Blincoln’s visit in the Middle East: “What can he offer?” | Conflict News
US President Joe Biden has sent his top diplomat to the Middle East a few days after the Egyptian agent’s attack Reach a ceasefire Ended the 11-day deadly Israeli bombing of the Gaza Strip and launched rockets at Israel.
U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Brinken arrived in Tel Aviv, Israel, on Tuesday for a four-day visit. During this period, he will hold talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. He will then travel to Ramallah in the occupied West Bank to meet with Mahmoud Abbas, Chairman of the Palestinian Authority, in order to “consolidate” the ceasefire.
Blink will travel to neighboring Egypt and Jordan this week to “discuss the follow-up actions necessary to consolidate the ceasefire and reduce the risk of further conflict in the coming months.”
On the occasion of this visit, the Biden administration has exerted increasing pressure on the country, demanding that Israel be held responsible for the violation of Palestinian rights, and its support and criticism of the United States has increased. Arms sales The government of Israel.
But experts say that Brinken’s trip to the Middle East was mainly for conflict resolution, not conflict resolution. This shows that the Biden administration has largely adhered to the decades-old U.S. foreign policy manual. Critics consider it a failure. Up.
“The Brinken and Biden administrations have no answer to the Palestine-Israel conflict. They don’t want to be attracted by tasks they consider impossible to accomplish,” said Joshua Landis, director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma.
In short, Landis told Al Jazeera that the purpose of Brinken’s visit was to “try to eliminate this situation,” and the Obama administration’s strategy appeared to be “investing in the problem.”
“He hopes that the next war in Gaza will break out under the attention of others. Then… he can pay some money for it, promise reconstruction, persuade Israel not to do anything really stupid, maybe slow down the settlements, or at least make It becomes less obvious,” Landis said.
“This is what he can do: continue to do this for his mother, provide some money to the Palestinians, and then buy them for another four years.”
Biden has previously stated that in the more urgent challenges in the early days of his administration, such as the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan and Iran for nuclear agreement negotiations, the conflict between Israel and Palestine is not a priority.
However, the Israeli attack on Gaza forced the US President to resolve it.Biden and his senior officials have repeatedly emphasized in the past two weeks that Washington firmly supports Israel’s “right to self-defense” and even Stop the attempt The UN Security Council has called for a ceasefire as the violence in Gaza intensifies.
Since the ceasefire was reached on Thursday, the US government has been touting its approach, saying that behind-the-scenes diplomacy has helped cement the deal.But critics questioned this, saying Biden Need to take a firmer stand Work with Israel to resolve the root causes of the conflict, such as Israel’s continued occupation and its 14-year blockade of Gaza.
A State Department official told reporters in the background that the main purpose of Brinken’s visit is to ensure that the ceasefire between Israel and Hamas is maintained. The Palestinians controlled the enclave of the two million besieged people and improved the “quality”. people’s lives”.
This includes working with the United Nations and the Palestinian Authority to bring reconstruction assistance into the Gaza Strip-avoiding Hamas, which the United States considers to be a “terrorist organization” and has no direct dialogue with it.
“We want them [Hamas] Understand that if there is assistance, it will be the way to do this…We believe that doing so will set us on the way forward, and we ultimately hope to reintegrate into the Palestinian Authority in Gaza to some extent,” the official said.
William Lawrence, a former American diplomat and professor of international affairs at American University, said that he did not want to talk about the “peace process” during his trip to Brinken, because “discuss…then disagreements on the peace process may themselves threaten a ceasefire.”
Lawrence told Al Jazeera that he hopes that the Biden administration will give priority to “finding ways to enhance the rights and welfare of the Palestinians in the peace process”, adding that the US approach has changed.
He said: “The Biden administration talked about the reciprocity between Palestinian rights and welfare and Israeli rights and welfare, which changed the attitude of the United States to some extent, even though the United States tends to support the State of Israel.”
“I think this visit will further clarify this new argument that is vital to the lives of Palestinians.”
“The wedding is long”
Imad Harb, head of research and analysis at the Arab Center in Washington, DC, said Brinken’s visit was a positive step, as was the United States’ efforts to rebuild hundreds of buildings in Gaza. Damage and destruction In the recent Israeli attack.
“I got there in the blink of an eye, which means that the government really wants to know how this thing develops, but on what basis? What is he going to provide? What can he provide?” He said.
Habu told Al Jazeera that core issues such as Palestinian self-determination and national rights must be resolved-but he questioned whether Brinken had the right to pressure Benjamin Netanyahu to do anything the Israeli prime minister did not want to do.
Another key unknown is whether the Biden administration has formulated a plan after the reconstruction phase. “We did provide materials and assistance to try to solve the problem, but what will happen afterwards?” Habu said.
“How does the government continue to talk about [a] The two-state solution when we know that Israel has basically closed [that option] As it continues to occupy, it continues to establish illegal settlements… If we continue to talk about the two-state solution, we are just doing nothing – we are just repeating words, words and words. “
Sarah Leah Whitson, the Democratic Executive Director of the U.S. think tank Arab World Now (DAWN), said that Brinken’s visit was “an attempt to pretend that there is a two-state solution, and there is a peace process. , They will try to revive”.
She told Al Jazeera: “It’s really like attending a wedding after the wedding.”
For many years, the Palestinians have stated that it is impossible to establish a two-state solution, in which an independent Palestinian state will be established side by side with Israel because Israel continues to occupy Palestinian land and there is more than one country. 600,000 Jewish settlers In the occupied territories.
Whitson added, however, that recent speeches by Biden and other US officials mentioned the need for Palestinians to enjoy equal rights. She said this marked a subtle realization of the fact that a two-state solution is no longer feasible.
“What needs to be done is that the Biden administration must act like a democratic government, a transparent government, and a thoughtful government to deal with the reality that I think is struggling: our attitude towards Israel is failing and harmful.”