The Biden administration and the Israeli government are headed toward a diplomatic crisis, despite the Democrats’ delight at a post-Netanyahu government, based on fundamental disagreements that did not exist under the Trump administration.
The most significant and volatile disagreement is over Jerusalem. President Joe Biden, in an effort to undo Trump’s legacy and to appease anti-Israel Democrats, has promised to open a U.S. consulate in the city dealing specifically with Palestinians.
The move would violate the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, and would create a precedent for dividing Jerusalem between Israelis and Palestinians, thus violating U.S. law. It could also encourage further Palestinian violence against Israel.
Second, there are disagreements over terrorism. The Biden administration restored U.S. funding to Palestinian projects, in apparent violation of the Taylor Force Act, which prevents U.S. taxpayer money from supporting the Palestinian Authority while it continues to pay terrorists and their families.
Last week, Israel designated six Palestinian organizations that receive foreign funding as terror groups; the U.S. claims it was not informed of the change beforehand, though Israel says it was.
Third, there are differences over construction in Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria (the “West Bank”), even in areas that are likely to be Israeli in any deal dividing the territory. Israel approved 2,800 new units this week; the U.S. objected.
Finally, there are lingering differences over Iran. The Biden administration seems to be realizing that the Iranian regime is not interested in compromise. Still, it keeps trying, while Israel announced it has begun training to attack Iran’s nuclear sites.
Under the Trump administration, there was broad agreement between Washington and Jerusalem on most of these issues, and the result was the Abraham Accords, the Israeli-Arab peace deal whose name the Biden Administration is reluctant to use.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the new e-book, The Zionist Conspiracy (and how to join it). His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.