Then US Vice-President Joe Biden (L) meets with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah, March 9, 2016. (Flash90) (Flash90)
Biden and Abbas

“He will not be an Obama – and even with Obama we had a lot of difficulties,” the official told Globes.

By Yakir Benzion, United With Israel

A senior member of Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah Party did not celebrate Joe Biden’s projected victory, saying the incoming president had already declared himself to be a Zionist, Israel’s Globes newspaper reported Sunday.

“He will not be an Obama – and even with Obama we had a lot of difficulties,” the official told Globes.

“Biden is known for his affection for Israel, and his pro-Zionist stances. He has said a number of times that he is a Zionist and has had friendly relations with [Israeli Prime Minister] Netanyahu for over 30 years,” another senior adviser to Abbas told the Israel Hayom newspaper.

“Biden was also Obama’s vice president when Abbas didn’t bother to respond to the proposal that Obama sent to both sides to new negotiations before the end of his second term, and Biden was the one who tried to reconcile between the rais [president] and Obama, who was very offended when Abbas ignored him,” the adviser said, according to the report.

The official admitted that Abbas had backed himself into a corner, having rejected hundreds of millions of dollars in tax transfers from Israel, halting security coordination and refusing to talk to the U.S. government. However, the Palestinian Authority could not afford to snub a Biden administration like it did President Donald Trump.

Last week PA officials sent message that the U.S. was brokering, but only from the point at which they broke off in 2016.

Meanwhile, Palestinian officials in Ramallah and Gaza quoted in other Israeli sources hailed Biden as the projected winner of the U.S. election, with the Times of Israel quoting “some of them” as calling it the end of “the worst era” for Palestinians.

“There has never been anything worse than the Trump era. Salvation from it is an achievement,” said Nabil Shaath, Times of Israel reported. Shaath is a top aide to Mahmoud Abbas.

Senior Hamas official Khaled Mashaal commented, “An evil has distanced itself from us with the end of the Trump administration.”

Under the Obama administration, former Secretary of State John Kerry failed in his attempt to force the two sides to an agreement. The talks failed when the Palestinians refused to continue after Kerry’s arbitrarily set nine-month limit for the talks ran out.

A PA official told Israel Hayom that although Biden has already indicated that he would not move the U.S. embassy out of Jerusalem – a Trump decision that enraged the Palestinians – Abbas would ask Biden to revoke American recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital city and move the embassy back to Tel Aviv.

“We won’t be able to turn Biden down easily, as we could Trump, and that could turn out to be a double-edged sword,” the adviser said. “Obama was the most pro-Palestinian president, and it’s hard for me to picture Biden adopting a similar policy in light of his declarations that he will not move the U.S. Embassy back to Tel Aviv and not cancel the Trump administration’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.”

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