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Great news, but!

Nov 14,2020 - Last updated at Nov 14,2020

Joe Biden won; Donald Trump lost, even though he is yet to come to terms with reality.

On the one hand, this is good news for the world in general, and for us in this region.

As far as the world is concerned, Joe Biden is expected, based on what we know about him and based on his experience in the Obama administration, to play a role in augmenting world peace by de-escalating tensions, to push for respect of human rights and the safeguarding of human lives, to stand against racial and ethnic prejudice, to support world efforts aimed at tackling global warming, etc.

The world needs an American leader who has genuine respect for world cultures, religions, ethnicities, and races; a leader who sees diversity and difference as an asset, and not as a pretext for creating further tension and crises.

And a leader who believes in diplomacy in sorting out differences, and not in militarism or might.

As far as our region is concerned, Biden is expected, again, to play a constructive role; definitely a more constructive role than that of the current resident of the White House who, at the Palestinian-Israeli level, sided entirely with one party to the conflict against the other.

Of course, we know that Biden will most probably, as many American presidents before him including Barak Obama did, tilt more towards Israel, even though he should stand in the very middle. Nevertheless, based on the stand the Obama administration declared in its last days in power, we believe that he will be more understanding and more sympathetic, than the current US president, regarding Palestinian existence and Palestinian rights.

If Biden functions on the basis of the principles articulated by the then-Secretary of State John Kerry on December 28, 2016, or on a slightly modified version of it, he will be occupying a position closer to the middle and closer to being even-handed, and much more so, than that of the Donald Trump administration.

In that particular milestone speech, Kerry, while expressing strong support to Israel, made it clear to highlight Palestinian suffering and legitimate rights; and to highlight the importance of the two-state solution as a cornerstone for peace.

Says he in the said speech: “…the two-state solution is the only way to achieve a just and lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians. It is the only way to ensure Israel’s future as a Jewish and democratic state, living in peace and security with its neighbours. It is the only way to ensure a future of freedom and dignity for the Palestinian people. And it is an important way of advancing United States interests in the region.”

So, on the one hand and based on all indicators available to us, we expect the Biden administration to take a more responsible, more humane and more balanced position than that of the Trump administration which, by being one-sided, did so much damage: both psychological and physical.

On the other hand, it is a mistake to expect the future Biden administration to bring peace to Palestine or our region as a whole on a silver platter, and with us passively waiting.

We need to be both involved and prepared.

We need to have a proposal or a plan.

So the crucial question to ask is: what have the parties concerned with peace in Palestine and in our region done or are doing to enable, to motivate, the Biden administration to play a constructive role in peacemaking in Palestine and our region?

When delivering his victory speech on November 7, Joe Biden reminded us, with his positive sentiments, constructive views, and sound vision not only of Barak Obama, but also of Jimmy Carter, who surpassed most American presidents in wanting to bring peace especially to our region.

So, with Joe Biden winning, we are relieved, and we are hopeful; and this is great news.

But much needs to be done by us as well, by way of stimulating, motivating, and engaging the new administration, for the last thing we should do is be passive recipients waiting for justice to come their way.

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