The State Department Considers Rewarding Hamas for the October 7 Terror Attack

Published February 1, 2024

The State Department is apparently exploring various avenues for recognizing a Palestinian state via means that would upend longstanding U.S. policy and essentially reward Hamas for launching a terror attack on October 7 and kicking off a war with Israel.


The fact that the State Department is even considering it was initially scooped by Axios, which wrote “While U.S. officials say there has been no policy change, the fact the State Department is even considering such options signals a shift in thinking within the Biden administration on possible Palestinian statehood recognition, which is highly sensitive both internationally and domestically.”

“Highly sensitive” is still quite an understatement. It would send the message to terrorists all over the world that the United States of America will reward their evil actions if their attacks are simply directed at the Jews.

My colleague, Streiff, summarized the problems with this (potential) shift in policy yesterday.

There are three sticking points. First, the boundaries of this new terrorist empire have to be set. No one knows what that would look like. Second, the obvious impact of what will be an Iranian-controlled terror state bordering Israel that could have mutual defense treaties with other nations hostile to Israel and UN representation doesn’t seem to have been considered. Third, everyone appears to be assuming away the high probability that Israel will refuse to accept this terror state.

If this happens, it effectively kills Trump’s Abraham Accords by bringing Palestinian demands back to the center of Middle East geopolitics. It will be nearly impossible for any Arab nation to continue relations with Israel if Israel refuses to accept the strategy of rolling bilateral recognition agreements that the White House envisages.

Unless this is derailed, we have effectively abandoned our tacit alliance with Israel and handed a massive strategic victory to the country that will control the government in this new state.


True to form, the Biden administration doesn’t seem to know what in the hell it’s actually doing when it comes to foreign policy (or domestic policy, for that matter, but that’s not relevant to this conversation). A National Security Council spokesperson told Axios it “has been longstanding U.S. policy that any recognition of a Palestinian state must come through direct negotiations between the parties rather than through unilateral recognition at the UN. That policy has not changed.”

So the State Department and the National Security Council aren’t talking to each other? That bodes well.



RELATED: State Department weighs options for recognizing Palestinian state after Gaza war: report

Blinken has ordered a review of the prospects of US and worldwide recognition of a Palestinian state following the conclusion of Israel’s war against Hamas.REUTERS
Published February 1, 2024

Secretary of State Anthony Blinken has ordered a review of the prospects of US and worldwide recognition of a Palestinian state following the conclusion of Israel’s war against Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

The review, reported Wednesday by Axios, is meant to present a series of options for the Biden administration — including allowing the United Nations to admit “Palestine” as a full member state and encouraging other countries to recognize a Palestinian state.

Separately, Blinken has reportedly asked for a review of models for a possible demilitarized Palestinian state based on other countries around the world — such as Grenada following the US invasion in 1983

The analyses mark a rethink of US policy as official Washington grapples with the fallout of the Oct. 7 Hamas terror attack against Israel, which killed an estimated 1,200 people and led to the capture of around 200 hostages — more than half of whom remain held in Gaza.

The State Department reviews also appear to be a response to Saudi Arabian officials, who Axios reported have publicly and privately insisted on an “irrevocable” pathway to Palestinian statehood as a condition for potential normalization of relations with Israel.

US policy has long been to oppose recognition of a Palestinian state unless and until it is achieved through direct negotiations between the Jewish state and the Palestinian Authority, which controls the West Bank, but lost power in Gaza in 2007.

However, Axios reported that some Biden administration officials are considering making recognition of a Palestinian state the first step in negotiations rather than the final achievement.



RELATED: Biden says he’s pushing a 2-state solution. Let’s put him to the test.

The president has many tools to accelerate a Palestinian state — if he’s truly serious about it

Published January 30, 2024

The Biden administration is wrestling for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict — or so it claims. President Joe Biden has insisted that the war in Gaza must end with a pathway to Palestinian independence, a proposal Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu has loudly rejected. Arab governments have tried to sweeten the deal, by offering to normalize relations with Israel in exchange for “irreversible” steps towards a Palestinian state.

There’s one irreversible step Biden could take with or without a deal: granting the Palestinian Authority diplomatic recognition. Experts say that the U.S. president has the power to recognize the State of Palestine, with immediate legal effects, and would most likely be able to push the United Nations to recognize Palestine as well. The president would not need permission from Congress or Israel, despite the fact that Israeli troops remain in control of most Palestinian territory.

“Even if the exact borders haven’t been defined, Israel was recognized as a state without defined borders, so it’s not an insurmountable obstacle,” said Khaled Elgindy, former adviser to Palestinian negotiators and current head of the Program on Palestine and Israeli-Palestinian Affairs at the Middle East Institute in Washington.

Biden is unlikely to make such a drastic move. His administration has opposed steps as basic as a ceasefire in Gaza, while running past Congress to flood Israel with generous military assistance, including ammunition refills and targeting support. Although Biden administration officials have portrayed themselves as helpless bystanders to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, trying their best to create the conditions for a solution, experts and former officials say that the administration has a variety of tools it has so far chosen not to use — both diplomatic recognition and other moves short of it.





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Cherry May Timbol – Independent Reporter
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