Israeli agencies reject Palestine missives

Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has instructed all Israeli embassies to reject any official letter that includes what it referred to as problematic terms, such as the “state of Palestine.” The ministry issued its directive ahead of the United Nations’ Nov. 29 vote on upgrading the Palestinians’ status to that of a nonmember observer state.

The directive was distributed among Israeli embassies abroad by Foreign Ministry employee Galia Levanon, who said the embassies already have been receiving official letters from international organizations and local foreign ministries that include the phrases “occupied Palestine,” “occupied Jerusalem,” “occupied territories” and “the state of Palestine.”

Levanon instructed Israeli diplomats abroad to return any letters containing “problematic terminology” to the sender and ask that they be revised. The embassies were told to accept letters containing the phrase “Palestinian Authority territories.” —