by: Ilse Strauss
Thursday, 18 March 2021 | The Biden administration is reportedly planning to walk back on some of his predecessor’s decisions regarding Israel and the Palestinians, resetting the US’s diplomatic approach to fall back in line with its traditional position.
The National, a Dubai-based English-language daily, revealed the intended reboot after obtaining “The US Palestinian Reset and the Path Forward,” a four-page US memo detailing President Joe Biden’s planned strategy for the Israeli–Palestinian situation. The plan—the brainchild of Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Israeli–Palestinian Affairs Hady Amr—was allegedly presented to US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on March 1.
The document advocates reestablishing diplomatic relations with the Palestinians that disintegrated when Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas turned his back on the US after former President Donald Trump’s decision to acknowledge Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. The ties further disintegrated in the aftermath of the Trump administration’s peace plan, which the PA deemed “the slap of the century” and rejected out of hand.
According to the memo, the US “suffers from a lack of connective tissue” with the PA, which should be remedied by “reset[ing] US relations with the Palestinians.”
The future plans further include resuscitating the stalled peace process between Israel and the Palestinians, focusing on a two-state solution based on the pre-1967 borders with mutually agreed land swaps.
The pre-1967 borders refer to the lay of the land prior to the Six-Day War, a defensive conflict in which Israel managed to beat back the invading Hashemite Kingdom and reclaim the eastern part of Jerusalem as well as Judea and Samaria, which had been under Jordanian occupation since the 1948 War of Independence. Notably, in the nearly 20 years that Jordan occupied the so-called West Bank, the Palestinians neither identified as a unique nation nor sought to establish a country of their own. In fact, with no record of Palestinian rule in either the eastern part of Jerusalem or Judea and Samaria, the question remains unanswered as to why Israel is required to hand over the biblical heartland—where more than 90% of the Tanakh (OT) played out and where generations of Jews lived and died—as a pre-requisite to peace.
Moreover, the memo suggests doing an about-face on some of former President Trump’s decisions that Amr believes would harm the possibility of a two-state solution. This refers in particular to the change in policy that allows US exports from Judea and Samaria to be labeled as “Made in Israel,” thus legitimizing the so-called settlements as part of Israel.
Another part of the plan entails the Biden administration padding the PA’s coffers with a US $15 million aid package in COVID-10 assistance. Prior to 2018, the US was the Palestinians’ largest single donor. However, the streams of cash soon slowed to a trickle and then dried up when the PA failed to halt its “Pay for Slay” policy of rewarding terrorists and their families with monthly salaries for committing acts of terror against Jews.
Despite the focus on improving ties, aid and the future of the Palestinians, the memo also mentioned the Jewish state. The plan was, however, thin on details as to the benefits Israel can expect, merely stating that the US will “take a two-fold approach of maintaining and ideally improving the US relationship with Israel by deepening its integration into the region…”
Posted on March 18, 2021
Source: (Bridges for Peace, March 18, 2021)
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