Biden Moves To Reengage With Palestinians After Israel Focus

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FILE - In this Nov. 24, 2020, file photo President-elect Joe Biden listens as his Secretary of State nominee Tony Blinken speaks at The Queen theater in Wilmington, Del. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

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The Biden administration is moving slowly but surely toward reengaging with the Palestinians after a near total absence of official contact during former President Donald Trump’s four years in office.

As American officials plan steps to restore direct ties with the Palestinian leadership, Biden’s national security team is taking steps to restore relations that had been severed while Trump pursued a Mideast policy focused largely around Israel, America’s closest partner in the region.

On Tuesday, for the second time in two days, Biden’s administration categorically embraced a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, something that Trump had been purposefully vague about while slashing aid to the Palestinians and taking steps to support Israel’s claims to land that the Palestinians want for an independent state.

The State Department said Tuesday that a U.S. delegation attended a meeting of a Norwegian-run committee that serves as a clearinghouse for assistance to the Palestinians. Although little-known outside foreign policy circles, the so-called Ad Hoc Liaison Committee has been influential in the peace process since Israel and the Palestinians signed the Oslo Accords in 1993.

“During the discussion, the United States reaffirmed the U.S. commitment to advancing prosperity, security, and freedom for both Israelis and Palestinians and to preserve the prospects of a negotiated two-state solution in which Israel lives in peace and security alongside a viable Palestinian state,” the State Department said in a statement.

“The United States underscored the commitment to supporting economic and humanitarian assistance and the need to see progress on outstanding projects that will improve the lives of the Palestinian people, while urging all parties to avoid unilateral steps that make a two-state solution more difficult to achieve,” it said.

U.S. participation in the meeting followed a Monday call between Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Israel’s foreign minister in which Blinken stressed that the new U.S. administration unambiguously supports a two-state solution. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is close to Trump, has eschewed the two-state solution.

Biden spoke to Netanyahu last week for the first time as president after a delay that many found suspicious and suggestive of a major realignment in U.S. policy. Blinken, however, has spoken to Israeli Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi twice amid ongoing concern in Israel about Biden’s intentions in the region, particularly his desire to reenter the Iran nuclear deal.

In Monday’s call, Blinken “emphasized the Biden administration’s belief that the two-state solution is the best way to ensure Israel’s future as a Jewish and democratic state, living in peace alongside a viable and democratic Palestinian state,” State Department spokesperson Ned Price said.

The Trump administration had presented its own version of a two-state peace plan, though it would have required significant Palestinian concessions on territory and sovereignty.

The Palestinians, however, rejected it out of hand and accused the U.S. of no longer being an honest peace broker after Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, moved the U.S. embassy to the city from Tel Aviv, cut off aid to the Palestinian Authority, closed the Palestinian diplomatic mission in Washington and rescinded a long-standing legal opinion that Israeli settlement activity is illegitimate under international law.

(AP)


3 COMMENTS

  1. My tefilah for Biden is that the Palis, who are clearly terrorists at their very core, make Biden their first target. If, as he foolishly believes, the Palis are unfortunate and down-and-out, homeless Arabs, then he would have nothing to fear. Meanwhile, let’s review what we know to be truth and fact.

    * There is no land called Palestine, and there are thus no true Palestinians. Even Yassir Arafat, their so-called leader, was Egyptian.
    * These Palis were never robbed of their land. Israel belonged to the Jews for thousands of years. Arabs lived there, as well, and no one bothered them.
    * Today’s Palis are avowed terrorists. They use their crafted stories about victimization to justify their bloodthirsty behavior toward Jews. And liberal minds, such as the crowd that came into power in the Biden administration, are imbecile enough to buy into their baloney.
    * Two state solutions are ideas that sound nice to the ear. The thought connotes peaceful co-existence. But this has never approached reality. Even the moderate Palis have proven to be bloodthirsty.
    * Some Palis who achieve power dress in business suits. This gives a totally false image of civility. As in the famous story of the Rambam, one just needs to release the mouse, and the “civilized” cat will abandon all else to chase it.
    * Negotiation with terrorists has never succeeded. These savages are non-verbal. They can speak, but even their own commitments, promises, and signatures have zero compliance. Why bother?
    * Over the years, there was a steady flow of concessions from Israel to these Palis. They were given autonomy. They were given a huge parcel of land, full of businesses and farms. They trashed every bit of it. That’s civilized?
    * Billions of dollars in aid was provided to these Palis on a silver platter. Not one business was opened from this, and the civilian population benefitted nothing. All was funneled into the pockets of the politicians, most of which was used to fund the building of military supplies to murder Jews. Civilized?
    * There isn’t even peace among the Palis. Check out the history of attempts to reconcile their factions. Civilized?
    * Islam glorifies lying. Find the minute number of times that the Palis spoke with honesty.

    Trump was correct. Maintaining relations with these savages was fruitless. And Biden will tolerate all the savagery and the terror. And with Obama pulling his strings in the background, we can predict efforts to support and fund the terror.

  2. What a load of fake news.

    The Palestinians themselves closed their consul in Washington

    Aid was cut due to the Taylor law – which Biden must abide by.

    Netanyahu never opposed the two state solution.