Jerusalem

Expert Voices

U.S. adds strain to Palestinian ties with Jerusalem consulate merger

Israeli flags flutter in front of the Dome of the Rock in the Jerusalem's Old City, on February 19, 2019.
Israeli flags in front of the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem's Old City. Photo: Thomas Coex/AFP via Getty Images

A U.S. official announced yesterday that the U.S. Consulate General in Jerusalem, which serves Palestinians, will be absorbed into the new U.S. Embassy to Israel in March.

Why it matters: The move is of a piece with the administration's attempts to recast the Palestinian refugee issue and its apparently tenuous commitment to a two-state solution. The merger is yet another demonstration of the Trump peace team's determination to change U.S. policy toward core elements of the Israeli-Palestinian issue, both on paper and on the ground.

Netanyahu helps Honduras warm ties with Trump

Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernández. Photo: Orlando Sierra/AFP/Getty Images

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is helping to open doors in Washington for Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernández as part of his effort to push the Latin American nation to move its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. Israeli officials said this was one of the reasons Netanyahu organized a trilateral meeting with Hernández and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo Tuesday in Brasilia on the sidelines of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro's inauguration.

Why it matters: U.S.-Honduran relations are currently tense over immigration issues, specifically migrant caravans. President Trump even threatened to cut U.S. aid to Honduras and other Central American countries if they do not stop their migrant flows to the U.S. Israeli officials said that Honduras had requested Israel's help in warming relations with the Trump administration as one of its conditions for moving its embassy to Jerusalem.