The Palestinian Authority (PA), the government of Gaza and the West Bank, is reportedly in contact with Democratic nominee Joe Biden’s campaign. The Palestinians opposed President Donald Trump’s decision to formally recognize Jerusalem as the capital of the State of Israel and to move the U.S. Embassy there. They have also opposed Trump’s historic peace deals linking Bahrain, Sudan, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) with Israel in the Abraham Accords.
In the lead-up to the U.S. presidential election, two senior Palestinian officials confirmed to The Media Line that the Palestinian Authority is maintaining direct channels of communication with the Biden campaign, providing further evidence that Biden is likely to undermine Trump’s Middle East foreign policy successes should he win on Election Day. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity.
“Having dialogue with the Democratic candidate is important to the leadership,” one of the officials told The Media Line. “We want to let Mr. Biden know that we are willing and ready to talk.”
Palestinian leaders have cut off contact with the Trump administration and refused to enter U.S.-led talks with Israel on the Abraham Accords, which they rejected as biased toward Israel. Washington also terminated millions of dollars in PA financial aid.
The PA has accused Trump of making the U.S. a dishonest broker when it comes to mediating peace, while it holds out hope that a Biden administration, like the Obama administration, would be more friendly to Palestinians.
“We are sure that if he wins, he will reassert the US position on the two-state solution and order the [Palestinian Liberation Organization] office in Washington reopened,” the second PA official told The Media Line.
Jihad Harb, a political analyst for Palestinian media outlets, told The Media Line “it is not surprising that there are relations with American parties. The Palestinians have reestablished relations with an important segment of the congressional leadership in the past few years. The Democratic Party has a majority in the House of Representatives, and there are certainly channels of communication.”
Harb insisted that the Palestinian leaders “definitely want Trump to leave” the White House. “He imposed a set of cruel, unfair and anti-Palestinian measures, and therefore they prefer Biden, at least because of their experience with him during his years as vice president in the Obama administration.”
According to Harb, the Palestinians would be “ecstatic” to see Biden win the presidential election. “The Palestinians usually prefer the Democrats, and the Palestinian leadership prefers that the president be from the Democratic Party.”
Biden’s likely support for the Palestinians, paired with his support for the Iran nuclear deal, would undermine Trump’s historic successes brokering Israeli peace deals in the Middle East, North Africa, and the Balkans.
Tyler O’Neil is the author of Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Follow him on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.