Memo: Biden administration aims to ‘reset’ relations with Palestinians

March 19, 2021 by JNS
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The Biden administration is looking to hit the reset button with the Palestinians, including the return to a more traditional position on a two-state solution and rolling back several Trump administration positions on Israel.

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden with Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah on March 9, 2016. Photo by Flash90

The four-page memo, titled, “The U.S. Palestinian Reset and the Path Forward,” was obtained by The National, an English-language news outlet based in the United Arab Emirates. It was reportedly presented to U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken on March 1 by the acting assistant secretary of state for Near Eastern affairs Joey Hood, and drafted by deputy assistant secretary of state for Israeli-Palestinian affairs Hady Amr and his team.

According to the memo, the Biden administration will seek to achieve Israeli-Palestinian peace under a two-state solution framework “based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed land swaps and agreements on security and refugees.”

While the Trump administration endorsed the concept of a two-state solution, critics considered Trump’s plan for Mideast peace, unveiled in January 2020, as ignoring long-held Palestinian demands and being more favourable towards Israel. The Trump plan was endorsed by Israel as a starting point for negotiations but rejected outright by the Palestinians.

The memo added that America will “take a two-fold approach of maintaining and ideally improving the U.S. relationship with Israel by deepening its integration into the region while resetting the U.S. relationship with the Palestinian people and leadership.”

The memo also outlines re-establishing diplomatic contact with the Palestinian Authority, which was largely severed by the Palestinians during the Trump administration after the former president recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Later, Trump shuttered the PLO office in Washington, D.C., and cut off most U.S. assistance to the Palestinians under the Taylor Force Act, which prohibited U.S. support over the Palestinians payments to terrorists or their families.

The memo lays out the goal of re-establishing ties—to start, with assistance and aid to help fight the coronavirus pandemic.

“We are planning a full range of economic, security and humanitarian assistance programs, including through U.N. Relief and World Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). Prior to the fuller launch, we plan to announce $15 million in COVID-related humanitarian assistance,” the memo reportedly says.

Additionally, the memo discusses other topics, including developing a U.S. policy towards Palestinian Authority elections, further endorsing Arab-Israeli relations and reducing Palestinian incitement to violence.

It also suggests rolling back some Trump administration policies favourable towards Israel, such as country of origin labels on products manufactured in Israeli-controlled areas in Judea and Samaria. The Trump administration permitted them to be labelled “Israel,” “Product of Israel” or “Made in Israel” when exported to the United States.

Finally, it also outlines strategies to reform Palestinian society and “to obtain a Palestinian commitment to end payments to individuals imprisoned for acts of terrorism.

JNS

Comments

2 Responses to “Memo: Biden administration aims to ‘reset’ relations with Palestinians”
  1. Liat Kirby says:

    What a lot of delusional claptrap! Why bother with all the energy and effort that goes into producing these empty words? It’s something the Biden administration and its liberal Jewish supporters feel comfortable with in this age of political correctness and false ideology. It has nothing to do with reality. Nor does it take on board the fact that a two state solution is not for one moment what the Palestinians want or are interested in.

  2. Michael Lewis says:

    Meddling anti semites supported by self hating Jews.

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