In a recent address, US President Joe Biden underlined the importance of a two-state solution in the wake of the Gaza conflict, signaling a departure from the status quo that prevailed prior to the October 7 attacks.
"No Going Back to the Status Quo"
Biden was adamant about not returning to the previous situation.
"There's no going back to the status quo as it stood on Oct. 6," he declared, emphasizing that a continued strategy by Hamas to intimidate Israel and employ Palestinians as human shields was no longer acceptable. He further stated, “It also means, when this crisis is over, there has to be a vision of what comes next, and, in our view, it has to be a two-state solution”.
The President asserted that achieving this vision would require an all-hands-on-deck approach. He called for a “concentrated effort for all the parties — Israelis, Palestinians, regional partners, global leaders — to put us on a path toward peace”.
Hamas and the Palestinian Majority
Biden also took a moment to differentiate between Hamas and the broader Palestinian population. He mentioned, “Hamas does not represent the vast majority of the Palestinian people”.
He further highlighted the militant group's tactic of using Palestinian civilians as "human shields," noting the challenges it poses for Israel. Nonetheless, Biden emphasized that such actions did not absolve Israel from adhering to international laws of war.
The President also touched upon the broader geopolitical implications of the conflict. He stressed the potential benefits of closer ties between Israel and its Middle Eastern neighbors, suggesting a hopeful outlook shared by many regional leaders.
Elaborating on the potential triggers behind the latest conflict, Biden speculated on a possible link between Hamas's recent attacks and ongoing US-backed endeavors to enhance relations between Saudi Arabia and Israel. “I’m convinced one of the reasons Hamas attacked when they did...
is because of the progress we were making towards regional integration for Israel and regional integration overall,” Biden shared, although he admitted he had no concrete evidence to support this belief. In a call to action and a plea for continued diplomatic efforts, Biden emphasized, “We can’t leave that work behind”.
This approach signals a commitment to fostering peace in the region, and it remains to be seen how the international community responds to President Biden's vision and call for unity.