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Biden can change the course of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict

By Alon Ben-Meir - posted Wednesday, 15 September 2021

New parliamentary and presidential elections Given that no election has been held by the Palestinians in over 15 years, Biden should demand that the Palestinian Authority establish an iron clad date for general elections. The election should be monitored by UN representatives to ensure that it is free and fair, and all those seeking high office must commit themselves to accept the outcome of the elections. The Palestinians are in desperate need of new leadership untainted by corruption and not wedded to prior hard positions that left no room for compromises.

Reciprocity by the Palestinians

In return for these measures that considerably benefit the Palestinians, Biden should require the Palestinians to take numerous steps to demonstrate their commitment to a peaceful solution. This includes ending any and all forms of incitement against Israel, fully collaborating with Israel on all security matters, and providing no protection to any violent Palestinian extremist.


It is understandable that Biden is preoccupied with the raging pandemic, Iran's looming nuclear threat, and daily confrontations with Republicans over climate change, voting rights, and sweeping social programs, to name a few issues. Nevertheless, he can take the above modest measures to dramatically change the course of the conflict for the sake of bringing a gradual end to the longest conflict in modern times.

As the most seasoned president, Biden understands the pitfalls of a long and protracted conflict. The war in Afghanistan provided him a glaring and painful example of how much can go wrong, yet he was still right and courageous to finally end it. Biden is right not to push for the resumption of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks, but he can demonstrate the same courage and leadership to change the course of the conflict that will eventually lead to a peaceful coexistence.

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About the Author

Dr. Alon Ben-Meir is a professor of international relations at the Center for Global Affairs at NYU. He teaches courses on international negotiation and Middle Eastern studies.

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