Friday, January 27, 2006

Thank you, Uncle Sam

I am a dual American-Israeli citizen, and I've duly registered with the American Embassy in Tel Aviv. Today they sent me this e-mail, which is the first one I've ever received from them in the 17 years I've lived in Israel:
Good morning. The Consulate General in Jerusalem has sent out this Warden Message to registered American Citizens in its consular district. Embassy Tel Aviv provides it to you as a courtesy for your information:

The U.S. Consulate General in Jerusalem warns all American citizens in Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza to exercise extreme caution in light of the announcement of results in the January 25, 2006, Palestinian Legislative Council elections. Public reaction to the election results may result in demonstrations that could become violent, and there are significant risks of injury from celebratory gunfire. The Consulate General has no information indicating a specific threat to American citizens or interests, but, as with any major public event, outbreaks of violence or terrorism are possible during the period following announcement of the election results.

We remind American citizens of the current travel warning for Israel, the West Bank and Gaza available at http://travel.state.gov. The Department of State continues to urge U.S. citizens to carefully consider the risks of travel to Israel, to defer unnecessary travel to the West Bank, and to avoid all travel to Gaza. American citizens who choose to remain in these areas despite the warning should maintain a low profile, vary their daily schedules and routines, avoid public gatherings and crowded places, and remain alert for people and objects that appear suspicious or out of place.

As the U.S. Government develops information on any potential security threats to U.S. citizens overseas, it shares credible threat information through its consular information program documents, available on the Internet at http://travel.state.gov. U.S. citizens in Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza may contact the Consular Section of the U.S. Consulate General at 27 Nablus Road in Jerusalem. The telephone number is (972)(2) 622-7200. The number only for emergency purposes after normal business hours is (972)(2) 622-7250. U.S. citizens in Israel can contact Embassy Tel Aviv via the Embassy switchboard at 03-519-7551 at any time. The Embassy is located at 71 Hayarkon Street, Tel Aviv, Israel 63903.

For the latest security information, Americans living and traveling abroad should regularly monitor the Department's Bureau of Consular Affairs Internet website at http://travel.state.gov, where the current Worldwide Caution, Public Announcements, and Travel Warnings can be found. Up-to-date information on security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll free in the U.S., or, for callers outside the U.S. and Canada, a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444. These numbers are available from 8;00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).

8 comments:

bornagain said...

Thanks for the information how are things going there?

John said...

Oooooh! How I love to be in the middle of things!

Tova Shulamit said...

Yet to us on TV they say it is a win for democracy. What a hypocricy the American Gov't is.

Stay safe

Savtadotty said...

bornagain - so far, so good.

John - I bet you had to create things to be in the middle of when you lived in North Carolina. See how Israel makes your life easier?

Tova - To the extent that the election was fair and safe, it is a win for democracy. The rest remains to be seen.

Fred said...

I show cnn.com video to my Comparative Politics students almost every day one this isssue. It's amazing how much they're learning about this. The best piece was a seven minute interview Wolf Blitzer did with Netanyahu. He was deliberate and informative while explaining the relationship between Iran and Hamam. He essentially said Hamas was a subset of Iran. Chilling.

Montanus said...

Well, I voted for President Bush twice, so I'm not against him, but with the help of the State Department, he's sure made a hash of this. Pushing for the election was a mistake. Letting HAMAS become "official" was a mistake. Anything our State Department touches turns bad. They have the Midas Touch in reverse. As for Democracy, I'm not sure my government is being very wise about shoving it down everyone's throat if we get rid of strong man governments that leaned our way in favor of Islamic Fundamentalist governments that loathe us. But I'm just a Country Bumpkin, I'm not sophisticated like the big brains from both parties in our government. I'd still rather see countries like Egypt and Pakistan run by pro-Western dictators than anti-Western Mullahs.

Savtadotty said...

Fred - Netanyahu is a genius communicator in English. I don't want him to be Prime Minister, but he sure does talk good.

Frank - you remind me of Presiden Lyndon Johnson who used to say he was just a simple country boy, while he was shrewdly manipulating everyone around him. Not that you would do such a thing, oh no. As for the two alternatives you mention, they're both equally scary to me, and I'm hoping for some third alternative. Otherwise, we're doomed.

Montanus said...

Oh, Savtadotty! The very name Lyndon Johnson is a curse in the South (yimach shemo vezichro!). When I read your comment the room grew dark about me and I collapsed onto the floor. Well,I didn't really but it makes a good story. I hope things work out, but I wouldn't trust HAMAS if they sprouted wings and flew around plucking harps. I agree with Thucydides in his History of the Peloponnesian Wars : " He passes through life most securely who has least reason to reproach himself with complaisance towards his enemies." Whatever happens, the IDF will protect Israel to the best of their considerable ability.