Is Belgium making a diplomatic statement through its correspondence to citizens?
By: World Israel News Staff
An Israeli family with Belgian citizenship was recently dismayed to receive letters from the consulate-general of Belgium stating that the parents live in Jerusalem but their two adult children live in the “Palestinian territories.”
The Tenzer family lives in the Jerusalem neighborhood of Pisgat Ze’ev, which is located over the Green Line. The letter was about the pending elections in Belgium. The mother’s letter was addressed to a “resident of Jerusalem,” while the two children, in their 20s, received a letter mailed to the “Palestinian territories.”
The family said that all letters received up until now from the Belgian consulate were addressed simply to the “residents of Jerusalem.”
They believe that this shift in policy was prompted by the transfer of the US Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem in May, a move that was opposed by the European Union.
Avi Tenzer, the father, slammed Belgium for the correspondence, accusing it of seeking to divide families in Jerusalem.
“Not only is Belgium dividing Jerusalem, it is also trying to separate me and my wife from my children,” Avi said, according to Ynet news.
“We always lived in north Jerusalem and we are part of Jerusalem. We hope that this is not a change in Belgium’s policy. We demand an explanation and ask that they send new letters with Jerusalem written on them,” he added.
Belgium has so far remained silent on the incident.
Israel has had diplomatic clashes with Belgium on similar matters in the past.