Rashida Tlaib voices concern over plans for US embassy in Jerusalem on Palestinian land

Rashida Tlaib voices concern over plans for US embassy in Jerusalem on Palestinian land
2 min read
Washington, D.C.
18 January, 2023
US Representative Rashida Tlaib is voicing concern over US plans to build a US diplomatic complex on what appears to be confiscated Palestinian land following an essay by a Middle East professor.
The US embassy in Israel is slated to have a new diplomatic complex in Jerusalem. [Getty]

US Representative Rashida Tlaib took to Twitter on Tuesday to voice concern over plans for the future US embassy building in Jerusalem, which appears to be slated to be built on confiscated Palestinian land.

"I'm outraged that the @StateDept is moving forward with plans to build the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem on land stolen from Palestinians. By doing so, the U.S. is complicit in the illegal confiscation of Palestinian property," she wrote. "@POTUS should reverse this Trump era policy immediately."

This follows a piece, which Tlaib shared following her initial tweet, from two days earlier in the New York Times by Rashid Khalidi, a professor of modern Middle Eastern history at Columbia University, who wrote in a guest essay that he is descended from a Jerusalem family that had rented out the land to the British, located at what was then called the Allenby Barracks, at the end of their mandate.

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"The majority of the Allenby Barracks site is owned by Palestinians, including parts of it by my family, whose roots in Jerusalem go back more than 1,000 years. My ancestors and many other Jerusalem families rented this land to Britain at the tail end of its rule over Palestine," wrote Khalidi. 

He noted that in November, the Jerusalem District Planning and Building Committee published plans for a diplomatic compound on land once known as the Allenby Barracks.

The plans for the US to establish a full embassy and diplomatic compound goes back to former US President Donald Trump, who promised he would make the move during his campaign and then implemented the plan by inaugurating it in his second year in office. 

At the time, the move was considered controversial by the mainstream Democratic Party. At this point, it appears to have become largely normalised, even with what may very well be confiscated land.