Stephen M. Flatow
Stephen M. FlatowCourtesy

Stephen M. Flatow is President of the Religious Zionists of America (RZA) He is the father of Alisa Flatow, who was murdered in an Iranian-sponsored Palestinian terrorist attack in 1995 and the author of A Father’s Story: My Fight for Justice Against Iranian Terror. Note: The RZA is not affiliated with any American or Israeli political party.

Almost every day now, the media reports that a Palestinian Arab terrorist tries to murder Israeli Jews. Stabbings, shootings, stonings, firebombings, car-rammings. There are many additional attempts that the IDF thwarts before they become newsworthy. How is the Biden administration responding? With ‘both sides-ism’ and demands for more Israeli concessions.

But the administration knows that such a policy, if explicitly stated, would be unpopular with most Israelis as well as most Americans. So, the administration camouflages its pressure with soothing words, hoping nobody will notice that it is squeezing Israel ever harder.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke by telephone this week with Israel’s democratically-elected prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, and the Palestinian Authority’s chairman-for-life, Mahmoud Abbas. A careful look at the State Department’s characterization of the two conversations is very revealing.

The State Department’s description of Blinken’s call to Netanyahu began with the usual platitudes about U.S.-Israel friendship and regional integration. But notice the wording when it came to the question of what specific policies the Biden administration is promoting: “The Secretary reiterated continued U.S. support for policies that ensure freedom, security, and prosperity for Israelis and Palestinians alike.”

Not a word about the daily wave of Palestinian Arab terrorism against Israelis. Not a word in support of Israel’s counter-terrorism actions. Not even an endorsement of Israel’s theoretical right to take action against terrorism.

No, what the Biden administration supports are those policies which will ensure “freedom, security, and prosperity for Israelis and Palestinians alike.”

In other words, support for policies to help Israelis is linked to support for policies to help Palestinian Arabs. And how do we know just what policies the Biden administration believes will achieve that “freedom, security, and prosperity”? Read on.

Secretary Blinken himself described his call to the PA’s Abbas. In a message on X (formerly known as Twitter), Blinken began:

I had an important conversation with Palestinian Authority President Abbas. ..”

It’s interesting that Blinken didn’t use the word “important” to characterize his conversation with Israel’s prime minister. Quibbling? I don’t think so. When the State Department or the Secretary of State issue a written statement about a conversation with a foreign leader, every single word is carefully chosen, reviewed by staff members, and fine-tuned multiple times. No word is included, or excluded, by accident.

Blinken continued:

“I reiterated our support for  advancing the freedom, security, and prosperity of the Palestinian people…”

Notice who’s missing? In the conversation with Netanyahu, Blinken demanded freedom, security and prosperity for both Israelis and Palestinians. But when he spoke to Abbas, Blinken mentioned only “the Palestinian people.”

“…and for a two-state solution.”

There’s the heart of it. No matter how much terrorism the Palestinian Arabs commit, no matter how many of their Oslo obligations they violate or ignore, the Biden administration is committed to giving them a sovereign state along Israel’s old nine-miles-wide borders. (Every proposal for such a state is based on those borders, and the location of the major PA cities guarantees that’s where “Palestine” would be.)

Blinken’s final sentence:

“I also stressed our concern over the violence in the 'West Bank'.”

Classic both-sides-ism. The Palestinian Arabs perpetrate daily violence, but Secretary Blinken can’t see it. He seems to be incapable of blaming them for their own actions. He refers only to this amorphous thing called “violence in the West Bank,” which from this tweet could just as easily mean a recent surge in carjackings or spousal abuse.

If by some chance a reporter at an upcoming State Department press briefing were to ask the department spokesman why Blinken did not refer to Palestinian Arab terrorism, the spokesman would be able to say, “Yes he did, he referred to violence in the 'West Bank', everybody knows that means Palestinian terrorism.”

But of course, everybody does NOT know that. In fact, Mahmoud Abbas’s office distributed its own summary of his phone call with Blinken, and it contained no acknowledgement whatsoever that Palestinians have committed violence. Instead, it referred to “settler violence and other Israeli actions.”

The PA’s description then followed with a laundry list of demands that Abbas dictated to Blinken, including U.S. support for full-member status for “Palestine” at the United Nations, opening a PLO office in Washington, and sending funds directly to the PA, in defiance of a U.S. law which prohibits sending it funds so long as it pays salaries to terrorists.

Note that all of these PA demands go above and beyond the provisions of the Oslo accords.

Now imagine if the Israeli government, in describing the Netanyahu conversation with Blinken, dared to mention the ongoing refusal of the PA to fulfill what Oslo requires, such as eliminating terrorist groups, extraditing terrorists to Israel, and halting antisemitic incitement.

The news media would be filled with articles, op-eds and editorials falsely accusing Israel of “making new demands” and “obstructing the peace process.” Yet when the PA actually does make new demands that obstruct peace, there is dead silence.

Double standards, coddling the PA, and squeezing Israel have all become routine—and Secretary Blinken’s phone calls this week served only to encourage those disturbing trends.