Nearly three years ago, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas took the extraordinary step of ending all negotiations with U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration, owing to its alleged pro-Israel bias. Under President-elect Joe Biden, the Palestinian leadership is looking forward to getting back to the negotiating table. At the top of their agenda will be an end to Israel’s construction of settlements on Palestinian-claimed land in the occupied territories.
The Trump administration’s alleged bias in favor of Israel could not have been more blatant. Those who led the “peace process” — such as Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and the U.S. ambassador to Israel, David Friedman — have all publicly supported Israeli settlement building and purported violations of Palestinian human rights.
Not surprisingly, the so-called peace plan this team devised is said to have given Israel virtually everything it wanted, while offering no concessions to the Palestinians. Instead, the Trump administration attempted to buy Palestinians’ acquiescence — or, more accurate, surrender — with promises of investment. Rather than submit, Abbas broke off discussions with the United States — a remarkable decision when one considers that, in the 1980s, the Palestinians were pleading with the Americans to hold direct talks with their leaders.