JERUSALEM, Israel – While election results remain uncertain, Middle East analysts are looking at how a Biden-Harris administration would approach the region.
For the Biden campaign, a renewed Iranian nuclear deal would be on the table. While President Donald Trump made history with the Abraham Accords, some believe a Biden White House would renew focus on the Palestinians.
“A Biden presidency would return to both the policies of the Obama administration and the Clinton administration giving precedence to the achievement of a Palestinian state based on the 1967 borders with Jerusalem, East Jerusalem as its capital,” said former Israeli ambassador to the US Michael Oren.
While the Biden-Harris website does not address the issue directly, Sen. Kamala Harris told The Arab American News that their campaign “are committed to a two-state solution.”
“We are committed to a two-state solution, and we will oppose any unilateral steps that undermine that goal. We will also oppose annexation and settlement expansion. And we will take immediate steps to restore economic and humanitarian assistance to the Palestinian people,” said Harris.
In 2018, the Trump administration ended funding to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) for Palestinian refugees.
“Over a period of two and a half years, he got information to show that UNRWA was actually a terrorist advocate and he did what needed to be done and cut them off,” David Bedein, Director of the Center for Near East Policy Research, told CBN News. “UNRWA is making every sign that they expect that Biden to reverse that process.”
David Bedein has investigated UNRWA for two decades.
“The United Nations Relief and Works Agency is a terror advocate,” said Bedein. “They have military training in their schools with schoolbooks which praise those who murder Jews. With schoolbooks which get children in the mornings to start singing songs about wiping out the State of Israel. This is not appropriate for a United Nations agency.”
More than 300,000 young Palestinians attend these schools in the West Bank, Gaza and Jerusalem.
Bedeinasked Vice President Biden about UNRWA in 2016. Biden’s written response said in part: “While there is still work to be done, the Palestinian government has made significant progress in reducing inflammatory rhetoric and revising official textbooks.”
Bedein argues this is not the case.
“Now, I want to be very fair about this. If UNRWA has shown signs that they were having a new curriculum, listening to feedback, you have to be fair about it. But they’re not and UNRWA is continuing to teach the theme Right of Return by force of arms as their theme.”
CBN News reached out to the Biden campaign but did not receive a response before the time of publishing.
In a documentary produced by Bedein’s group in 2019, filmmakers asked students in a Bethlehem Palestinian refugee camp about what they’re taught.
“There’s no two-state or one-state [peace] solution. There’s only one-state, and it will be Palestine forever. And what was taken by battle will be re-conquered through battle,” said student Mohammed Muslah.
With teaching like this, Bedein sees UNRWA inciting an entire generation of
Palestinians away from peace.