Latest US National Security Strategy pushes regional peace, 2-state solution

Annual document provides overview of US national security concerns; affirms ‘ironclad’ commitment to Israel’s security

US President Joe Biden holds a joint press conference with Prime Minister Yair Lapid in Jerusalem, on July 14, 2022. (Emil Salman/ Pool)
US President Joe Biden holds a joint press conference with Prime Minister Yair Lapid in Jerusalem, on July 14, 2022. (Emil Salman/ Pool)

US President Joe Biden has released his second National Security Strategy, expressing the nation’s intention to further promote Abraham Accords-style peace agreements between Israel and its regional neighbors, as well as a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, with Israel’s Jewish democratic identity at its core.

The document does not specifically name countries that may be primed for a peace agreement with Israel.

The National Security Strategy, which is required by law, provides an annual outline of the US administration’s national security concerns and its policies for addressing those issues, including the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Biden’s 2022 version of the document included more detail on the region than last year’s, which stated only that the US was aiming to “maintain our ironclad commitment to Israel’s security.”

This year, the administration referred to “meeting Palestinian aspirations for a secure and viable state of their own,” and included a quote from Biden during his West Bank visit in July, when he said, “Two states along the 1967 lines, with mutually agreed swaps, remain the best way to achieve equal measure of security, prosperity, freedom, and democracy for Palestinians, as well as Israelis.”

The 2022 document includes the same “ironclad” commitment to Israeli security as last year’s version. In July, Prime Minister Yair Lapid and Biden signed a security pact, known as the “Jerusalem Declaration,” stressing the US commitment to preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons, using “all elements in its national power.”

Israel’s Prime Minister Yair Lapid addresses the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly, September 22, 2022, at the United Nations headquarters. (AP Photo/Julia Nikhinson)

The declaration contains a US commitment to fully implement the terms of the historic $38 billion memorandum of understanding signed under the Obama administration, and a recognition that a follow-up MOU should reflect new threats and circumstances.

The National Security Strategy’s commitment to a two-state solution was mirrored by Lapid’s comments to the United Nations General Assembly in September, when he told the plenum that “an agreement with the Palestinians, based on two states for two peoples, is the right thing for Israel’s security, for Israel’s economy, and for the future of our children.”

With elections just weeks away, Lapid’s comments were heavily criticized by the Israeli right, which dismisses the two-state solution as a viable model (despite former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu also endorsing the two-state solution in his 2016 UN speech).

Lazar Berman contributed to this report.

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