Trump’s Middle East Policy Partially Reversed by Biden Administration

In a move that is viewed by many as rewarding the Palestinian leadership after a wave of terrorism it enticed, the Biden administration announced a dramatic, but partial reversal of Trump’s key policy on Palestinians.

By opening a US Office of Palestinian Affairs in Jerusalem, the Biden administration ‘made up’ for Trump’s closure of the consulate to the Palestinians in the city in light of May’s killing of three Israelis in Elad by two Palestinians armed with an ax and knife and Palestinian gunman from Jenin killing three people and wounded six others in a Tel Aviv bar.

The former deputy national security adviser for the Middle East and North Africa under Trump, Victoria Coates, considers the upgrade of what was so far part of the embassy to Israel, the Palestinian Affairs Unit, a setback for the Israel-Palestinians peace process.

Coates, which was a prominent Trump official, explained that since 2018, the Palestinian affairs have been handled by a proper US Embassy in West Jerusalem instead of the consul-general that was dealing with the consular affairs related to the United States.

This, as she says, ‘unnecessary change’ in policy, will not bring the US any closer to peace than the old ConGen and will only prolong the stalemate between Palestinians and Israel.

Israel’s former Ambassador to the UN, Danny Danon, stressed that the Biden administration is reverting to past failed practices which are essentially bureaucratic in nature, but its symbolism hits home for some.

Danon, who is also chairman of World Likud, reminded that The Abraham Accords – the groundbreaking agreements the Trump administration helped negotiate to normalize diplomatic relations between Israel and the UAE, Bahrain, Sudan, and Morocco – have been astoundingly successful, moved beyond broken paradigms and looked for new solutions.

The reopening of the Palestinian consulate in Jerusalem was strongly opposed by the Israeli government who believes that the move would undercut the holy city as the undivided capital of Israel, proposing at the same time that the US open its Palestinian consulate in Ramallah, the headquarters of the Palestine Authority and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO).

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