When President Biden created a senior position in the State Dept. for John Kerry, former Secretary of State under President Obama, it was an indication that Biden’s foreign policy might look a lot like President Obama’s. In the Middle East, that is concerning and recent comments from Sec. of State Blinken show we have not learned from history.
In the last months of John Kerry’s tenure as Secretary of State under President Obama, he infamously said that there would never be any progress toward peace in the Middle East unless they made progress on giving the Palestinians their own country, the so-called “Two State Solution”. Four years later, the Trump Administration was able to broker peace treaties between Israel and four Muslim countries, three of which were in the Middle East President Trump moved the US Embassy to Jerusalem and worked directly with other Arab nations in the region on common goals, such as combatting Iranian expansion and funding of terrorism. All of that sent a message that the Palestinians did not have a veto over peace with Israel. That approach seemed to pay off in the historic peace agreements of last year.
Unfortunately, President Biden has not learned from recent history. Sec. of State Antony Blinken said recently that the two-state solution “Ultimately it is the only way to ensure Israel’s future…” In doing so, Biden is going back to the failed Middle East policies of President Obama, whose tenure was characterized by alienating longtime allies so much that both Israel and Saudi Arabian leaders made visits to Moscow for help in the region, moves unthinkable only years earlier. Now, after formal peace treaties with Israel and three of its neighbors in the region, the Biden Administration is going back to the failed policy of the past.
A two-state solution may be part of an eventual peace structure in the Middle East. But to make everything else conditional on that, and by doing so to give Palestinians (and their terror groups, such as Hamas) control over anything that happens is a mistake. Events of last year prove that, if one only is willing to observe.