Israel doubles down on US, claiming there is no room in Jerusalem for US consulate for Palestinians
Less than a month later, Israel’s political leadership was also clear: they have no intention of approving such a consulate (the host country must approve any new foreign consulate).
Asked by CNN at a press conference on Saturday night about US intentions, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said his government had presented its advice to Americans “clearly and openly.”
Lapid, who sat next to Blinken as he made the comments in Washington last month, echoed Bennett’s sentiments, adding that if the Americans want to open a consulate for Palestinians in Ramallah, they would be welcome.
“As for the (American) consulate, as we both said, it is not about politics and political stability. It is the State of Israel which in principle refuses a consulate to be opened. in Jerusalem, ”Lapid said.
The adoption of a new state budget late last week – something that had not been accomplished since 2018 leading to a record four elections in Israel in two years – puts the government on much more ground. stable (because failing to do so before November 14 would have triggered new elections). Now, some global partners, including European diplomats like Irish Foreign Minister Simon Coveney, have made it clear that with the new government now looking more secure, it’s time to start pushing Israel harder on related issues. to the Palestinians.
“I think the EU and the US have been frankly cautious in terms of criticizing this new Israeli government because it is a fragile government,” Coveney told CNN’s Becky Anderson Thursday.
But with the budget passed and the Israeli government appearing ready, “both Washington and the European Union must now focus on their relationship with this new Israeli government, and make it very clear to them that if we are truly to bring peace to the process. together, well, then settlement expansion is not only illegal, but also unacceptable to the international community, ”he added.
While the mantra of the new Israeli government in its relations with the United States has been “no drama”, especially regarding a possible return of the Iran nuclear deal, the Biden administration has openly criticized the Israeli government recently on issues related to the Palestinians. . A recent announcement by Israel to give the green light to thousands of new Israeli homes in the West Bank was criticized by the State Department, whose spokesman Ned Price called it “completely incompatible with efforts to to reduce tensions and ensure calm ”.
Israel’s decision to label six Palestinian NGOs as terrorist organizations, accusing them of working with the designated terrorist group Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, also drew some scathing words from Europeans and Americans.
“We believe that respect for human rights, fundamental freedoms and a strong civil society are of crucial importance for responsible and responsive governance,” the State Department spokesman said at the time. , Ned Price.
But when asked on Saturday whether his government was heading for increased confrontation and tensions with the Americans, now that the budget had passed, Bennett simply replied, “No.”
“There are so many things we agree on with American friends that we don’t agree with,” the PM said, adding “I’m sure our American friends and we will continue to collaborate on a long list of great things “.