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Opinion

Why Biden’s billion-dollar gamble on the Palestinians is doomed to fail

The U.S. administration’s policy of playing patty-cake with the Palestinians simply provides a free pass for attempts to destroy the Jewish state.

Then-U.S. Vice President Joe Biden with Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah, March 9, 2016. Photo by Flash90.
Then-U.S. Vice President Joe Biden with Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah, March 9, 2016. Photo by Flash90.
Jason Shvili
Jason Shvili
Jason Shvili is a contributing editor at Facts and Logic About the Middle East (FLAME), which publishes educational messages to correct lies and misperceptions about Israel and its relationship to the United States.

With each succeeding day, the Biden administration’s strategy for helping the Palestinian Arabs achieve statehood seems further doomed—and in fact, perversely, it is more likely to destroy that dream. 

Since coming to power, President Joe Biden has relentlessly supported the Palestinians, both financially and diplomatically, clinging desperately to the idea of a two-state solution for the Israel-Palestinian conflict—a solution neither side currently supports. 

How have the Palestinians responded? By forging stronger ties with America’s enemies and ramping up their unyielding efforts to destroy Israel—America’s greatest ally in the Middle East. This behavior blatantly contradicts U.S. interests, as well as specific requests the U.S. has made of the Palestinians.

Moreover, despite all of Biden’s massive support, the Palestinian Authority, under 87-year-old President Mahmoud Abbas, is quickly losing control of its territory in Judea and Samaria to terrorists—both rogue groups and those tied to Hamas and Iran.

Such deteriorating circumstances would seem to compel a change in U.S. policy. Clearly, Biden needs to stop coddling the Palestinians and treat them like the enemy they have become. The U.S. needs to insist the Palestinians stop undermining American interests in the region and take concrete steps towards peace with Israel.

In just the last few years, the Biden administration has given more than one billion taxpayer dollars in aid to the Palestinians. To what end? Has it brought the Palestinians closer to peace or a two-state solution? A recent study by the non-profit group Palestinian Media Watch (PMW) found that whenever aid to the Palestinians decreased, attacks on Israelis also decreased. Conversely, when American aid increased, terrorist attacks against Israelis increased. 

Remember that the P.A. actively encourages murder of innocent Israelis by paying terrorists and their families generous monthly salaries—a policy known as “pay-for-slay.” In 2021, the year Biden took office, the P.A. spent $270 million on pay-for-slay. 

Note, too, that U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken insists U.S. aid is conditional on the Palestinians reforming their education system—rooting out anti-Israel and anti-Jewish incitement. Yet, the P.A. continues to indoctrinate its children in Jew hatred with the lie that Israel stole “Palestinian land.” It also actively inspires them to commit acts of terrorism. The puzzle is how the administration justifies continued aid.

President Biden has also supported the Palestinians diplomatically in the hopes of encouraging peace. Last year, Biden upgraded America’s relations with the Palestinians by appointing a special representative for Palestinian affairs. He also promised to reopen the U.S. Consulate in Jerusalem, closed by the Trump administration in 2019, though he has not yet followed through on that promise. 

At the same time, the Biden administration has ramped up pressure on Israel to stop the expansion of Jewish communities in Area C of Judea and Samaria, where Jews are the majority population. 

Last week, the U.S. State Department issued a press statement saying, “The United States is deeply troubled by the Israeli government’s reported decision to advance planning for over 4,000 settlement units in the West Bank (Judea and Samaria).” Tragically, the Biden Administration doesn’t maintain a similar drumbeat of condemnations on the P.A.’s pay-for-slay policy or its continued indoctrination of Palestinian children to murder innocent Israelis.

Meanwhile, the Palestinians have repaid the Biden administration for its support with both injury and insult.

For example, even though U.S. administrations and Congress have long opposed Palestinian complaints against Israel in the International Court of Justice (ICJ) and the International Criminal Court (ICC), Palestinian leadership persists in pursuing them. 

Indeed, Biden’s policy of continuing to aid the Palestinians likely contravenes the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, which specifically forbids U.S. aid to the Palestinians if they pursue complaints at the ICC against Israel. Yet no consequences from Team Biden. 

Nonetheless, the Biden administration is being sued by American victims of Palestinian terrorism for violating the Taylor Force Act, which prohibits the Executive Branch of the U.S. government from providing certain types of assistance to the P.A. unless the P.A. takes “credible steps” to end acts of violence against Israeli and American citizens—and that it end its murderous pay-for-slay program. But no change yet in P.A. policy, and no penalty from the U.S.

Palestinian affronts to U.S. interests also continue in the area of foreign relations.

The PA is currently forging a new alliance with U.S.-rival China in the form of a “strategic partnership,” signed by the two parties on June 14. China has also historically been hostile to Israel on the diplomatic stage, consistently backing the Palestinians and condemning Israel’s defensive operations against Palestinian terrorists. China now seeks to challenge U.S. power in the Middle East.

Finally, the PA is quickly losing control of its security responsibilities in Judea and Samaria. Independent terrorist militias in areas of “Palestinian control” are rampaging against Jewish communities, blatantly ignoring Abbas’s authority. In addition, Abbas’s political nemesis, Hamas, just swept student elections at the Palestinian Bir Zeit University, inside the P.A.’s jurisdiction, portending an ominous new power balance upon Abbas’ death. 

According to the Palestine Center for Policy and Survey Research, 80% of Palestinians want Abbas to resign. In addition, just 28% of Palestinians support the two-state solution preferred by the Biden administration, while 52% support armed struggle—that is, terrorism—against Israel. The U.S. has issued no admonitions to the P.A. on these issues.

In short, the Biden administration’s policy of playing patty-cake with the Palestinians simply provides a free pass for attempts to destroy the Jewish state and act against American interests.

This laissez faire attitude doesn’t help the Palestinians, doesn’t help the United States and certainly doesn’t help Israel, whose battle against outlaw terrorist forces within Abbas’s jurisdiction seems to be turning into a war. 

Instead of coddling the Palestinians, Biden should withdraw U.S. financial and diplomatic support for them until they agree to begin building reliable state institutions, genuinely pursue peace with Israel and stop damaging American interests.

The opinions and facts presented in this article are those of the author, and neither JNS nor its partners assume any responsibility for them.
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