On-the-ground realities for Biden in The Middle East

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Israeli soldiers and members of the Humsa Al Baqai’a Bedouin community, east of the occupied West Bank village of Tubas in the Jordan Valley, on Nov. 6, 2020, two days after Israel’s army razed the village, including tents, sheds, portable toilets and solar panels, leaving dozens of people homeless. (photo:  Jaafar Ashtiyeh / AFP / Getty Images)  
Read all three perspectives with insight for President Biden.

By Rev Alex Awad, Rami G Khouri, Matthew Hoh  |  Washington Report on Middle East Affairs |  January/February 2021

Mr. Biden, please avoid the temptation of designing yet another peace plan that merely pays lip service to peace while ignoring the realities that are creating conflict and violence.
— Alex Awad

Some Advice on How to Succeed Where Others Have Failed
By Rev. Alex Awad

ADDING TO THE CHORUS of millions of peace and justice-loving people in the U.S. and around the world, I sincerely offer my heartfelt congratulations to you, President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President- elect Kamala Harris. You passed through the election fray graciously, and you won.

It will soon be time for the passing of the leadership “baton.” And it will be your cabinet’s turn, Mr. President-elect, to tackle tremendous tasks such as the pandemic, the economy, racism and global warming among many others. Most likely, sooner rather than later after you move to the White House, like all U.S. presidents for the past half century, you will be called upon to address the challenge of the Israel-Palestine conflict. I imagine you will have many advisers ready to help you develop your policy toward what seems to be an intractable conflict.

I am a Palestinian who has lived through and experienced all of the stages of the Israel-Palestine conflict. When I was two years old, my father was killed during the first Arab-Israeli War of 1948, leaving behind a widow with seven children. Soon after his death, we became refugees. In 1967, while studying in Europe, I became a man without a country when Israel occupied the West Bank and Israeli authorities refused to repatriate me. Now I am an American citizen who yearns to see peace and justice both for my people and for all Israelis. I write to you because in the last half a century, I’ve observed U.S. presidents try again and again to tackle the conflict and observed each, in turn, fail miserably.

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