Former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden, the 2020 presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, said on Tuesday that if Israel applies sovereignty to parts of the West Bank, it would “choke off any hope for peace,” according to audio obtained by JNS.
“I do not support annexation,” said Biden during a virtual fundraiser with Jewish Democrats.
He said that unilateral steps by either the Israelis or Palestinians “would undermine” the possibility of a negotiated two-state solution.
He noted that the United States “cannot fully safeguard Israelis without peace,” and remarked that “Israel needs to stop the threat of annexation and stop settlement activity because it will choke off any hope for peace.”
Additionally, Biden called for restoring U.S. assistance to the Palestinian Authority, including for its security cooperation with Israel—all in accordance with the Taylor Force Act, which was enacted in March 2018 in response to the P.A. “pay for slay” program, rewarding terrorists and their families.
At the same time, Biden expressed frustration with Palestinian rejectionism.
“The Palestinian Authority has to acknowledge, flat out, Israel’s right to exist. Period. As an independent Jewish state. And guarantee the borders,” he said. “And they have been given opportunities on three occasions. Not perfect, but they could’ve negotiated, and they got 90 percent of what was being asked for. But instead, nothing happened.”
The former vice president also pointed out that the Palestinians “need to end incitement,” and that violence is “no justification for terrorism.”
Finally, he called for Iran to return to complying with the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, which the Trump administration withdrew from in May 2018, reimposing sanctions, along with enacting new financial penalties against Tehran in what it has called a “maximum pressure” campaign.