While speaking at the United Nations Security Council (UNSC), the acting Ambassador of the United States (US) to the UN stated that President Joe Biden’s Middle East (ME) policy “will be to support a mutually agreed, two-state solution.” Nonetheless, the two-state solution can only work if Biden chooses to undo the four years of policy decisions that do not leave any possibility of a two-state solution. Maybe, the opening up of diplomatic channels, restoring US assistance programmes that support development plans and humanitarian aid to Palestinians are attempts to reset from Trump’s policies. However, these actions will have a gradual yet unsubstantial effect, unlike the sweeping and un-thoughtful decisions of Trump that caused irreparable loss to the Palestinian cause.
Little will change if the so-called reset does not start with moving the US embassy back to Tel Aviv from Jerusalem. Undoubtedly, the Palestinians will continue paying for “Europe’s guilty Christian conscience,” as long as President Joe Biden keeps viewing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Perhaps, the biggest and the only difference in rhetoric so far is that Biden at least mentions a Palestinian state, unlike Trump who never spoke of one. While it is safe to assume that the new President’s language and theatrics will be softer than Trump’s, the indications tell us that he is not willing to strike an altogether different path.
The traditional closeness of the US with Israel is the most significant reason for Palestinians marginalisation and collective misery. The Biden administration must be as proactive as the Trump administration was, albeit in the opposite direction. Otherwise, the old reality—with rights of Palestinians abused and their right to self-determination quashed under the occupation of Apartheid Israel—will not change.