U.S. Consulate officials in Ramallah demanded that a visiting New York City official remove his kippa 10 feet from the entrance to the consulate, Brooklyn Councilman David Greenfield said.
He was visiting the American office in Ramallah on Sunday as part of a City Council delegation’s eight-day visit in Israel.
Greenfield implied he might have been able to understand there was a security problem if it were a matter of his standing in the middle of a Ramallah street with a kippa.
The last thing American security officials want is a religious Jew letting Muslims know he is around. Perhaps they might think he is plotting to blow up the Al Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem, or even worse, offering a peace compromise with the Palestinian Authority.
But the delegation of councilmembers was simply on a bus next to the consulate, Greenfield said.
Security officers “insisted that I not wear yarmulke when leaving US Ramallah office,” he said. When the officials agreed with the councilman that he was not endangering security, he refused the request.
Councilman Greenfield tweeted:
I’m still flabbergasted that a Jew cannot wear a yarmulke walking out of the US Consulate in Ramallah, Israel.
He told JPUpdate “We had an amazing trip to Israel. However, I was surprised that in the supposedly ‘moderate’ city of Ramallah, the unofficial capital of the Palestinian Authority, it’s unsafe for a Jew to wear a yarmulke
“After all, I wasn’t strolling through the streets. I was simply walking ten feet from the door of our bus to the entrance of the American Consulate’s office.”