Palestinian leader to reportedly ask Biden to move U.S. embassy to Tel Aviv
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is reportedly thinking about asking President-elect Joe Biden to move the U.S. embassy in Israel from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv, i24 news reported on Sunday, following Biden’s victory in the U.S. presidential election on Saturday. The report was originally published in Israel Hayom.
According to the i24 report, a Palestinian Authority senior adviser named Nabil Shaath told the Israeli newspaper that President Abbas, in an effort to reverse many of the pro-Israel policies of President Donald Trump, has been secretly communicating with Biden to get him to move the embassy from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv and to rescind the recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital.
Abbas, it is worth noting, has sent a public message of congratulations to Biden like many other world leaders have already done, but only 15 hours after the race was called by many mainstream media outlets for Biden on Saturday. President Trump has yet to concede the race and has said that the election is far from over and that he will continue his battle in the courts.
Additionally, according to The Jerusalem Post, Abbas is reportedly willing to U.S.-brokered peace talks with Israel. This, Shaath noted to Israel Hayom, would require the U.S. to reopen the Palestinian Authority’s diplomatic mission in Washington, DC and to renew U.S. financial aid to Ramallah and UNWRA. Shaath added that these U.S.-brokered talks will need to start from where they left off in 2016, when President Barack Obama was in charge.
Back in a September speech to the United Nations, Abbas called for an international conference to hash out a new “genuine peace plan” between the Palestinians and Israel.
During his administration, President Trump and his team have achieved many foreign policy victories for his agenda when it came to Israel. Most notably through U.S.-negotiated deals, three countries once hostile to the State of Israel have now recognized the country and have worked to establish regular diplomatic relationships with it—the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Sudan. The deals with the UAE and Bahrain were known collectively as the Abraham Accords.
The outcome of the U.S. presidential election on Saturday has certainly left Middle East policy up in the air as Biden begins to assemble his transition team but also as Trump keeps soldiering on in his legal battle against the results.
You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.