by the settlers.

Walles expressed his hopes for peace, and affirmed that the American Government will continue on supporting the Peace Process in the Middle East.

The American Consul General added that the bilateral Palestinian-American relations are very solid.

(here too)

And, it would seem, the Consulate is overburdened with activities, programs and visits with the Pals. despite the fact that there could be a lot to be done with the Jewish residents of the geographical area the Consulate and its officials are responsible for.

If you look here, you can read about these activities of "Programs and Events" for 2008 which the Consulate sponsors and supports:

Laying the Cornerstone for New Beit Jala Library (October 28, 2008)
The Fuuls Holds Ramadan Concerts in Palestinian Territories (September 2008)
American Ramadan Quiz Nights (September 2008)
AC Jericho Hosts Ramadan Quiz for Four Schools (September 2008)
Donation of American Books to Beit Jala High School (22 Septemebr 2008)
U.S. Fulbrighter Promotes Peace Through Music in a Jerusalem Concert with Palestinian-Israeli Band (September 22)
American Books Reach Nablus-Area School (September 8, 2008)
Celebrating Ramadan 2008
U.S. Consulate and Al Quds University Support Talented Palestinian Students in Science-Oriented Summer Camps (18 August 2008)
Consulate Jerusalem Helps Refugee Children “Discover” their potential with Summer Camps (July 2008)
Consulate Program Graduates 17 Young Palestinian Interns (August 11, 2008)
American jazz legend Branford Marsalis connects with Palestinian musicians and children (17 July 2008)
US Consulate Connects Palestinian NGOs to U.S. Foundation (August 6, 2008)
American Swing Band “Central Park Stompers” Share their Love of Music with Audiences in the West Bank and Jerusalem (August 7, 2008)
Nablus Youth Create Beautiful Music at Consulate Supported Camp
Consulate Celebrates Graduation of West Bank English Class Students
US Government supports Summer Camps in Science, the Arts and English Language (July 14, 2008)
Jericho Book Clubs "Enchanted" by U.S. Classic in Arabic Translation (July 2, 2008)
Promoting Eco-Friendly Practices in Janin (June 26, 2008)
Support for Palestinian Civil Security & Rule of Law (24 June 2008)
Berlin Conference: In Support of a Palestinian State (June 23, 2008)
U.S. Consulate General Jerusalem Stocks New Library at RISOL’s Community Center in Salfeet (May 30, 2008)
US Government Announces $3 million in projects in the Jenin Governorate (May 28, 2008)
Palestine Investment Conference Set for May 21-23
US College Recruiters Participate in StudyUSA Fair in Ramallah (April 26, 2008)
US Consulate Teams Up with East Jerusalem Students to Beautify Their Public School as Part of Several Environmental Activities (April 20, 2008)
$500 million U.S. Initiative Helps Palestinians Live the “American Dream” of Home Ownership (April 14, 2008)
US Consulate and Business Women’s Forum Inspire Young Palestinian Women To Dream Big for the Future (March 26, 2008)
Palestinians discuss music and non-violence with former assistant to Martin Luther King Jr. (March 18-19, 2008)
American Corner in Jericho Promotes Youth Creativity in Mother’s Day Workshop (March 14, 2008)
Palestinian Women Artists Illustrate their Future through Cultural Envoy Program (March 13, 2008)
International Women of Courage Awards Ceremony 2008 (March 10, 2008)
$148 million reached in United States Government’s Contribution to UNRWA for 2008 (March 4, 2008)
U.S. Consulate General and Palestinian Ministry of Culture Open Special Art Exhibit in Ramallah (March 2008)
Celebrating Women History Month 2008 (March 2008)
American Corner in Jericho Explores American History with Screening of To Kill a Mockingbird (February 29, 2008)
Palestinian Youth Unlock their Creative Writing Potential (February 29, 2008)
Palestinian and American Students Talk about the Weather (and the environment!) (February 26, 2008)
Young Palestinian Professionals Explore Personal Developmnet in Dale Carnegie course (February 25, 2008)
American Corner Jericho Continues to Draw Children with American Film Series (February 22, 2008)
New Youth Center in Nablus Opens its Doors (February 21, 2008)
Consulate General Jerusalem Deepens Understanding of U.S. Electoral System in Palestinian Media (February 14, 2008)
Black History Month Concert shares Authentic American Music with Palestinian audience (February 11, 2008)
Book Club at American Corner Jericho (February 1, 2008)
American Corner Jericho’s Screening of E.T. Eagerly Welcomed by Young Users (February 1, 2008)
Celebrating Black History Month 2008 (February 2008)
History of English at American Corner Jericho (2008)

Now, I can't quite recall that there are also contacts on this level with the Jewish communities or even Jewish NGOs out in Judea and Samaria, or, as my neighbor Ora wrote to me (and a Kippah Tip to her),

"I don't see anything on the consulate site about a Rosh Hashana event, but there's something for Ramadan. It just doesn't seem like the US Consulate is really serious about serving both Jews and Arabs."
And, as for that solidarity visit, well, Mr. Consul-General, I live less than a mile from where you visited and while I am aware that there are almost 1000 American citizens in Turmos-Aya, there are also scores in Shiloh.
Why don't you come on over some day for coffee and cake?
As I told the late Senator Jesse Helms and Senator Chick Hecht when they visited me at Shiloh, US government programs, etc., should be applied to all the residents of a geographical territory. Leaving out the Jews is discriminatory if not worse and, I think, illegal.


Suzanne Pomeranz said...

And the reason the C-G in Jerusalem does NOT visit Jews in Judaea & Samaria nor sponsor any Jewish events is simply because the American C-G in Jerusalem is the American representative to the Arabs (i.e., the pals, Hamas, whatever), but NOT to Israel. That comes under the auspices of the Ambassador through the US Embassy in Tel Aviv.

To clarify - the American Consulate in Jerusalem has the same status as the American Embassy in Tel Aviv... and the Consul General in Jerusalem has the status of an Ambassador, reporting directly to the Secretary of State.

His schedule, by the way, makes that abundantly clear.

That the Consulate in Jerusalem engages in administrative activities for Americans and Israelis living the Jerusalem area is as a "courtesy", nothing more.


Anonymous said...

Actually, the Jerusalem consulate serves both the Jewish and Arab residents of the Jerusalem area.

For example, if you are Jewish and live in Jerusalem you must go to the Jerusalem Consulate for American Citizen Services (passport, birth certificate, etc.) If you go to the Tel Aviv embassy, you will be turned away.

YMedad said...

That's consular services you're referring to while I'm talking about outreach programs, funding projects of democracy, celebrating Jewish holidays, and having cultural activities with Jewish residents of Judea & Samaria. Since I've been with this since 1981, I know what I'm talking about.