Biden – demand accountability

For more than a decade, Israel & Palestinians have been mostly playing the blame game whose fault it is the peace process is not working. Over the years, the US administration tried different approaches to keep the negotiations going, but the results have been really poor when it comes to the bottom line.

Not only has the two-state solution been pushed to the side of the road, but both Israelis and Palestinians also seem to be numb to future outcomes. At this point, Israel is working against its interest of ensuring the Zionist vision of keeping Israel a homeland for Jews, as demography plays a big role in preventing that outcome. The number of Palestinians living in the west bank is estimated at 2.7 Million, and the growing numbers are not playing in Israel’s favor. Combine it with the overall depression of the younger Palestinian generation, who mistrusts their failed leadership – The PA in the West Bank, that did not promote their independence, and the Hamas regime in the Gaza strip – and you get an explosive situation, where the younger generation of Palestinians will ban the 2 state solution and will just ask for equal rights as Israeli-Palestinians.

Past US administrations failed to ask for accountability, allowing poor leaders to put sticks in the wheels – From day one, Yasser Arafat continued to support armed resistance and terror acts, and on the other side, the different Israeli leaders who were afraid to make the hard decisions. Some even did it on purpose. Past US administrations failed to ask the leaders for accountability and call them out when they were bluffing.

The Biden administration inherits this conflict, along with many other challenges for the US, when both sides share a mistrusted, self-victimized point of view. Instead of trying to push the “Peace Process”, I would offer them the following – just ask for accountability. President Biden should announce that at this point he does not see any true will by both parties and bringing both parties back to the negotiation table will be a waste of time for now, BUT, his door is always open, so when the Israeli and Palestinian leadership will mean “business” his administration would love to support the joint effort of promoting the two-state solution.

President Biden should also set guideline to what both sides need to expect now:

  1. On the Israeli side, Biden should oppose any attempt to continue expanding the settlements and expect Israel to stop it. The US will stop the automatic veto in the United Nations Security Council if Israel does not comply (Then we will also be able to see if Netanyahu’s “Friendship” with Vladimir Putin will help us).
  2. On the Palestinian side, Biden understands that UNRWA is the Palestinians worst enemy, as, by its mandate, it perpetuates their ongoing refugee status and mindset, preventing them from developing and keeping them irresponsible for their own future. The Biden administration should work to change its mandate and working methods, ending the saga of the unique status as inherited refugees (How can they be called refugees when they are under the Palestinian Authority or the Hamas rule?!), so after 72 years, they will stop living in refugee camps, based on the wishful thinking of “the right of return” and, more important, stop being toy soldiers on their leadership playboard.

Another thing the Biden administration will demand is a 180-degree change in the way Palestinians are teaching the younger generation on the conflict. UNRWA’s history books, funded by the international community, are filled will lies and hatred towards the “Zionists”. How can you make peace if all you learn about growing up is that the Zionists took your home and that one day the land, including cities like Tel Aviv and Haifa, will be yours again?!

Over the years, Joe Biden has proved himself as a true alley of Israel. As an alley, he is well aware of Israel’s blindside and is committed to helping it do the right thing to secure its future as a Jewish state. The administration doors will be open when both sides wish to proceed and put an end to this conflict for a vital future for both sides. The only way to get there is by holding both sides accountable for their actions.

The way it goes now, we will get to another round of bloodshed, or even worst for Israel, the younger generation may ask to become Israeli’s when they witness that in our case the neighbor’s grass is greener. If that happened, what will Israel do?!

About the Author
Yaakov (Kobi) Cohen is an Israeli-American, born in Jerusalem and now reside to New York City where he works in a Jewish Non-for-Profit. As a political activist, Cohen is most interested in the Israeli-American Jewish relationship and its impact on the future of the Jewish world and seeking to build bridges between Israelis & Jewish Americans, or at least establish a different dialogue. Kobi is a co-founder of Israel Shelanu and Host of BALAGAN - Explaining Israeli Politics Podcast
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