Netanyahu and Biden
Netanyahu and BidenPhoto: GPO Video

Larry Gordonis Editor-in-Chief of the Five Towns Jewish Times.

It is the standard end of a Democrat presidential administration, particularly a flawed and deeply failed one like that of President Biden, to focus on Middle East policy in order to say they scored a foreign policy victory, even if that illusive achievement is anything but a success.

And the end of the Biden administration’s first term in office is no different from all the others. There are, however, some profound differences this time around as we are all aware.

For one thing, Biden’s senior advisors are becoming increasingly alarmed that his support for Israel’s war in Gaza is risking his re-election prospects, primarily with young voters. This concern is also directed at Democratic members of Congress who are up for re-election this year. In a recent call to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on January 19, U.S. officials reported that Biden urged him not to allow the conflict to drag on indefinitely. He has an election to win, after all.

So here is the first obstacle:

There is no way Israel can successfully conduct a war with Hamas if their main consideration is how their actions will impact Democratic politicians’ re-election chances.

Based on that skewed, twisted logic, the U.S. is pressuring Netanyahu to abandon his strategy of obliterating Hamas, which means the incredible sacrifices the Israelis have made could be for nought if Hamas is allowed to rebuild and regroup. If such a scenario were to play out, it is only a question of time before the Gaza-based terror group starts firing missiles once again into Israeli civilian centers.

At the same time, there is a lot to be considered, and it is imperative that Israel deliberates with clarity, acuity, and with a clear vision of the future how they will deal with their lifelong enemies.

The Biden Administration has stated the Palestinian Arabs should be governed by a “revitalized” Palestinian Authority, which currently maintains quasi control over parts of the West Bank, an idea opposed by Netanyahu. Both he and the U.S. have stated that Hamas should have no role in Gaza after the war. While it might appear that Netanyahu talks as if he is willing to support Biden’s aimless vision of a Palestinian Arab state, on further examination, it becomes clear that this is the only approach that will be the best way to make sure there is never such an eventuality.

In other words—come out and announce the creation of an independent Arab state of Palestine as a sure way to make sure it will never happen. This is a challenging and difficult policy to attract a consensus around given your majority coalition consists of National Religious MKs like Itamar Ben-Gvir and Bezalel Smotrich, who have stated their firm and unequivocal opposition to a reckless ceasefire deal in Gaza, or any mention of a two-state solution.

According to Netanyahu, he is only willing to enter into direct negotiations with Palestinian Arab leadership once relations are normalized with Saudi Arabia. That is the so-called quid pro quo that Israel was close to establishing. That is, establishing diplomatic and economic relations with the Saudis without dealing with the Palestinian Arabs—but then October 7 occurred and that changed everything.

But this potential change of direction is not just about the aftermath of the October 7 attack, or even the so-called “day after” plan in the Israel-Hamas conflict. It is about the failed performance of the Biden administration over three years, heading now into the home stretch, and a fateful election for the country.

According to reports from senior officials at the White House—no doubt directed by former President Barack Obama—the Biden plan is to recognize the existence of a Palestinian Arab state even though Israel is adamantly opposed and has stated repeatedly that any type of action like this will be unilaterally rejected.

That President Biden and his fumbling foreign policy team led by Secretary of State Antony Blinken can make this type of declaration is consistent with the way the administration and its policies have been run over the last three years.

-For example, inflation is way up and no one can afford food, yet Biden says inflation is down and prices are coming down.

-The president and his Homeland Security team have said for three years that the southern border is secure while just the opposite is true. Over ten million illegals have entered the U.S. since Biden took office and cities like Chicago, Denver, and New York are on the verge of collapse as a result.

-Biden says that Ukraine is in the midst of defeating Russia, but just the opposite is true and eventually Russia will overthrow Ukraine and set them back decades. But the Biden people believe that as long as they can keep pumping billions into the Zelenskyy coffers, the war makes sense.

Considering these upside-down, failed policies, why should anyone be surprised that Biden takes the initiative to recognize a Palestinian Arab state that has been on the back burner for a half century with no progress?

If Bibi manages to reverse course and prevail on his coalition partners to proceed with negotiations with the Palestinian Arabs, the move may be a diplomatic checkmate that will make it impossible for the Palestinian Authority and their crooked supporters like Turkey, China, Russia, South Africa, India, and others to be able to reach an agreement. This approach is referred to as a “two-state solution,” but we are well aware that this approach is more like a two-state delusion.

If Israel with Biden’s coaxing can establish diplomatic relations with the Saudis, then they gain significantly on many levels. Saudi Arabia and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud are a big deal in the Arab Middle East. The Saudis are the wealthiest of the Gulf States, and MBS, as he is known, is looking to the future unlike many other Arab leaders, who have their feet firmly planted in the past.

Of late, the Saudis have developed good relations with both China and Russia, and have even established diplomatic relations with Iran. The Iranian and Saudi sects of Islam conflict with each other, and though things may be quiet in the present, MBS does not trust the mullahs in Tehran.

Bin Salman, unlike the Obama-run Biden White House, does not want a Palestinian Arab state as much as he wants the Palestinian Arabs and Hamas out of his way so the Gulf States can finally move into the 21st century.

From an Israeli perspective, it is a smart move for Netanyahu to agree to direct negotiations without pre-conditions with the P.A. This is not a reward for the vicious terror attack of October 7, when so many innocent civilians were savagely butchered. More than anything, this requires the Palestinian Arabs to agree that Israel is a free and independent Jewish state. This is a sticking point that a tired and backward-looking leader like Mahmoud Abbas cannot agree to and remain alive.

If the gambit delivers a partnership with the Saudis and the extension of Donald Trump’s Abraham Accords, then the peace process has moved forward in a good and positive direction.

Obama-Biden wants to be remembered as the tandem that finally delivered an independent Palestinian Arab State, which to them means Jews moving out of their homes in Judea and Samaria and dividing Jerusalem. Bibi can say that he is willing to negotiate or discuss these matters if he can manage to contain himself from bursting out laughing.

Whatever course these talks take (if they even start) will completely fizzle out and disappear once Biden and the Democrats are a thing of the past, which seems to be the direction we are moving in.

After half a century of on-again, off-again negotiations, the Biden administration is getting ready to announce the U.S. recognition of a Palestinian Arab state in the next few weeks. As far as the president and his team are concerned, we might as well begin this stage of the process with mistruths and deceptions.

That is how everything else, from the economy, to the border, to inflation has been handled these past three years.

That’s the Biden formula: failing and saying things are great. With less than a year to go, why change now?