The Biden Administration cannot deviate from the traditional US policy approaches towards Palestinians of ‘economic peace’ and ‘peace dividends’. Therefore, few should be surprised if the new administration chooses US aid as their entry point to re-engage with the Palestinian Authority (PA) after years of marginalisation and neglect under Trump. In fact, by doing so, Biden will be pursuing a path that all his predecessors followed, and failed.
After all, over the decades US aid to the PA largely aimed to solidify the latter’s role of as a subcontractor to Israel’s occupation, making it cheaper and longer to the benefit of Israel’s economy, all while entrenching Palestinian fragmentation and denying the potential for Palestinian democracy. With a new aid package from the incoming US administration, these harmful dynamics will only solidify further and make grimmer the prospects for a true and lasting peace.
It is time to move beyond the ‘old normal’, but certainly neither the incoming US administration nor the current Palestinian political leadership are capable of or willing to move to a ‘new normal’ that might provide the basis for a just peace.
Published at LSE Middle East Centre, 15 December 2020