The political echelon in Jerusalem is angry because U.S. Consul General Jacob Walles said that Israel had agreed in principle to relinquish control of all areas of Jerusalem that it had annexed in 1967, following the 1967 war.

Jerusalem had been divided between Israel and Jordan from 1948 until 1967. While Muslims and Christians were allowed access to the areas under Israeli control in Jerusalem, no Jews were allowed access to areas in Jerusalem under Arab control for that entire 19-year period.

According to statements made by the U.S. consul, Israel and the PLO had agreed that a permanent status arrangement would be based on the 1967 lines in Jerusalem. He said this in an interview to the Palestinian al-Ayyam daily published in Ramallah.

Mr. Walles said that in her last visit, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice stressed to both sides that these parameters would be the basis of a permanent status arrangement.

Mr. Walles stressed that the intention is to end the conflict by the beginning of January 2009, when President Bush’s term ends.

Israeli government sources emphasize that not only were the consul’s remarks not true – but that the senior American diplomat had also broken an explicit promise given by the Americans not to comment publicly on the details of the negotiations in order not to jeopardize them.

Israeli government sources also said that the question of Jerusalem did not come up in the negotiations and was not on the negotiating table.

Israeli government sources labeled Mr. Walles’ remarks “irresponsible” and have asked for an American government denunciation of Mr. Walles. The Bulletin has not yet received a response to a query placed in this regard to the U.S. State Department.

U.S. State Department officials who have held the position of consul in Jerusalem have often gone on to work for the Arab cause.

Edward Abington, the U.S. consul in Jerusalem from 1993 until 1997, has been the official lobbyist for the PLO and the Palestinian Authority in Washington ever since leaving his term of office. His successor, Mr. Phillip Wilcox, now works became a lobbyist for a pro-Arab lobby group know as The Foundation For Middle East Peace.

David Bedein can be reached at dbedein@israelbehindthenews.com. His Web site is www.IsraelBehindTheNews.com.

©The Bulletin 2008

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David Bedein is an MSW community organizer and an investigative journalist.   In 1987, Bedein established the Israel Resource News Agency at Beit Agron to accompany foreign journalists in their coverage of Israel, to balance the media lobbies established by the PLO and their allies.   Mr. Bedein has reported for news outlets such as CNN Radio, Makor Rishon, Philadelphia Inquirer, Los Angeles Times, BBC and The Jerusalem Post, For four years, Mr. Bedein acted as the Middle East correspondent for The Philadelphia Bulletin, writing 1,062 articles until the newspaper ceased operation in 2010. Bedein has covered breaking Middle East negotiations in Oslo, Ottawa, Shepherdstown, The Wye Plantation, Annapolis, Geneva, Nicosia, Washington, D.C., London, Bonn, and Vienna. Bedein has overseen investigative studies of the Palestinian Authority, the Expulsion Process from Gush Katif and Samaria, The Peres Center for Peace, Peace Now, The International Center for Economic Cooperation of Yossi Beilin, the ISM, Adalah, and the New Israel Fund.   Since 2005, Bedein has also served as Director of the Center for Near East Policy Research.   A focus of the center's investigations is The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). In that context, Bedein authored Roadblock to Peace: How the UN Perpetuates the Arab-Israeli Conflict - UNRWA Policies Reconsidered, which caps Bedein's 28 years of investigations of UNRWA. The Center for Near East Policy Research has been instrumental in reaching elected officials, decision makers and journalists, commissioning studies, reports, news stories and films. In 2009, the center began decided to produce short movies, in addition to monographs, to film every aspect of UNRWA education in a clear and cogent fashion.   The center has so far produced seven short documentary pieces n UNRWA which have received international acclaim and recognition, showing how which UNRWA promotes anti-Semitism and incitement to violence in their education'   In sum, Bedein has pioneered The UNRWA Reform Initiative, a strategy which calls for donor nations to insist on reasonable reforms of UNRWA. Bedein and his team of experts provide timely briefings to members to legislative bodies world wide, bringing the results of his investigations to donor nations, while demanding reforms based on transparency, refugee resettlement and the demand that terrorists be removed from the UNRWA schools and UNRWA payroll.   Bedein's work can be found at: www.IsraelBehindTheNews.com and www.cfnepr.com. A new site,unrwa-monitor.com, will be launched very soon.