More than 150 bereaved Israeli families sent a letter this week to US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, calling on him to halt plans to open a US consulate in Jerusalem that would provide services to Palestinians.
The letter, authored by the Choosing Life Forum of Bereaved Families together with the pro-Israel organization Im Tirtzu, was drafted following reports that the US is committed to opening the consulate.
“As our close friend and ally, the United States should respect the unbreakable connection between the Jewish People and Jerusalem, especially when attempts to break this connection will lead to increased violence,” the letter said.
The letter continued: “Opening a diplomatic mission for Palestinians in Jerusalem would be a catastrophic blow for stability and calm in Jerusalem, as it would clearly reward decades of unremitting Palestinian intransigence and hostility towards Israel. It would send the clear message that the Palestinian Authority’s goal of dividing Jerusalem can be achieved through terrorism, violence and bloodshed, and not through meaningful negotiations.”
“Only once the Palestinians come to terms with the reality – that Jerusalem is Israel’s undivided capital – can there be any hope of peace.”
The signatories to the letter included Geula and David Malka, the parents of Hadas Malka who was murdered in Jerusalem; Herzl and Merav Hajaj, the parents of Shir Hajaj who was murdered in Jerusalem; Yael Shevach, the widow of Rabbi Raziel Shevach who was murdered in Samaria; and dozens of other bereaved families.
The families pointed out that consular services could just as well be rendered to Palestinians outside of Jerusalem.
“US citizens living abroad require a place to receive consular services, but such services can be just as well provided to Palestinians with US citizenship in Ramallah or in any other city under Palestinian Authority control.”
“As our closest friend and ally, we ask that you respect our sovereignty in Jerusalem and cease all efforts that could harm Jerusalem and Israel,” the letter concluded.
Im Tirtzu CEO Matan Peleg said: “Apart from the fact that opening the consulate would trample Israeli sovereignty and lacks even the minimal respect deserving of an ally, it also sends a message to the Palestinians that resistance and intransigence pays off.”
“The only thing that this move will achieve is encouraging terrorism,” Peleg concluded.