JERUSALEM (Feb. 5)
Morris Draper, a veteran United States diplomat in Middle East politics, Monday began serving as the U.S. Consul General in Jerusalem. Draper replaced another veteran Mideast diplomat, Wat Cluverius, who was appointed special advisor on the Mideast peace process to Assistant Secretary of State Richard Murphy.
The U.S. has traditionally kept a Consul General in Jerusalem in addition to the one in Tel Aviv since the early days of the State, when it endorsed the internationalization of the city. The Consul General resides and has offices in West Jerusalem, as well as a consular section in East Jerusalem.
Unofficially, the Consul General is described as the American “Ambassador” to the Administered territories. As such, he has few formal contacts with the Foreign Ministry, which, of course, refused to recognize legitimacy of a separate diplomatic function in the territories.
However, Draper has had excellent contacts with many Israeli policy-makers ever since the Lebanon war, when he worked as deputy to special Presidential Middle East envoy Philip Habib. Draper came here with his wife, Roberta, who has worked as a journalist for the now defunct Washington Star and other American media.