It has been an open secret among residents of Jerusalem's distinguished West Jerusalem Arnona neighborhood that they recently got a new neighbor: The East Jerusalem American consulate has moved its consular services from a location near Nablus Road. The actual site of the new consulate is very close if not on the 1967 border, the Green Line, in an area that was apparently a no-man's land.
It is difficult to imagine the scenes from the consulate's old location off Nablus Road, with its long lines and demonstrations by Palestinians, being repeated at the new site. The American flag is visible from a distance. The views from the area are magnificent:the village of Sur Baher, the Judean Desert and, on a clear day, the Dead Sea.
The consulate site is large and features well-kept lawns and gardens and parking for many cars. Taxis pull up every few minutes carrying Palestinian passengers from the West Bank.
A spokesman for the American consulate said the United States would continue to maintain its offices off Nablus Road in addition to another location in East Jerusalem and its West Jerusalem consulate on Agron Street.
The new Arnona location, however, is the site from which consular services will be provided to American citizens as well as visa services for East and West Jerusalem residents and residents of the West Bank and Gaza.