The Biden administration is reportedly standing in the way of a peace agreement between Israel and Saudi Arabia by demanding that Israel offer more concessions to the Palestinians — which not even the Saudis have demanded.
As Breitbart News has reported, U.S. President Joe Biden met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last month at the United Nations and encouraged Israeli-Saudi peace talks, without a Palestinian state as a condition.
That same week, Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman appeared to back away from his government’s earlier insistence on a Palestinian state, saying he merely wanted an improvement in Palestinians’ living conditions.
That seemed to indicate that talks between Israel and Saudi Arabia were indeed serious, as Palestinians — still led by antisemite Mahmoud Abbas — are not ready for a state, nor could Netanyahu’s right-wing government allow one.
The one sticking point appeared to be the contours of a U.S. defense agreement with Saudi Arabia, and whether the U.S. would agree to allow nuclear enrichment on Saudi soil, which Israel appeared to accept in return for full peace.
But a report Monday in Israel Hayom suggests that the Biden administration is risking the entire deal by insisting Israel agree to a new Palestinian consulate in Jerusalem, which Biden tried to push earlier in his administration.
Such a consulate would effectively divide Jerusalem between Israel and the Palestinians, reversing U.S. policy as established by President Donald Trump, and breaking promises by presidents of both parties not to divide the city.
Israel Hayom reported:
There is growing frustration among Israeli and Saudi officials over what is perceived to be an over-emphasis by Washington on having Jerusalem make concessions to the Palestinians as a means of moving forward in the normalization process that would see a trilateral agreement between the three countries, Israel Hayom has learned.
Sources familiar with the ongoing talks have told Israel Hayom that the Biden administration’s focus on this matter has had the effect of hampering the potential momentum and has impeded would-be breakthroughs.
As Israel Hayom reported several days ago, the US asked Israel to allow the reopening of an independent US consulate general in Jerusalem that would effectively serve as a diplomatic mission to the Palestinians. Additionally, pressure is mounting on Israel to increase economic support for the Palestinian Authority.
The Abraham Accords, which led to a series of agreements between Israel and Arab states in 2020, succeeded by denying the Palestinians a veto over other peace deals. Biden appears to be returning to the former approach.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the new biography, Rhoda: ‘Comrade Kadalie, You Are Out of Order’. He is also the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.
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