Biden Admin Foreign Policy Jake Johnson Palestine

After Visit, Palestinians Say Biden Presidency Is ‘Like the Trump Years With a Smile’

"There must immediately be a settlement freeze, in accordance with international law and resolutions to preserve the right of the Palestinian people to their independent state," said one Palestinian official.
A Palestinian protester carries a placard during a demonstration in the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah on July 14, 2022. (Photo: Abbas Momani/AFP via Getty Images)

By Jake Johnson / Common Dreams

Palestinians offered a dour assessment of U.S. President Joe Biden’s policy agenda and track record thus far in the wake of his brief visit to Israeli-occupied territory last week, with one official describing the administration as “like the Trump years with a smile.”

Biden’s trips to East Jerusalem and Bethlehem on Friday were met with protests from rights groups and ordinary Palestinians who decried the administration’s refusal to break substantively from its predecessors and condemn Israel’s deadly military aggression and unlawful occupation of Palestinian land.

During his visit, Biden met with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas but “did not criticize Israel for expanding settlements, some of which resemble sprawling suburbs, in occupied territory that the Palestinians want for a future state,” the Associated Press reports.

While giving lip service to a two-state solution and expressing his commitment to bringing Palestinians and Israelis “closer together,” Biden said that “the ground is not ripe at this moment to restart negotiations.”

On Sunday, Mohammad Shtayyeh, prime minister of the Palestinian National Authority, responded that “if, as the U.S. president said, the [two-state] solution is currently out of reach, then there must immediately be a settlement freeze, in accordance with international law and resolutions to preserve the right of the Palestinian people to their independent state.”

Biden vowed during his Middle East trip to provide $300 million in aid to Palestinians, including millions in funding for hospitals in the besieged territories. However, as The Guardian noted, such pledges “have done little to assuage Palestinian skepticism that the U.S. no longer has an appetite for their cause: Biden said twice this week that he does not think peace is possible ‘in the near term.'”

“Nor did he mention his unfulfilled pledge to reopen a U.S. consulate in east Jerusalem, which served as a de facto embassy to the Palestinians before President Donald Trump closed it three years ago,” the newspaper added.

The U.S. president also didn’t heed human rights groups’ calls to cut off the supply of arms to the Israeli military, which has used American-made weaponry to commit atrocities and destroy aid projects in the occupied Palestinian territories.

In May 2021, as the Israeli military bombarded Gaza, the Biden administration approved the sale of $735 million worth of so-called “precision-guided weapons” to Israel.

“The lack of accountability for the government of Israel’s serious violations, including war crimes and crimes against humanity, is perpetuated by U.S. policy,” said Paul O’Brien, executive director of Amnesty International USA. “Instead of providing cover for impunity, the U.S. must support independent, thorough, and credible investigations into these crimes, such as that opened by the International Criminal Court.”

Jake Johnson
Jake Johnson

Jake Johnson is a staff writer for Common Dreams.

4 comments

  1. Mass murderer Biden fits in well with the globe’s other mass murderers Yair Lapid, Muhammad bin Salman, would anyone expect anything other from a US president whether democrat or republican. They are the same war parties with the only difference one the Republican is Pro Life which means against abortion but for guns, war, armaments, capital punishment, destruction of the environment, nuclear weapons, white supremacy the same as the democrats. The only thing America exports to the world is arms, war, terror and its own arrogant exceptionalism the mythology that it is somehow a city on a hill a light to the nations. Yes, but of what not to be. A government that cannot even care for its own people yet spends trillions on the arms industry and supports dictators and human rights monsters all over the globe.
    No surprise all this violence returns home! As Malcolm said, “Just the chickens coming home to roost!”

    1. fits in well with the Palestinian terrorists like Arafat and Hamas who have sacrificed the welfare of their people in a bullshit, manipulative “conflict” with Israel to get their land back…what crap! forget about the land of your ancestors and wake up to reality! maybe their Islamic brothers might give them land for a new future…oh yeah, Jordanians saw to it that plan didn’t work!

  2. bullshit…illegal occupation my ass…Israel has contended with security threats since the UN vote created the Jewish state…any expansion of Israel has been the results of war or creating more security by building settlements….Palestinians would’ve had their own state for 65 years by now if they accepted the UN vote…now any state they get will be significantly smaller! so quit the Israel bashing…they would all be dead if the Palestinians had their way…but they don’t!

  3. Jake, Biden is absolutely useless, which is why I use this as one of my Portland demonstration /protest signs — which I also shouted-out and sang to as many visiting Governors Visiting Maine:

    Bye Bye Byeden, the Empire’s got you now”

    Bye Bye Byeden, you’re a real cow-ARD”

    Sung to the tune of Ann-Margret in “Bye Bye Birdie” 1963

    https://duckduckgo.com/?t=ffab&q=bye+bye+birdie&atb=v187-1&iax=videos&ia=videos&iai=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3D2wKoVAQkGLc

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