News & Politics

Biden's Handlers Risk Escalating Israel/Palestinian Conflict in Their Haste to Stick It to Trump

AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta

“Senior administration officials,” their names carefully kept off the record, held a teleconference Monday to provide background for Biden’s handlers’ National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan’s upcoming trip to Israel and the Palestinian Authority. In doing so, they demonstrated yet again that they have no understanding of the real issues underlying the Israel/Palestinian conflict, and in their determination to reassert their tainted expertise and undo Trump-era advances, they risk plunging the region yet again into bloody conflict.

The administration officials spent a great deal of time emphasizing their friendly contact with Israeli officials, and even paid lip service to “building on the Abraham Accords,” claiming improbably that doing so “has been a central focus of ours.” However, their focus on restoring ties with the Palestinians “that were nearly severed when we entered office in January” betrays Biden’s handlers’ determination to restore failed Obama-era policies that only encouraged Palestinian terrorism, often at U.S. taxpayer expense. There was a great deal of focus on the “humanitarian situation” in Gaza, and “getting support into Gaza for the people of Gaza,” with no attention at all paid to the fact that any “humanitarian situation” there is entirely self-inflicted, as so much of Gaza’s resources are devoted to the jihad against Israel instead of caring for the people of the region.

The Obama-era assumption that the obstacles for peace were all on the Israeli side was very much in evidence. Asked if the administration is “planning on maybe stepping up the pressure [on Israel] even more than has been done before,” the “senior administration official” answered: “Well, I think we’ve been pretty consistent in emphasizing over the last 10, 11 months, you know, the need to avoid steps that can increase tensions on the ground, and that includes settlement activity. And we’ve been engaged with the Israeli government at senior levels on this issue, and, we think, in a fairly constructive and honest manner.”

There was no question, meanwhile, about putting any pressure on the Palestinians. Nothing was said about genocidal jihad indoctrination in Palestinian schools. Nothing was said about the frequent incitement to violence on Palestinian television. Nothing was said either about Palestinian efforts to undermine Israel in the global arena. The “senior administration officials” made no reference to the ongoing terror attacks and terror plotting against Israelis. They did, however, assure the assembled journalists that they have had “honest, constructive” discussions with the Bennett government about Israeli “settlements,” which are actually on land that belongs by right of international law to Israel only.

One questioner did ask: “What are going to be some of the toplines of the meetings in Ramallah with President Abbas? Are you going to talk about martyr payments to…the Palestinians who were killed or imprisoned by Israel over alleged terrorist attacks? Are you going to talk about the crackdown on some of the — on Palestinian civil society by security forces? And will the U.S. be calling for the Palestinian Authority to hold elections?”

To that, the “senior administration official” responded: “I think the focus on Israel, where we’re heading, the integration and building on the Abraham Accords has been a central focus of ours. And that will be an important topic of conversation.” He then went on to discuss a new solar and water deal between Israel, the United Arab Emirates, and Jordan. All he would say about Abbas was that “we expect this to be a very constructive meeting, and I think it’s following on a — Jake is looking forward to it — it’s falling on a number of recent high-level engagements by U.S. officials….And I think Jake will make clear that it’s the aim and a policy of the Biden administration to strengthen ties with the Palestinians and ensure the strength and stability of the Palestinian Authority.”

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He did, however, claim that “on the question of payments, we’ve had a clear and consistent position on this: that we’re fundamentally opposed to those payments. And so, I’m sure that’ll be a topic of discussion as well. But that’s been a clear and consistent position here in the administration, and that’s something that won’t change.”

The problem with this answer is that Biden’s handlers have been sending millions of dollars to the Palestinian Authority despite its continued payments to terrorists, in clear violation of the Taylor Force Acts, which prohibits U.S. taxpayer money going to states that fund terrorism. The Trump administration registered its disapproval with the Palestinian Authority’s payments to terrorists by shutting off U.S. taxpayer payments to the Palestinian Authority. The Biden administration started the money flowing again, so what leverage does it have against the Palestinians to compel them to stop passing along that money to jihadis?

The Trump administration helped Israel conclude the Abraham Accords by bypassing the Palestinians’ genocidal jihadi intransigence and working on the basis of mutual self-interest. Now Biden’s handlers are once again pandering to the jihadis. No good ever came out of that approach, and no good will come out of it now. Count on the Biden administration to embrace failure, as it has in every single arena since it came into power.