J Street is alarmed by the disruption today of a business seminar led by US diplomats in the West Bank city of Bethlehem. Following angry protests, the diplomatic delegation was forced to flee the area immediately and end their training session, which had been sponsored by the Bethlehem Chamber of Commerce.
We urge Palestinian leadership at all levels to ensure the absolute safety of diplomatic personnel and their ability to do their jobs — in this case, seeking to assist Palestinian businesspeople.
This latest incident emerges from the concerning atmosphere of increased Palestinian anger and hostility towards the US following the Trump administration’s disastrous policy decisions on Jerusalem and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. No matter how serious Palestinian disagreements and frustrations are with the Trump administration, it is vital that these be expressed at the level of policy and diplomacy. They cannot be allowed to infringe on the day-to-day security and activities of US personnel in the West Bank.