President Biden’s support for the creation of an additional Arab State between Israel and Jordan constitutes his clear rejection of a Saudi plan to merge Jordan, Gaza and part of the 'West Bank' into one territorial entity to be called “The Hashemite Kingdom of Palestine” (“The Saudi Solution”)
Biden’s decision to pursue the failed policy adopted by President Obama and Biden as Vice President between 2011 and 2016 (“Obama/Biden two-state solution”) was confirmed in Bethlehem on 15 July:
“Today, President Joseph R. Biden Jr. met with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. President Biden reaffirmed the enduring ties between the Palestinian and American peoples and underscored his commitment to a two-state solution on the 1967 lines with land swaps mutually agreed by the Israelis and Palestinians. He also highlighted the importance of direct negotiations leading to an independent, sovereign, viable, and contiguous Palestinian state alongside the State of Israel, both enjoying secure and recognized borders, allowing the two peoples to live side-by-side in peace and security.”
Biden made this specific commitment even though admitting on arriving in Israel two days earlier:
"The two-state solution is still the best way to ensure peace and democracy for Israelis and Palestinians; however, I don't see a near horizon for this solution."
Biden’s refusal to consider or even comment on the Saudi Solution since its publication six weeks ago in a Saudi Royal Family-owned news outlet – was replicated when Biden held meetings on 16 July with:
- Saudi Arabia’s King Salman
- King Salman’s son and successor Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman in what was described as an “extended working session” and
- The leaders of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)
In none of those meetings was the Saudi Solution raised or discussed – as the White House:
Joint Statement by Biden and the GCC
make very clear.
Biden’s return to the Obama/Biden two-state solution enunciated by President Obama on 19 May 2011 is unfathomable:
“What America and the international community can do is to state frankly what everyone knows -- a lasting peace will involve two states for two peoples: Israel as a Jewish state and the homeland for the Jewish people, and the state of Palestine as the homeland for the Palestinian people, each state enjoying self-determination, mutual recognition, and peace.
"So while the core issues of the conflict must be negotiated, the basis of those negotiations is clear: a viable Palestine, a secure Israel. The United States believes that negotiations should result in two states, with permanent Palestinian borders with Israel, Jordan, and Egypt, and permanent Israeli borders with Palestine. We believe the borders of Israel and Palestine should be based on the 1967 lines with mutually agreed swaps, so that secure and recognized borders are established for both states. The Palestinian people must have the right to govern themselves, and reach their full potential, in a sovereign and contiguous state.”
With no horizon in sight for achieving this solution – Biden is ensuring the 100-years-old unresolved conflict between Jews and Arabs will indefinitely continue to exact its toll of human lives and suffering as the following diagram so graphically illustrates:
Jordan-Israel negotiations on the other hand could see the Saudi Solution successfully achieved in six months by redrawing the existing international border between Jordan and Israel – finally completing the original two-state solution first contemplated by the League of Nations when adopting the Mandate for Palestine on 24 July 1922:
- Hashemite Kingdom of Palestine: exercising sovereignty in about 80% of Mandatory Palestine and
- Israel: exercising sovereignty in the remaining 20%.
Rejecting the Saudi Solution will have unpleasant consequences for the US-Saudi relationship and the US economy during Biden’s remaining term as President.
David Singeris an Australian lawyer who is active in Zionist community organizations in that country. He founded the "Jordan is Palestine" Committee in 1979.
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