U.S. Exploring Recognition of a Palestinian State

U.S. Exploring Recognition of a Palestinian State January 31, 2024

ISRAEL PALESTINE MAP
ChrisO’s modification of 2004 UN Map of Israel

President Joe Biden has always been a big supporter of the State of Israel. This became even more evident when Hamas’s attack of Israel on October 7th last year resulted in Israel’s war against Hamas in the Gaza Strip, which it governs. President Biden immediately went to Israel to meet with Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, give him a photo-op hug, and affirm his support for Israel’s war effort. But this initial Biden reaction ignored stating any sympathy for Palestinians who have been disenfranchised ever since the founding of Israel in 1948 in which many escaped the path of war and were never permitted to return to their homes and lands. Then the Six-Day War of 1967 resulted in Israel gaining occupation of more supposedly “Palestinian land”–especially the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

The reestablished nation of Israel soon became a member of the United Nations. Israel as “occupier” of the four parcels of land, which it gained possession of in 1967 war, was obligated to return them due to a UN charter principle. Israel did return the Sinai Peninsula to Egypt in 1982 and the Gaza Strip to Palestinians in 2005. But Israel all these years Israel has refused to return the more significant West Bank to Palestinians. And it has seemed opposed to the creation of Palestinian state, which Palestinians have always been demanding should occur in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

All this time, the U.S. has been the #1 ally of Israel and has for decades given  it foreign aid ever year amounting to about $3 billion, much of it in the form of armaments. Plus, the U.S. has always voted in the UN in opposition to the creation of a Palestinian state.

I have always been a supporter of the existence of the State of Israel. However, since 1973 I also have been a supporter of the formation of a Palestinian state in the Levant. But I’ve believed that the traditional two-state solution advocated by the Palestinians and most nations of the world–locating it in the West Bank and Gaza Strip–has always been a non-starter. Why? I have several reason which I lay out in my book, Palestine Is Coming: The Revival of Ancient Philistia (1990). One is that it leaves Israel somewhat defenseless in the north, where there would be only about nine miles of width between Tel Aviv on the coast and the western border of the West Bank. Another reason is that the West Bank represents the very heartland of ancient Israel, it coinciding with ancient Judea and Samaria. Israeli Jews who are religious have believed strongly in securing their “ancestral land” as part of the Jewish state, which I do not oppose.

So, several weeks after Israel’s war with Hamas in Gaza, President Biden began to complain about the mounting Palestinian casualties in Gaza, which authorities there now claim consist of about 26,000 mortalities. And Biden also said he and his administration favor the creation of a Palestinian state after the war is ended. But about two weeks ago. Netanyahu responded by saying he and his administration were opposed to the creation of a Palestinian state. He had never stated this publicly before. Moreover, it makes him look like he was insincere during those years Israel was involved in the peace process and he was prime minister.

President Biden is now in a political fight in the U.S. against former President Donald Trump due to the upcoming presidential election next November. Biden has been highly criticized both at home and especially abroad for his previous carte blanche support of Israel in this Gaza War, especially due to the disproportionate deaths suffered by the two sides. Hamas killed about 1,200 Jews on October 7th compared to 26,000 reported Palestinians that have been killed. I think this shows how the U.S. position on Israel throughout the past decades has been somewhat flawed.

How so? First of all, I do not think the U.S. should have been giving Israel $3B in aid per year without attaching to it some requirements that Israel must meet. One is that Israel should always have been sincerely involved in the peace process to solve the ongoing Israel-Palestinian conflict. Another is that Israel should not have allowed the Israeli settlements in the West Bank, which was against UN principles. These failures by the U.S. have further angered most Palestinians and many Arabs in the Middle East. And it has surely had something to do with the creation of multiple, militant, terrorist groups which have attacked Israel and U.S. military facilities in the U.S., besides the 9-11 attack by Al Qaeda that resulting in about 3,000 American deaths. Then there is the increasing antisemitism in the world, which I think has been caused somewhat by Israel’s intransigence in settling this conflict.

Today, it was reported that U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken–who is Jewish and I like–has directed his State Department to conduct a review of policy options on U.S. and international recognition of a Palestinian state after the Gaza War, which, as stated above, is in strongly in conflict with Netanyahu. If this happens, it would be a big and good change, IMO, in U.S. policy. But I think it also should include discussion of possible alternative proposals for the location of a Palestinian state compared to the traditional one.

Saudi Arabia, which is the politically-leading Arab nation in the Middle East, was in the process of entering into relations with Israel. That has always been taboo in the Arab League. Saudi Arabia now says that it has put those negotiations with Israel on hold and that it will not carry through with them, or participate financially in any rebuilding of the Gaza Strip after the war, unless there is an “irrevocable” pathway toward the creation of a Palestinian state.

But if a Palestinian state is ever created in the Gaza Strip and West Bank, or a portion of the latter, I state in my book that it will never succeed. Therefore, I am doubtful that it will ever happen. Rather, I show in my book that I believe certain Bible prophecies, starting with Isaiah 11.14, indicate that there will be a Palestinian state, but it will be located only in the coastal plain as a very expanded Gaza Strip, and Israel will annex all of the West Bank.

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