Anticipating the end of the Trump era, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has begun moving to ingratiate himself with the Biden camp. After spending the good part of the last two years refusing to engage with Israel or the United States, Abbas has suddenly done an about-face and announced that the Palestinian Authority will resume security arrangements with Israel and accept tax revenues collected by Israel on behalf of the PA from Palestinians living in Israeli-controlled areas.

Abbas has also indicated to Biden aides that he is prepared to revise the PA program of subsidizing families of Palestinian terrorists who murdered or maimed Israelis (and Americans) and are incarcerated in Israeli jails or dead. This latter practice led the Trump administration to suspend much of the U.S. funding of the Palestinian Authority. (To be sure, Abbass is saying something very different to Palestinians in Arabic.)


Abbas has also recently called upon Palestinians to end their public criticism of the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and the Sudan over the normalization agreements they recently concluded with Israel.

Hopefully, if Biden becomes president, he will see right through all of this. But Abbas could well have been heartened by some tentative major Biden national security appointments. His choices for secretary of state and national security adviser have come straight from the ranks of the Democratic foreign policy establishment of the Obama years that espouses a faux “evenhandedness” in U.S. dealings with Israel and the Palestinians. This “evenhandedness” pressures Israel for ever-increasing concessions to the weaker Palestinians and is joined at the hip with the discredited and counterproductive two-state solution Abbas claims to support. It also encourages Palestinian recalcitrance.

As Biden rounds out his team in anticipation of succeeding President Trump, the direction he plans to take will become more apparent. We hope Abbas will be sorely disappointed – for the sake of both the security interests of both United States and Israel.


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