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Biden: forget Friedman & United Nations - focus on HKOPS

By David Singer - posted Tuesday, 21 November 2023

New York Times Foreign Affairs Opinion Columnist –Thomas Friedman - has offered President Biden some appalling advice in his latest op-ed – suggesting Biden:

...articulate an American vision for how the Gaza war must end. That would require a Biden administration plan to create two states for two indigenous peoples living in the areas of Gaza, the West Bank and Israel.

Two indigenous peoples.



  • The "Palestinians" were created in 1964 - claiming no regional sovereignty in the "West Bank of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan" or the"Gaza Strip"
  • Are the "Jordanians" – created in 1949 – also a separate "indigenous people" in addition to the "Palestinians"?

Friedman fails to disclose his influential role in conceiving the two-state solution back in February 2002:

Earlier this month, I wrote a column suggesting that the 22 members of the Arab League, at their summit in Beirut on March 27 and 28, make a simple, clear-cut proposal to Israel to break the Israeli-Palestinian impasse: In return for a total withdrawal by Israel to the June 4, 1967, lines, and the establishment of a Palestinian state, the 22 members of the Arab League would offer Israel full diplomatic relations, normalized trade and security guarantees. Full withdrawal, in accord with U.N. Resolution 242, for full peace between Israel and the entire Arab world. Why not?

I am currently in Saudi Arabia on a visit ... So I took the opportunity of a dinner with Saudi Arabia's crown prince, and de facto ruler, Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz al-Saud, to try out the idea of this Arab League proposal. I knew that Jordan, Morocco and some key Arab League officials had been talking about this idea in private but had not dared to broach it publicly until one of the ''big boys'' -- Saudi Arabia or Egypt -- took the lead.

After I laid out this idea, the crown prince looked at me with mock astonishment and said, ''Have you broken into my desk?''

''No,'' I said, wondering what he was talking about.

''The reason I ask is that this is exactly the idea I had in mind -- full withdrawal from all the occupied territories, in accord with U.N. resolutions, including in Jerusalem, for full normalization of relations,'' he said. ''I have drafted a speech along those lines. My thinking was to deliver it before the Arab summit and try to mobilize the entire Arab world behind it. The speech is written, and it is in my desk...

... I suggested to the crown Prince that if he felt so strongly about this idea, even in draft form, why not put it on the record -- only then would anyone take it seriously."

Guess what? Abdullah heeded Friedman's sage advice - duly delivering his speech at the Beirut Arab League Summit – adopted as the Arab Peace Initiative on 28 March 2002.

Friedman's solution has gone nowhere in the last 21 years – despite the United Nations endorsing the Arab Peace Initiative on 23 December 2016 after the Obama-Biden administration failed to veto Resolution 2334 whilst vacating the White House following Trump's Presidential victory.


On 8 June 2022 Ali Shihabi - an advisor to current Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman (MBS) - published an article calling for Gaza, part of the West Bank, and Jordan to be merged into one territorial entity to be called the Hashemite Kingdom of Palestine (HKOPS).

HKOPS trashes the Arab Peace Initiative.

Friedman and the United Nations have refused to acknowledge HKOPS even exists.

President Biden:

  • Forget Friedman and the United Nations: Their failed two-state solutions remain unattainable.
  • Call for Jordan-Israel negotiations to implement HKOPS after the Gaza War is over.


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Author's note: The cartoon - commissioned exclusively for this article - is by Yaakov Kirschen aka "Dry Bones"- one of Israel's foremost political and social commentators - whose cartoons have graced the columns of Israeli and international media publications for decades.

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About the Author

David Singer is an Australian Lawyer, a Foundation Member of the International Analyst Network and Convenor of Jordan is Palestine International - an organisation calling for sovereignty of the West Bank and Gaza to be allocated between Israel and Jordan as the two successor States to the Mandate for Palestine. Previous articles written by him can be found at

Other articles by this Author

All articles by David Singer

Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

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