On Thursday 12th November, Forward Thinking facilitated an online roundtable discussion with Dr Mustafa Barghouti to explore the potential implications of the US election result for Palestinians.
Joe Biden has been elected as the 46th President of the United States. Dr Barghouti was able to provide officials, parliamentarians and diplomats from various EU and European foreign affairs departments with direct insights from the West Bank and outlined the key challenges that a new Biden administration will face.
Biden’s election brought a sense of great relief for many Palestinians, who believe Trump caused more harm to Palestinians than any previous President. Despite this sense of relief, however, hope for real change remains low. There are also serious concerns about potential action that Trump could take during the transitional period before January 20th.
A key challenge for Biden will be how to manage Israeli settlement expansion. Dr Barghouti emphasised that the window for saving a two-state solution is rapidly decreasing, in large part because settlements continue to grow. Another challenge will be how the administration approaches the issue of Palestinian unity and whether Biden will encourage a process of reconciliation.
Participants were able to discuss a range of other issues with Dr Barghouti, including the role that Europe could play in finding solutions to the conflict, the possibility of future negotiations and wider trends in the Arab region.