May 26 2021 U.S. Secretary of State John Blinken will begin a visit to the Middle East on Thursday, where he will meet with Israeli and Palestinian officials to mediate on the Israeli-Palestinian issue. The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has just subsided, Blinken chose to visit at this time, what are the considerations?
It’s a good time
Senior U.S. officials visit the Middle East after the Israeli-Palestinian cease-fire
During his four-day visit, Blinken will reportedly hold talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other officials and will meet with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Prime Minister Ashtiyah and other senior officials.
In addition, Blinken will travel to Cairo to consult with Egyptian President Sisi, and then to Amman for talks with King Abdullah II of Jordan.
Blinken trip comes after the worst Israeli-Palestinian violence in seven years. The conflict that alarmed the international community after 11 days, resulting in more than 200 deaths, the two sides from the early morning of the 21st cease-fire. Many of the bombed gaza strips are devastated.
Li Weijian, a researcher at the Institute of Foreign Policy at the Shanghai Institute of International Studies and vice president of the China Middle East Society, said the U.S. has two considerations. Israel and Palestine are one of the issues Biden has promised to work on since he took office, but the U.S. has had to turn its attention to the issue after the Israeli-Palestinian issue was shelved because of the new crown, U.S.-European relations, and the Iranian nuclear issue.
In addition, the United States is under multiple domestic and international pressures over the cease-fire. The U.S. still wants to dominate the Israeli-Palestinian issue, and the trip is a show of influence.
What are you talking about?
The U.S. will not talk directly to Hamas
On the 25th local time, Blinken and his party arrived in Israel. U.S. President Joe Biden said in a statement Thursday that Blinken will “meet with Israeli leaders to discuss our strong commitment to Israel’s security.”
Li said the United States has always been a leading player in the Israeli-Palestinian issue, but has played a limited role. If the United States really wants to promote Peace between Israel and Palestine, it can do better.
Dong Manyuan, a researcher at the China Institute of International Studies, said Blinken’s visit to the Middle East was intended to reinforce the political gains of Israel’s military campaign against Hamas, and that the United States and Israel might discuss ways to weaken Hamas’s ruling base.
The conflict has dealt a severe blow to Hamas to some extent, and Israel’s indiscriminate bombing of Gaza has exacerbated the near-collapse of Gaza’s economy and deprived hamas of its mass base.
Blinken’s trip will reportedly focus on coordinating the reconstruction of the Gaza Strip, rather than dialogue and contacts with Hamas militants who actually control the Gaza Strip.
Mr Tung said the two sides could talk about aid during the talks between Mr Blinken and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas.
Will the adjustment be made?
The Biden administration’s focus is not on the Middle East
Although the Israeli-Palestinian peace has temporarily returned, but analysis pointed out that the decades-long conflict can not be resolved long-term problems, will not be resolved by the cease-fire.
The U.S. has previously said the “two-state solution” is the only answer to the conflict. “It’s the only answer, the only solution,” Biden stressed. ”
While Biden overthrew Trump’s Middle East policy, that doesn’t mean the focus of U.S. foreign policy will shift to the Middle East.
Dong Manyuan said that Blinken’s trip to the Middle East is to serve the strategic needs of the United States, focusing resources to engage in great power competition. The United States wants to stabilize Palestine and the Middle East to ensure that it spends less on it.
Li Weijian expressed the same view. He said the U.S. is now focusing on the big power game, and when the Palestinian election is over, the U.S. may adjust its policies based on the election.