Israel not expecting Palestinian peace push from Biden administration

Originally reported in

Lahav Harkov | Jan 31, 2021

The Biden administration is not expected to try to push a peace plan for Israel and the Palestinians, according to a high-level Israeli government source.


“There probably will not be a top-down peace plan,” the source said recently.



The top echelons of Israel’s government were not surprised by the Biden administration’s talk about separating the Israeli Embassy from the US Consulate that serves the Palestinians and funding UNRWA, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees. The steps reverse Trump administration policies, but they were announced on the campaign trail, the source said.



The source cited remarks by US envoy Richard Mills at the UN Security Council last week, in which he emphasized the importance of a two-state solution but did not call for it to come in the short term.



Though Mills emphasized the importance of maintaining the viability of a two-state solution, he did not refer to pre-1967 lines or what the contours of such a solution would be.



“The US will urge Israel’s government and the Palestinian Authority to avoid unilateral steps that make the two-state solution more difficult,” Mills said.



Mills spoke out against “incitement to violence [and] providing compensation to individuals in prison for acts of terrorism,” a reference to the Palestinians’ “Martyrs Fund,” the Israeli source said.



Mills spoke instead of Linda Thomas-Greenfield, Biden’s nominee for ambassador to the UN.



A day later, during her confirmation hearing at the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Thomas-Greenfield barely touched on the Palestinians or a two-state solution, mentioning only restoring funding to UNRWA, though Israel came up repeatedly.



The anti-Israel BDS movement “verges on antisemitism, and it is important that they not be allowed to have a voice at the United Nations,” she said.



Thomas-Greenfield said she plans to be “standing with Israel, standing against unfair targeting of Israel, the relentless [UN] resolutions that are proposed against Israel unfairly.”


Original report