Biden urges a halt to Palestinian violence, reiterates support for two-state solution

US President Biden

In an op-ed published Saturday in The Washington Post, President Joe Biden urged an end to extremist violence against Palestinians in the West Bank and reiterated his support for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Biden wrote that a two-state solution, which would grant both Israelis and Palestinians equal rights and security, is the only viable way to achieve lasting peace in the region. He said that the US, along with its allies and partners, is committed to working with both sides to reach this goal.

The president also warned that the US is ready to impose visa bans on those who attack civilians in the West Bank, as part of its response to Israel’s violation of the Visa Waiver Program. The program allows eligible travelers to enter the US without a visa, but Israel joined it in late October under certain conditions.

Biden said he has been clear with Israel’s leaders that they must hold accountable those who commit extremist violence against Palestinians in the West Bank. He added that the State Department has confirmed that the US has other measures at its disposal if Israel does not comply with the program.

Biden also reaffirmed his stance against a ceasefire in Gaza, where Israel and Hamas have been engaged in a deadly conflict since early last month. He said that a ceasefire would not address the root causes of the violence, and that the only solution is to restore the authority of the Palestinian Authority in Gaza and the West Bank.

Biden has been a longtime advocate of a two-state solution, which he said is essential for the security and dignity of both Israelis and Palestinians. He said he expressed this view during his visit to Tel Aviv last month, where he also called for Israel’s greater integration with its neighbors.

The op-ed is part of the White House’s effort to raise awareness of the impact of foreign conflicts on US national security, as the administration’s request for additional funding remains stuck in Congress.

Last month, the Biden administration asked Congress for more than $105 billion to provide security assistance for the crises in Ukraine and Israel. Biden delivered a prime-time speech from the Oval Office, in which he described the situation as “an inflection point” in American history.

Biden also drew parallels between the two wars in his op-ed, saying that both Putin and Hamas are trying to destroy a neighboring democracy and destabilize the region. He said that the US cannot and will not allow that to happen, for the sake of its own interests and the world’s.

Biden concluded his op-ed by condemning the rise of antisemitism and Islamophobia in the wake of the Israel-Hamas conflict. He said that the US must not tolerate any form of hate or violence, and that Americans must see each other as fellow citizens, not enemies.”