If the past few weeks proved anything, the Palestinian issue is not going away. The Biden administration does not want to be consumed by the Middle East, but it also needs to do enough to manage what is happening in the region to avoid being drawn in, in circumstances that offer worse options at higher costs. That argues for a three-track approach: first, work to stabilize Gaza by providing a formula of reconstruction for no rearmament and an oversight mechanism; second, bolster the Palestinian Authority by also helping it to build credibility with assistance conditioned on reform; and the third, broker Arab outreach to Israel to change the realities between Israel and Palestinians when no one believes much is possible. That should be the Biden administration’s agenda now.
Ambassador Dennis Ross is counselor and William Davidson Distinguished Fellow at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy and teaches at Georgetown University’s Center for Jewish Civilization. Ambassador Ross’s distinguished diplomatic career includes service as special assistant to President Barack Obama and National Security Council senior director for the Central Region, special advisor to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, Middle East Envoy to President Bill Clinton, and Director of Policy Planning for President George H.W. Bush.