The fact that President Donald Trump is the best friend the State of Israel has ever had in the Oval Office is axiomatic. Trump has done everything from moving the American embassy to Jerusalem, Israel’s established capital, to supporting the Jewish state in its long war against Palestinian terrorists. The Trump administration has even mulled moving the procurement of much-needed drugs from China to Israel, which has a thriving biotech industrial sector.
Former Vice President Joe Biden would not be as warm a friend to Israel, according to the Washington Examiner. Indeed, Biden, were he to be elected president, would return to the Obama policy of barely concealed hostility to the Jewish state, the theory being that only through diplomatic and economic pressure will Israel be compelled to make peace with the Palestinians.
“Presumptive 2020 Democratic nominee Joe Biden warns there will be no peace in the Middle East if Israel doesn’t stop the threat of annexation. During a Tuesday virtual fundraiser with members of the U.S. Jewish community, Biden vowed to reverse President Trump’s policies in the Israeli region and restore the hope of peace between Israelis and Palestinians. To achieve that goal, Biden said the United States should restore diplomatic relationships with the Palestinian Authority. If elected president, the former vice president said he would help build efforts with Palestinians to take steps toward a two-state solution if they agreed on it.”
The Trump administration has been trying a different approach to Israeli-Palestinian peace than previous presidents. The White House has given the green light for Israel to formally annex about 30 percent of the West Bank. The remainder would constitute a Palestinian state. The theory is that only when confronted with a fait accompli with the Palestinians give up their dream to destroy Israel and establish their state “from the (Jordan) river to the sea.”
Biden would stop the Trump plan and the annexation and return to the Obama assumption that only Israeli intransigence stands in the way of a two-state solution and the establishment of peace in the Middle East at last.
Biden, as has been the habit of American politicians who propose to crack down on Israel, was careful to swear that he harbors a commitment to the survival of the Jewish state. He also made pains to say that his stance was not based on anti-Semitism.
Biden’s approach is, naturally, supported by the Palestinian Authority that controls much of the West Bank. The BBC notes that the PA has pushed back hard against the Trump plan.
The PA President Mahmoud Abbas declared, “The Palestine Liberation Organization and the State of Palestine are today no longer bound by all agreements and understandings with the American and Israeli governments, and by all the commitments derived from those understandings and agreements, including those relating to security. From now on the Israeli occupation authorities must bear all responsibilities and commitments toward the international community as an occupying power.”
Whether Abbas was serious or just blustering is open to question. The European Union and the Kingdom of Jordan, which has a peace treaty with Israel, have also issued warnings.
An article in the journal Foreign Affairs suggests that the real obstacle to Middle East peace is Palestinian rejection of Israel as a legitimate state.
“Nearly two decades of peace negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians have failed miserably. The key reason for this failure is the Palestinians’ refusal to recognize Israel as a Jewish state.”
The problem has been that the Palestinians have never accepted the two-state solution that American politicians and diplomats have been touting for decades. Any “peace agreement” they would sign on to would just be a first step to the destruction of Israel and the obliteration of its six or so million Jewish inhabitants.
Biden, who has been said to have been wrong about every foreign policy question during the last 45 years, would run the danger of adding to his list of follies if he were to be elected by trying to pressure Israel to accept a peace agreement that the Palestinians would accept. And previous presidents have discovered, Israel will not sign on to its own destruction. All a President Biden would accomplish would be frustration and needless acrimony.