I went to the US Consulate this week to take care of certain family business. It was a thoroughly unpleasant experience.[....]
The State Department opened its new consulate in Jerusalem in October 2010. It is located in the Jewish neighborhood of Arnona.
It was built on the plot that Israel allocated for the US Embassy after Congress passed Jerusalem Embassy Act in 1995 requiring the US government to move its embassy to Jerusalem. I read that construction began in 2004.
I haven't been able to find out whether when construction began it was to build the embassy or a new consulate so I don't know yet whether the Bush administration thought it was building an embassy that the Obama administration turned into a consulate or if the Bush administration thought it was building a consulate that the Obama administration completed.
Whatever the case, the fact that the building that was supposed to be an expression of US recognition of Israel's capital in Jerusalem is being used as the consulate is an unvarnished act of aggression against Israel and Congress.
If I am not mistaken, the US Consulate General in Jerusalem is the only US consulate in the world that is not subordinate to the embassy in the country where it is located. When it was located in a hostile Arab neighborhood in eastern Jerusalem, the fact that it was not subordinate to the US Embassy in Tel Aviv was upsetting. But it was also easily justified in light of US policy of not recognizing Israeli sovereignty in eastern, southern and northern Jerusalem.
But Arnona is in western Jerusalem. It is a Jewish neighborhood that even the most radical Israeli leftists don't envision transferring to the Palestinians in any peace deal. Putting the consulate in Arnona - and on the site reserved for the embassy no less - is the clearest expression of American rejection of all Israeli sovereign rights to Jerusalem imaginable....