As if the Trump administration’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, their ending of aid to Palestinian refugees and East Jerusalem hospitals, and their closing of the Palestinian Diplomatic Mission in Washington weren’t bad enough, they just shut down the US consulate in East Jerusalem -- the one that deals primarily with Palestinians. It was sold by Trump’s State Department as a non-political move done purely for “efficiency,” but the reality could not be farther from the truth. The symbolic part is the obvious one: With this move, the Trump administration is signaling as loud and clear as ever that it doesn’t view the Palestinians as a people who are deserving of a direct relationship with the US. But the practical part is also critical: Palestinians are barred from entering Israel except for special circumstances. So, by declaring the US Embassy to Israel in West Jerusalem (off limits to most Palestinians) will be taking on the consulate’s work, a literal roadblock now bars Palestinian access to US officials. To get your head around this whole thing, just read Jim Zogby’s column here.

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