The new administration in Washington is still in its first few days and there are already many files that need the immediate attention of President Joe Biden. The events in the United States since last November’s election have highlighted the need for swift action there, especially the rising death toll from the coronavirus. For the region, however, there are issues of utmost priority that may also need an honest and substantial intervention by the administration.
For more than seven decades, the issue of Palestine and Israel and how to find a lasting peace and resolution to a complex and ever-evolving state of affairs has held varying degrees of importance to the administration. With President Biden sitting at the Resolute Desk, perhaps now is a time to consider once more how a just and permanent peaceful solution might be shaped.
For decades, the accepted political wisdom is that any peace must be based on a two-state solution, where Palestinians and Israelis coexist based on mutual respect and recognition of their histories. With President Biden in the White House, there is a renewed hope for a fresh push for negotiations that are based on international resolutions and the Arab peace initiative. A brief alteration in the destination on the official Twitter account of the US Ambassador to Israel, adding the West Bank and Gaza, gave an interesting hint of the thinking process of the new administration with regard to the Middle East peace process.
In recent months, the UAE and other Arab nations signed on to the Abraham accords, charting a new course in ensuring that the issue of Israel and Palestine can be solved through cooperation and mutual respect, a practical and diplomatic recognition of the realities that exist now. For too long the same methodologies have produced the same results, meeting impasses time and time again when trying to find a political solution to the practical issues on the ground.
President Biden and his long history of working with international partners, nurturing diplomatic ties, building consensus between nations, and finding common ground to advance solutions, now offers a new opportunity to look forward and find a path to peace and stability. The path forward includes a comprehensive two-state solution, one that recognises the rights, interests, and traditions of all parties.
Any lasting peace and stability must go hand in hand, and that stability should be based on forging close economic ties and exploring opportunities that will enhance prosperity and foster growth.
For sure there are many domestic issues that require the immediate attention of President Biden. But when the time comes to seeking a lasting and just solution for the Middle East’s central issue and the oldest conflict, he will find broad support and backing in the from allies and partners.