Where Biden and Netanyahu don’t see eye to eye


US president endorses two-state solution with role for Palestinian Authority; Israeli leader rejects the formula and thinks PA should be eliminated


Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s decision to bar the Palestine Authority, which now governs parts of the West Bank, from administering the Gaza Strip after the war on Hamas ends is aimed at sinking a revived “two-state solution” peace plan to end the Middle East’s longest-running conflict. 

Formulated back in 1991 and favored by Israel’s chief ally, the United States, the two-state initiative was meant to create a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip at peace with Israel. Though long dormant, the formula is considered the region’s most viable path to peace.  

US President Joe Biden’s administration has indicated that the future state ought to be midwifed, if not ruled indefinitely, by the PA. Since the Gaza war began on October 7, Biden has frequently laid out a generalized vision for the solution, though without a roadmap to getting there.

File photo of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. He said no Middle East peace agreement would be achievable until Palestinians were granted full rights, and the Saudi foreign minister also called for a revival of the objective of a two-state solution. Feb 1, 2020

“When this crisis is over, there has to be a vision of what comes next, and in our view, it has to be a two-state solution,” Biden recently said.

On November 8, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken not only repeated the administration’s endorsement of the two-state solution but added that Gaza should be “unified with the West Bank under the Palestinian Authority.”

Netanyahu, however, rejects both outcomes. He has opposed the two-state solution since its inception, though he appears reluctant to state so directly while Biden is supporting his war effort.

Instead, the Israeli leader is trying to preempt it by opposing a key element: a role for the PA, which happens to be the descendant of the Palestine Liberation Front that negotiated the original two-state plan with Israel.

Asia Times



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