Forget Israeli-Palestinian peace. The damage done to Israeli-Palestinian relations during President Trump’s years in office has been so significant that a permanent status agreement feels out of reach for the foreseeable future.

At today’s confirmation hearing, Secretary of State-Designate Antony Blinken spoke about prospects for a two-state solution, “I think realistically it is hard to see near-term prospects for moving forward on that”. Blinken is right. There are no quick-fixes, especially after the Trump administration cut off all aid to the Palestinians, closed the Palestinian mission in Washington, and released a “peace” plan that essentially gave Israel a carte-blanche to annex large parts of the West Bank.

Despite the Israeli right’s ambition of formally declaring sovereignty over large parts of the West Bank, it appears that the recent normalization agreement with the UAE has put that on hold for time being. That doesn’t mean the situation on the ground has remained static. Trump’s presidency saw settlement growth increase by 250% compared to Obama’s second term.

If the Biden administration is to make inroads in the Israeli-Palestinian arena, it must view a sustainable resolution as a long-term project and work with both sides to advance specific, achievable confidence-building measures that can help bring the thought of negotiations closer. From Israel, the incoming Biden administration should encourage an Israeli initiative to transfer parts of Israeli-controlled Area C to the Palestinian Authority—this would make an immediate difference on the ground, legalizing the construction of Palestinian housing units, and increasing Palestinian governance without jeopardizing Israeli security or requiring the removal or redeployment of any Israeli soldiers or settlers. Such plans have been laid out in detail by Commanders for Israel’s Security and in the recent report released by the Center for A New American Security, A New U.S. Strategy for the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, co-authored by Israel Policy Forum’s Policy Director Michael Koplow.

Regarding settlements, it is unrealistic to demand a complete settlement freeze; instead, the U.S. should emphasize that not all settlements are created equal. The incoming administration should do its best to require Israel to halt construction outside the four major Israeli settlement blocs (Gush Etzion, Givat Ze’ev, Ma’ale Adumim, and Modi’in Illit) and specific areas that threaten the viability of two states (i.e., E-1 and Givat Hamatos). Notably, 78% of the construction planned and approved during the Trump era was carried out in these controversial areas.

For the Palestinians, the priority must be reforming their social security system in a way that doesn’t reward terrorism—as many critics charge the Martyrs’ Fund does—but at the same time is accepted by their public. A New York Times report indicated that proposed changes are already in the works and Palestinians agreed to resume security and civil coordination with Israel in November. The early willingness of the Palestinian Authority to cooperate is encouraging and it is reasonable to assume that such steps will be easier to implement once the administration restores aid to the Palestinians and to humanitarian projects in the West Bank and Gaza run by USAID.

These moves can be done in the short term and are possible even with both sides facing great political uncertainty. Israeli elections are two months away, and though Israel is on course to be the first country to vaccinate the majority of its population, indicted Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu continues to face national protests as the country struggles with COVID-19. But the aforementioned confidence-building measures need not be restrained by Israeli domestic politics. For the most part, they can pass without a Knesset vote and don’t require political maneuvering Netanyahu has depended on in the past, or they are recommendations for U.S. policy completely divorced from the Israeli prime minister’s whims. On the Palestinian side, the question of who will succeed PA President Mahmoud Abbas looms large, and these measures could prove key in helping restore confidence in Palestinian Authority governance and enable Abbas (and his successor) to continue their commitment to nonviolence with broad, be it reluctant, public support, especially with Palestinian elections scheduled for mid-2021 (whether they will actually take place is a different story).

With the leadership of both sides in complete disarray, it isn’t surprising that public support for two states is at an all-time low; only 43% of Palestinians and 44% of Israelis still support the two-state solution. Those hoping for a settlement to this century-long conflict must be realistic. This is a long-term project. With the sides further apart than ever, it is imperative the incoming Biden administration lower expectations. There may be no miracles in the holy land on the horizon, but smart policy decisions by the U.S. administration can do a world of good and set the stage for renewed hope.