Mandate for Palestine - July 24, 1922

Mandate for Palestine - July 24, 1922
Jordan is 77% of former Palestine - Israel, the West Bank (Judea and Samaria) and Gaza comprise 23%.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Jordan-Palestine ties strained by peace talks

[Published 23 March 2014]

Al Monitor

Mohammad Ad-Fdeilat

Jordanian politicians are good at using a sieve to hide the sun — even the bright sun at the height of summer. Worse, they are convinced of what they are saying, and they try to convince the people, too. They try to address the country’s most difficult problems using slogans that become legally binding without being stipulated by law, and that makes these slogans vulnerable to being replaced by new slogans at any time. Thus, the problems remain unresolved and end up exploding later. This is what is happening with Jordanian-Palestinian relations in Jordan now.

A problem that slogans cannot hide
Jordanian-Palestinian relations have been complicated since the establishment of the Emirate of Transjordan in 1921, which became a kingdom after gaining independence in 1946 and the Palestinian nakba in 1948. The root of the problem is that Palestinian refugees were forcibly moved to the other bank of the River Jordan without the ability to return and became Jordanian citizens in accordance with the Jordanian-Palestinian unity decision of 1949. The latter claimed the Palestinian territories that were not occupied in the nakba as part of Jordan, under the throne of King Abdullah I. The constitution stipulated that the non-occupied lands were an integral part of Jordan and that their inhabitants were Jordanian citizens.

The matter became even more complicated with the June 1967 defeat, in which Jordan lost even more land, over and above those areas lost in the nakba of 1948. After the defeat, more Palestinians in the West Bank moved to Jordan (the East Bank) and became Jordanian citizens.

Then, in 1988, Jordan’s late King Hussein disengaged Jordan administratively and legally from the West Bank, a decision that violated the Jordanian constitution. Jordan justified that move by claiming that Arab pressure was exerted on Jordan to empower the Palestine Liberation Organization, which had been recognized as the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinians in 1974. The Jordanian and Palestinian public criticized the decision, which they considered as conceding occupied Jordanian land that was not occupied on unity day.

Jordanian-Palestinian relations have been formed by political decisions taken by the heads of the political structures on both banks of the river. Those decisions have affected the entire structure of the two peoples, whereby any change will collapse the whole structure.

At first, the relationship was marked by sympathy for a people who had lost their land and become refugees dreaming of return. That sympathy developed into active support for a cause that was considered the primary cause of the Arabs. Moreover, the Palestinian cause became a Jordanian cause in the unity framework. But that didn’t last; in the wake of the 1967 defeat, a new terminology appeared: east Jordanians and Jordanians of Palestinian origin. The objective of that terminology was to consecrate the idea that there are two separate peoples and reject the two peoples melting together into one.

East Jordanians feared that the Palestinian majority would crowd them out of the country’s resources and control the Jordanian economy. Thus, east Jordanians rushed to fill the top positions in the state and said that they feared for their national identity. They revolted over losing benefits they would have had were it not for the Palestinian presence.

Racial division was thus established in Jordanian society, and that division was reinforced by the events of Black September in 1970 between the Palestinian resistance and the Jordanian army. This ended with the exit of the Palestinian resistance from Jordan forever.

The Palestinians said that they left Jordan after a massacre that targeted their presence, while the Jordanians said that they protected their country from the ambitions of armed gangs. Each party retains a painful memory of what happened and considers itself the victim.

Amid this complex relationship and the growing racial discourse, the Jordanian government did nothing to address the root of the problem in the historical context that created it. All the government did was adopt the slogan launched by the late King Hussein: “A country of immigrants and supporters.” But the slogan failed to address the problem because it consecrated the notion that there are two peoples in Jordan, with the east Jordanians having a privileged status over Jordanians of Palestinian origin.

Then the king repeated other slogans whenever the Jordanian-Palestinian relationship was tense: “Jordanians from various roots and origins” and “National unity is a red line.” The elite produced its own slogan: “We are all Jordanians for the sake of Jordan and we are all Palestinians for the sake of Palestine.” Under these slogans, it was forbidden to talk about problems in the relationship and the fears of both sides. East Jordanians who raised the slogans “Jordan is for Jordanians” and “Let’s preserve the national identity” were fought. And slogans launched by Jordanians of Palestinian origin, such as “Fair representation in state institutions” and “Those with transgressed rights,” were also fought. The latter slogan was used after a campaign of systematic exclusion, which Jordanians of Palestinian origin considered a denial of their role in building the country.

The “fire under the ashes” ended up burning the “romantic” slogans, and east Jordanians ended up clashing with Jordanians of Palestinian origin. They traded accusations. The Palestinians were accused of “selling their country,” while Jordanians were accused of being “conspirators against the cause.”

The two sides are fighting to control the majority
The Palestinians are not the only ones who were added to Jordan’s demographic makeup. Before them came the tribes that migrated from different Arab countries over the years, and earlier came the Circassians who took refuge from the Tsarist invasion of the Caucasus in the 19th century. There are also the Chechens, the Armenians and the Hijazis who came with the army of the Great Arab Revolt, which was led by King Abdullah I, the son of Sharif Hussein bin Ali. Then came the Iraqis in the wake of the occupation of Iraq in 2003. And today, there are the Syrian refugees.

In all this mosaic of Jordanian society, east Jordanians have no quarrel except with Jordanians of Palestinian origin, who make up one side in the eternal bilateral conflict for the majority.

Official Jordanian statistics show that the number of Jordanians in 1948 was 400,000; that, in the wake of the nakba, the country received 100,000 refugees; that Jordan’s population in 1967 reached 1.2 million and received 400,000 new refugees; that the population in 1990 was 4.17 million and received 300,000 refugees — the Palestinians who were living in the Gulf. The statistics ignore the fact that the latter already had Jordanian nationality and that non-Palestinian Jordanians are also diverse. The statistics make it look like Palestinians were being added to a pure east Jordanian people.

Amid the competition for the majority, the two biggest components recognize that Jordanians of Palestinian origin make up about 35% of Jordan’s 6.5 million people — a figure that has remained constant throughout the history of the relationship, with the rest being east Jordanians — without considering the other components of the social fabric.

A “Catholic marriage” and charges of treason
Efforts to revive the Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations aimed at reaching a “final solution” to the Palestinian cause usually raise the tension in Jordanian-Palestinian relations, while that tension declines when the negotiations stall.

The negotiations harm Jordanian-Palestinian relations whenever the proposed solution doesn’t allow for the return of the refugees. Such solutions raise the fears of east Jordanians that Jordan may turn into an alternative homeland for the Palestinians, an idea promoted by the Israeli right. Some fear the formation of a Jordanian-Palestinian confederation, where the Palestinian identity will predominate over the Jordanian one.

Throughout the 66 years of the Jordanian-Palestinian “Catholic marriage,” both sides have accused each other of treason. Therefore, both sides settled on being afraid all the time. Moreover, that fear will continue amid the slogans that try to address the imbalances in the relationship. The latest of these slogans is “in defense of Jordan and Palestine.” It was devised to face the growing racial discourse that accompanied the tour of US Secretary of State John Kerry in the region. Under the slogan of “harmony,” the two sides traded accusations that are sometimes whispered and sometimes said publicly, to assert their inability to reach a final resolution for the relationship.
The above article was translated from As-Safir Al-Arabi, a special supplement of As-Safir newspaper whose content is provided through a joint venture of As-Safir and Al-Monitor.

Author Mohammad al-FdeilatPosted March 23, 2014
Translator(s)Rani Geha

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Sunday, March 23, 2014

Jordan's King: Jordan is Palestine? That's an Illusion

[Published 23 March 2014]

Arutz Sheva - Israel National News

Elad Benari

Jordan’s King Abdullah II on Saturday hit out at those on the Israeli right who say that a Palestinian state already exists and that it is located in Jordan, Army Radio reported, citing an interview the King gave to the Al-Hayat newspaper.

The King said that anyone who thinks that Jordan is Palestine is living in an illusion.

"The Israeli extremists are misleading when they say that the Palestinian lands should be emptied and that the Palestinians should be exiled to Jordan," he told the newspaper.
“Over the years, since the signing of the peace treaty with Israel, Jordan has adhered to attitudes and policies that support the Palestinian people and their continued existence in a country of their own,” said King Abdullah.

There have been many calls on Jordan to accept the so-called “Palestinian refugees”, considering that the areas liberated by Israel during the 1967 Six Day War were under Jordanian control.

More importantly, since a majority of Jordanians - which was established in 1947 on 77% of the British Mandate of Palestine - are Palestinian Arabs (some 70%), some have suggested the country should rightfully serve as a Palestinian state.

This idea has been supported by many Israeli nationalists, one example being former MK Aryeh Eldad, who has been advocating for this for years.

The Hashemite Kingdom, however, has rejected these calls. Just last month, King Abdullah told the Jordanian parliament that 

“Jordan is Jordan and Palestine is Palestine and nothing but that, not in the past or the future.”

As peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority have continued, there has been growing concern in Jordan over U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s proposed framework agreement and what will be its effect on Jordan.

Jordan's government is hoping to be spared by a popular uprising by having the repressed "Palestinians" removed and sent to Israel as part of a future deal.

Jordan’s Foreign Minister, Nasser Judeh, recently reiterated that Jordan will not be an "alternative home for anybody."

Thursday, March 20, 2014

More on Jordan Really Was Palestine

[Published 20 March 2014]

My right word

Yisrael Medad

In previous posts (here; and also here), I noted that actually the United States opposed Jordan's independnce and acceptance into the UN when first proposed by Great Britain.

One main reason, central to understanduing the concept of the Mandate for Palestine's territorial conceptualization, is that TransJordan was part of "Palestine" and due to the 1924 Anglo-American Convention, Jordan couldn't not exist without having a resolution nof the Jewish national home which was intertwined.

I found now new material from this book

which contains this article:

with further details to my previous posts (and another one) on the opposition to the independence recogntition of Jordan based on the 1924 Anglo-American Convention that confirmed the original status of TransJordan as territory within the Mandate of Palestine area and which was to be part of the historic Jewish homeland.

As argued, until Israel was created, Jordan could not be considered a state.

The information of the political battle behind the scenes:

And there's something here

    Letter, dated July 15, 1946, from Acting Secretary of State Dean Acheson to President Harry S. Truman, recommending that the United States vote in favor of admitting Trans-Jordan into the United Nations, and an attached memo detailing the United States State Department's position on the question of admitting Trans-Jordan to the United Nations. From the Confidential File.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Jordanians fear 'Jordan option' for Palestine

[Published 17 March 2014]
Al Monitor
Jean Aziz

A delegation from the Jordanian Council on Foreign Relations visited Lebanon from March 9-11. The delegation, comprising representatives of a number of leftist, secular and nationalist parties in Jordan, visited Lebanese officials, before heading to Damascus where they met with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The delegation then returned to Beirut to voice its concerns and raise the alarm: Jordan, as an independent state, is facing an imminent risk. The displacement of Palestinians from the occupied Palestinian territories has indeed begun and is auguring an impending change in the region’s map. What information and facts have led them to raise the alarm?
Al-Monitor met with the members of the Jordanian delegation, among whom were representatives of political parties, former members of parliament, retired officers, academics and unionists. According to them, Jordanian identity may be threatened by a "Jordan option" that may already be in process. The country’s population is 6.5 million people. According to official figures, while the inhabitants are Jordanians, 43% of them are of Palestinian origin. This phenomenon is the result of the historical intertwining between the Emirate of Transjordan and neighboring historical Palestine. Since this first started, half of the population of Palestine developed a different identity and national cause as the result of the loss of their territories and homeland. Yet, they practically became citizens of the Jordanian state.
After the establishment of the Jordanian state, and notably after the Arab-Israeli wars that took place from 1948 to 1967, the displacement of Palestinians in Jordan continued, until Jordan was hosting around half a million Palestinians who are not included in the statistic of 43%, as mentioned above. This means they were not official Jordanian citizens and were placed in camps built on Jordanian territory. The process of demographic change in Jordan did not end at this level, as noted by the members of the delegation. With the Iraqi war and the US-led invasion of Baghdad, around half a million displaced Iraqis moved to Jordan. There is no accurate data on the numbers of those who returned to Iraq and those who settled in Amman. Finally, the Syrian war erupted, and around 700,000 Syrians were compelled to move from the north to Jordan, which aggravated the problem and the frail demographical structure of this country.

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Monday, March 10, 2014

Palestine – Obama Lacks Understanding and Vision

[Published 10 March 2014]

David Singer

President Obama’s interview with Jeffrey Goldberg on 2 March exposed the President as a leader lacking in understanding and vision – bound to a 20 years old negotiating process that has proved an abject failure and will continue to do so until Obama finally declares it dead and buried.
The President still clings to the vain hope that the framework agreement for peace being drafted by Secretary of State Kerry will be accepted by Israel and the PLO – allowing the long drawn out negotiating processes established under the Oslo Accords, Bush Roadmap and Annapolis to continue until a peace agreement is executed between Israel and the PLO – matching those signed by Israel with Egypt in 1979 and Jordan in 1994
The interview exposed Obama’s flawed knowledge concerning the following crucial issues that are critical to properly understanding the conflict and positing its possible resolution:
  1. The President claimed that the conflict had gone on “for decades” –  rather than for the last 130 years –indicating the President is ignoring earlier international decisions made on Palestine including the San Remo Conference and the Treaty of Sevres in 1920, the League of Nations in 1922, the Treaty of Lausanne 1923, the Peel Commission in 1937, the British White Paper 1939, the United Nations in 1945 and 1947, and the unification of Judea and Samaria with Transjordan in 1950 following the invasion of Palestine by six Arab armies in 1948.
  2. The President spoke of the “Palestinian territories” – rather than the “disputed territories” – where internationally recognized sovereignty has remain undetermined since 1948.
  3. The President referred to an existing “Palestinian Authority” – which had ceased to exist on 3 January 2013.
  4. The President agreed with this claim by Goldberg:
“It’s been the official position of the United States for decades that settlements are illegitimate”
Elliott Abrams – Senior Fellow for Middle Eastern Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations -dismisses this urban myth:
“The U.S. position has fluctuated over time. In the Reagan years, the United States said the settlements were “not illegal.” The Clinton and George H.W. Bush administrations avoided the legal arguments but criticized the settlements frequently. President George W. Bush called the larger settlement blocs “new realities on the ground” that would have to be reflected in peace negotiations.
More recently, the official U.S. attitude has been more critical. In 2011, the Obama administration vetoed a UN Security Council resolution calling the settlements “illegal” but former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice then denounced “the folly and illegitimacy” of continued Israeli settlement activity. “The United States of America views all of the settlements as illegitimate,” Secretary of State John Kerry said in August 2013.”
Who is feeding the President with misleading and false information to justify these comments to Goldberg?
The President’s lack of vision became obviously apparent with his following comment:
“I have not yet heard, however, a persuasive vision of how Israel survives as a democracy and a Jewish state at peace with its neighbors in the absence of a peace deal with the Palestinians and a two-state solution. Nobody has presented me a credible scenario.”
Amazingly – with the State Department evidently unable to present Obama with any credible scenarios in the event of the collapse of the “two-state solution” – President Obama then challenged Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu to come up with a plausible alternative:
“If he [Netanyahu] does not believe that a peace deal with the Palestinians is the right thing to do for Israel, then he needs to articulate an alternative approach. And as I said before, it’s hard to come up with one that’s plausible.”
Netanyahu had articulated an alternative approach at the United Nations on 11 December 1984 – one which apparently has gone missing from the State Department’s extensive archival records:
“Clearly, in Eastern and Western Palestine, there are only two peoples, the Arabs and the Jews. Just as clearly, there are only two states in that area, Jordan and Israel. The Arab State of Jordan, containing some three million Arabs, does not allow a single Jew to live there. It also contains 4/5 of the territory originally allocated by this body’s predecessor, the League of Nations, for the Jewish National Home. The other State, Israel, has a population of over four million, of which one sixth is Arab. It contains less than 1/5 of the territory originally allocated to the Jews under the Mandate…. It cannot be said, therefore, that the Arabs of Palestine are lacking a state of their own. The demand for a second Palestinian Arab State in Western Palestine, and a 22nd Arab State in the world, is merely the latest attempt to push Israel back into the hopelessly vulnerable armistice lines of 1949.”
Netanyahu’s recounting of history, geography and demography present at least two credible – and plausible – scenarios for President Obama to consider:
  1. Reunifying the heavily populated Arab areas of the West Bank (Areas “A” and “B” designated under the Oslo Accords) with Jordan – as existed between 1950-1967
  2. Direct negotiations between Israel and Jordan – the two successor States to the Mandate for Palestine – to redraw the existing international boundary between their respective States.
Jordan’s King Abdullah needs to step up to the plate – and Obama must not let him refuse to do so.
President Obama – presently sinking in murky political quicksand – can still be saved by grabbing Netanyahu’s 1984 lifeline with both hands.

King: So-called "alternative homeland" an illusion

[Published 23 February 2014]

Petra Jordan News Agency

Amman, February 23 (Petra) -- His Majesty King Abdullah II, on Sunday, said whenever there is a serious effort towards resolving the Palestinian issue, a talk about the so-called "alternative homeland" is revived and stressed that "Jordan is Jordan and Palestine is Palestine and nothing but that, not the in the past or the future."

In a meeting with the Prime Minister, the President of the Senate, and the Speaker of the Lower House, the President of the Judicial Council, the President of the Constitutional Court, and members of the permanent offices of both chambers of the parliament, the King said he wanted to discuss this issue before his recent visit to the United States, but chose not to "so no one would say that after my visit to America, things have changed and something new happened."

Commenting on the so-called "alternative homeland", the King said: "We know how this issue has been surfacing since 15 years, or even more, where things start in the spring by the same group, who tense the Jordanian society, and by the summer, people feel scared; a thing that makes me reassure them by a speech or a press interview, but this year, unfortunately, the talk about the so-called alternative homeland stated early." What this group has been doing is "sedition", His Majesty said, adding:" There are more important issues to focus on, especially with regards to political and economic reform. What we should do is to work as a team until we work out our internal issues.

"We know this group and if this issue is repeated next year, we will declare who they are by name," King Abdullah added, calling on all citizens to respond to those who promote the so-called alternative homeland.

"This, God's willing, will be the last time we talk about this subject, and I have said it more than once, but what is required now is everyone's support in this issue." In this context, the King affirmed that Jordan's position is very strong and the Kingdom is well posted on all developments related to the Palestinian-Israeli talks and the future of Palestine.

He said he was surprised with those who say assistance granted to Jordan is used to pressure the Kingdom to make concessions, saying: "We will not accept anything that tampers with the future of our people and our homeland."

Jordan is cooperating with the United States to help the Palestinians and Israelis reach a peace settlement, adding that the U.S. consults with Jordan in all mediation efforts.

King Abdullah said Jordan is familiar with all the details of the negotiations related to final status issues, especially “Jerusalem, the refugees, borders, water and security." He pointed out that Jordan helps all parties to support prospects for achieving peace in the Middle East.

PM: Jordan will not be a substitute homeland for Palestinians

[Published 26 February 2014]

Petra Jordan News Agency

Doha, Feb. 26 (Petra) -- Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour said that Jordan will not be a substitute homeland for the Palestinians, adding neither will the Palestinians give up their homeland nor will the Jordanians accept that.

Israel, Ensour said, is the only party that accepts such a position.

The prime minister made the remarks during the course of a lengthy interview with the Qatari Al Watan newspaper, conducted by its Director General, Ahmad Ali, and published today.

"We have to take all measures to ensure that Jordan does not become a substitute homeland for the Palestinians," he said, adding that the Kingdom will never accept that.

Regarding the children of Jordanian women married to foreigners, Ensour said that the issue of citizenship is not raised at all and that there are no differences when it comes to demands to grant them the right to education, work, owning property and freedom of travel and movement.

On possible unity between Jordan and the Palestinian state once it becomes independent, the prime minister said the majority of Jordanians and Palestinians believe that this issue should be discussed after the establishment of such an independent Palestinian state.

Ensour voiced the hope that the Palestinians would not surprise Jordan as they did when they signed the Oslo Accord in the past as "we have the issue of the refugees," and noted the presence of two million Palestinians in Jordan who have equal rights in any future Palestine in line with the international law, the UN resolutions and the resolutions of the Palestine Liberation Organization.

He pointed out that Jordan should be fully aware of all the details of the ongoing negotiations between the Palestinians and Israelis regarding the final status issues, especially in relation to "Jerusalem, refugees, borders, water and security." Asked about the issue of Jordan's membership in the Gulf Cooperation Council, Ensour said not granting the Kingdom the full membership in the GCC was a historic mistake.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

A kingdom of two halves

[Published 8 March 2014]

The Economist

WESTERN powers have long found money a good way of persuading the Hashemites, who rule Jordan, to do their bidding.

A century ago, T.E. Lawrence, a charismatic British officer, persuaded them to rebel against the rule of the Ottoman Turks by letting them loot the trains they blew up.

In more modern times, hefty dollops of aid have persuaded them to provide military facilities for the Americans in their war in Iraq and to accommodate the region’s periodic splurges of refugees, most recently from Syria.

Surely, Western officials say, for the right price, currently estimated in the tens of billions of dollars, the Jordanians will help John Kerry, America’s secretary of state to fix a settlement of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict by absorbing the 4.5m Palestinians who live in the kingdom, including the 3.5m who are now Jordanian citizens.

Or will they?

Indigenous Bedouin from Jordan’s East Bank, who number about 3m, worry that America’s plans to persuade Palestinian leaders to strip generations of refugees of their claimed “right of return” to what is now Israel would reduce Jordan’s original inhabitants to a permanent minority.

Tribal leaders fret that the refugees, barred from Israel, would campaign for full rights in Jordan, over time turning the kingdom into a second Palestinian state.

The Bedouin would lose their preferential access to government jobs. They might also be deprived of the skewed electoral system that has hitherto ensured that they control Jordan’s parliament.

“Kerry is destroying our home,” says a Jordanian analyst. “He is trying to solve one conflict by creating another.”

Read the full article here:

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Jordan is Jordan, Palestine is Palestine

[Published 27 February 2014]

Raed Omari

Al Arabiya News

For a considerable period of time, Jordanian political elites have been busying themselves and the country too with the meaningless talk about an Israeli scheme to turn Jordan into a “substitute homeland” for Palestinians.

Once again in Jordan, you see politicians shying away from mega issues facing their economically, socially and now demographically-concerned kingdom to raise concerns over something that is still in the level of intention or maybe conspiracy. These two things have no place in politics anyway.

Though there might be a point behind such concerns over the “substitute homeland” scheme (indeed there should be),“enough is enough” anyway as we in Jordan have other urgent woes to address other than a matter the least to be said about is its unrealism and surrealism.

Just an illusion

Once more in Jordan, King Abdullah had to interfere to alleviate Jordanians’ concerns over the “substitute homeland”, describing the Israel's never publicly-announced scheme as nothing more than an illusion in the minds of rumor-mongers.

Read the full article at:

Jordanian, Jordanian-American leaders and intellectuals voice their support for King of Jordan

[Published 5 March 2014]

Ali Younes

The Arab Daily News

In an open letter addressed to King Abdullah II of Jordan, tens of leading Jordanian and Jordanian American leaders and intellectuals expressed their strong and unequivocal support for the statements the king made on February 23 when addressing the Jordanian position on the ongoing negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians.

During a palace meeting with senior Jordanian public officials King Abdullah II addressed the concerns of some people in Jordan that a political solution between Israel and the Palestinians might come at the expense of Jordan’s territorial and demographic integrity.

The King, assured his audience, however, that this is “ not true” blaming “certain few individuals and groups for spreading unfounded fears and rumors that have a destabilizing effect on the country. “Jordan is Jordan, and Palestine is Palestine “ said the King in his usually candid and conversational manner.

‘These people should be ashamed of themselves” he added , referring to those who spread the idea that Jordanian national interest will be compromised as a result of ending the Arab-Israeli conflict.

The public letter which was authored by American-based Jordanian cardiologist and political activist Wael Husami, expressed its full support for the King and for his emphasis on the Jordanian political rights and patriotic principles.

The letter was signed by several retired army generals, intellectuals, journalists, former ministers, current and former members of parliament and professionals.

Read the full article here:

Monday, March 3, 2014

Palestine - Jordan Gets Jittery Again

[Published 3 March 2014]

Jordan has become increasingly jittery after US Secretary of State John Kerry’s framework agreement for peace missed meeting the second deadline for its release on 21 February - having initially been promised by the end of January.

Now US Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro has let slip at a meeting of the Jewish Agency Board of Governors in Jerusalem on 24 February that the US hopes to present the framework agreement before the end of April.

Abdullah is now in the identical position he found himself on 11 October 2006 - when he told the Khaleej Times:

“I really think that by the first half of 2007 we might wake up to reality and realise that the two-state solution is no longer attainable. I think we are really running out of time . Physically on the ground and geographically, I think there is less and less of a West Bank and Jerusalem to talk about.”

He then warned:

“We want to go back to the 1967 borders. We are talking about that today. Are we going to talk about that tomorrow though? This is the danger.”

Abdullah recognised then that compromise would inevitably involve Israel retaining part of the West Bank - notwithstanding the PLO demanding it all.

With a negotiated two-state solution likely to fall by the wayside despite Kerry’s desperate efforts to keep it alive - Abdullah is clearly aware that with less of the West Bank to talk about in 2014 than in 2006 - the PLO might attempt to overthrow Abdullah - as it unsuccessfully tried to do in 1970 with Abdullah’s father - King Hussein .

Whilst Abdullah warned this week that “Jordan is Jordan and Palestine is Palestine” - the PLO Charter - and history - ominously state otherwise.

Jordan needs a seat at that negotiating table - immediately.

To read the full article: