A possible attempt by the outgoing US Ambassador to Israel - David Friedman - to preserve the specific two-state solution proposed in former President Trump’s Vision for Peace (Vision) – lasted about two hours - before being shredded in the garbage bin of history by the newly-elected President Biden.
This is the only conclusion one can reasonably draw after a second U.S. Ambassador to Israel page – in French - headed "U.S. Ambassador to Israel, the West Bank and Gaza" – was published on Twitter at about the same time as President Biden’s swearing in ceremony was beginning (See images beow).
Republican Senator Rick Scott of Florida blamed the new Biden administration for the Embassy’s new Twitter page:
“The Biden Admin title change for the @USAmbIsrael shows the Democrats' hostility to Israel”
Other comments similarly blamed the Biden administration.
These criticisms seem misplaced – given the timing of the second page’s appearance on Twitter.
The second page was not a forgery – as a spokesman for the American embassy toldThe Times of Israel:
“This is not a policy change or indication of future policy change."
The spokesman was simultaneously confirming that Trump’s two-state solution was still America’s policy objective in the 'West Bank' and Gaza:
- A Palestinian Arab State in Gaza and about 70% of the 'West Bank' - plus an area currently within Israel’s sovereign borders and
- Israeli sovereignty being extended in the remaining 30% of the 'West Bank'
That Friedman - not the incoming Biden administration – authorised this second Embassy Twitter page - is further supported by the fact that Friedman posted his final Tweet - as Ambassador - on both Embassy pages:
“Signing off now, moving to @DavidM_Friedman. Thank you President Trump for the honor of a lifetime. Thank you @MikePence,@MikePompeo,@SteveMnuchin1,Jared Kushner,@AviBerkow45,@Robertcobrienand @LighstoneA…”
The Jewish Chronicle also reported:
“In a further comment, the US Embassy said: "It was an inadvertent edit, and not reflective of a policy change."
An “inadvertent edit” it certainly was not.
Someone in the Embassy had created the second Embassy page – pre-Biden - and someone in the new 2 hours-old Biden administration had apparently directed the Embassy – after Friedman had left - to de-activate that page. Representing Trump’s peace plan as American current policy going forward under the Biden administration had come to a crushing halt.
A Washington Post article in August 2020 summed up Biden and the Democrats position on Trump’s version of a two-state solution:
“The Democrats, led by presidential candidate Joe Biden, are determined to change course should they come to power. There are open discussions within the caucus about conditioning the billions in aid given to Israel on the basis of its actions. Biden and virtually every Democrat in Congress were vocal in their opposition to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s now-stalled plans to start annexing parts of the West Bank.”
Any attempt by Israel to extend its sovereignty unilaterally into any part of Judea and Samaria (aka 'West Bank') – incorrectly termed “annexation” – will assuredly be opposed by President Biden.
Trump’s Vision acknowledged the historic and biblical right of the Jewish people to reconstitute the Jewish National Home in the 'West Bank' – recognized and legally authorized by the 1922 League of Nations Mandate for Palestine - and preserved under article 80 of the United Nations Charter.
A jointly-appointed US-Israel Mapping Committee - headed by Friedman – had failed – after 11 months - to produce a detailed subdivision of the 'West Bank' embracing the concept of a two-state solution proposed by Trump - before Friedman’s retirement as Ambassador.
Closing the Embassy’s second Twitter page signals such a map will never be released under President Biden’s administration.
Biden has effectively declared Trump’s peace plan dead and buried.
Author’s note: The cartoon – commissioned exclusively by the author —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. His cartoons can be viewed at Drybonesblog