The Aqaba Joint Communique issued by the US Department of State suggests that President Biden could even be thinking of jettisoning his support for UN Security Council Resolution 2334 calling for the creation of a sovereign independent Palestinian Arab State between Israel and Jordan (two-State Solution).
Resolution 2334 was born in sin on 23 December 2016 when the Obama/Biden administration failed to veto its adoption as they were packing up and vacating the White House following their electoral defeat at the hands of Donald Trump.
The UN Security Council has totally failed to advance its two-State Solution in the last six years – as well-respected analyst Thomas Friedman – writing in the New York Times- makes clear:
"A week of reporting from Israel and the West Bank has left me feeling that the prospect for a two-state solution has all but vanished. But no one wants to formally declare it dead and buried — because categorically ruling it out would have enormous ramifications. So, diplomats, politicians and liberal Jewish organizations pretend that it still has a faint heartbeat. I do as well. But we all know that the two-state option is not in a hospital. It’s in hospice. Only a miracle cure could save it now."
US Secretary of State Blinken was still flogging this dead horse on 18 February - reiterating to Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu America’s support for:
“a negotiated two-state solution and opposition to policies that endangered its viability.”
Blinken was closely followed on 20 February by UN Special Coordinator for the Middle East Peace Process - Tor Wennesland – pathetically repeating his monthly mantra to the Security Council:
“As we continue to work with the parties and with regional and international partners to calm tensions, we must identify and pursue every opportunity to advance our long-term goal: an end to the occupation and the establishment of two States, living side-by-side in peace and security, on the basis of the 1967 lines, in line with UN resolutions, international law and previous agreements.”
Biden’s position seemingly changed in the next seven days.
The Aqaba Joint Communique issued on 26 February following the meeting of senior officials from Israel, the Palestinian Authority, the US, Jordan and Egypt significantly omitted any reference to the two-State Solution – stating instead:
“The participants stressed the importance of the Aqaba meeting, the first of its kind in years. They agreed to continue meeting under this formula, maintain positive momentum and expand this agreement towards wider political process leading to a just and lasting peace...
..They also thanked the United States for its important role in efforts to reach understandings that led to this agreement today, emphasizing its indispensable role in efforts to prevent deterioration and find horizons for peace.”
Two senior officials present in Aqaba - Israel’s National Security Adviser Tzachi Hanegbi and PLO Executive Committee Secretary-General Hussein al-Sheikh – had been engaged in secret back-channel negotiations for the previous two months.
“Wider political process leading to a just and lasting peace,” if they really mean the word "wider", suggests they had already buried the UN two-State Solution.
Emphasizing America’s “indispensable role in efforts to prevent deterioration and find horizons for peace” suggests Biden had finally put aside his personal loathing for Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman and is looking at the only other solution presently on the horizon for ending the deteriorating political and security situation in Judea-Samaria ('West Bank') and Gaza: The Saudi-based Hashemite Kingdom of Palestine solution published on 8 June 2022.
Meantime Biden’s lunchtime-confidant and disappointed-Saudi Whisperer Friedman sits weeping in the hospice - refusing to write one word about the Saudi plan in the ten months since its publication.
Another White House lunch with Friedman could prove to be historic...
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Author’s note: The cartoon — commissioned exclusively for this article — is by Yaakov Kirschen aka “Dry Bones”- one of Israel’s foremost political and social commentators — whose cartoons have graced the columns of Israeli and international media publications for decades