Two years ago, the Trump administration cut aid and imposed diplomatic restrictions on the Palestinian Authority after it refused to stop engaging in violence and financing terrorism.
During an interview last week, former Vice President Biden promised that he will reverse those policies if elected in November and resume funding to Palestinian Arabs, the Daily Wire reported.
“A priority now for the cause of Israeli-Palestinian peace should be resuming our dialogue with the Palestinians and pressing Israel not to take actions that make a two-state solution impossible,” Biden told the Jewish Telegraphic Agency on May 6.
“I will reopen the U.S. consulate in East Jerusalem, find a way to reopen the PLO’s diplomatic mission in Washington, and resume the decades-long economic and security assistance efforts to the Palestinians that the Trump Administration stopped,” he continued.
Trump ties to Israel remain strong
The actions pledged by Biden would represent a substantial change from the way President Donald Trump has handled American relations with both Israel and the Palestinians.
In September of 2018, The Washington Post reported that the Trump administration shut down a diplomatic mission in Washington, D.C. operated by the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO), a group that has a long history of engaging in and facilitating terrorism.
“The United States will always stand with our friend and ally, Israel,” the Wall Street Journal quoted then-Secretary of State John Bolton as saying at the time.
“The Trump administration will not keep the office open when the Palestinians refuse to take steps to start direct and meaningful negotiations with Israel,” he continued.
Commitment to thwarting terrorism
Earlier that year, Trump also signed the Taylor Force Act into law. The legislation was named for Taylor Force, an American veteran who was murdered by Palestinian terrorists while he was visiting the West Bank, Fox News reported.
Under the legislation’s provisions, American aid to the Palestinians is made contingent upon the secretary of State certifying that “the Palestinian Authority, the Palestine Liberation Organization, and any successor or affiliated organizations” are “taking credible steps to end acts of violence against Israeli citizens and United States citizens.”
The act also requires those organizations to “have terminated payments for acts of terrorism against Israeli citizens and United States citizens to any individual, after being fairly tried, who has been imprisoned for such acts of terrorism and to any individual who died committing such acts of terrorism, including to a family member of such individuals.”
Whether Biden ever has the chance to undo everything the Trump administration has achieved in this most volatile part of the globe remains to be seen.