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A piece of advice

Apr 25,2019 - Last updated at Apr 25,2019

US President Donald Trump’s Mideast peace envoy Jason Greenblatt is reported to have Tweeted recently that “King Abdullah II & Jordan are strong US allies”, that the Trump administration’s “vision for peace” does not include a “confederation between Jordan, Israel & the PA”, and that talk about “making Jordan the homeland for Palestinians” is “incorrect”.

Well, thanks for stating the obvious on the following three fronts.

One, that Jordan has not only for decades been a strong and reliable ally to the US, it has also, for decades, been a staunch supporter of genuine peace for all peoples of the Middle East and a voice of moderation and reason.

Two, that peace between the Israelis on the one hand and the Palestinians and Arabs on the other, should not be sought through pressuring or coercing the Palestinians and the Arabs in an attempt to compel them to accept a bad “deal”, but through respect of their right to a fair and just settlement or solution.

Israel is the occupier of Palestinian and Arab land, and it has to give back to the Palestinians and the Arabs what belongs to them and not to it.

Countless UN resolutions have been issued on the matter, and it is time international legitimacy and these UN resolutions are used as a basis for resolving the Arab-Israeli conflict in its entirety.

Three, Jordan is for Jordanians, and the Palestinian state is for Palestinians.

For almost a century now, the Palestinians have been seeking a state of their own, and it is high time this long-overdue demand and right is given to the Palestinians through the two-state solution.

And if Jordan has welcomed Palestinians and other refugees, out of compassion and a sense of chivalry and responsibility, it should not be manipulated into being made a permanent home for refugees who are eagerly waiting to go home.

We hope that Greenblatt’s statements are indicative of a shift in the Trump administration’s “vision” of peace, and that the Trump “peace team”, which is extremely biased toward Israel, has finally become aware that peace in the Middle East is not to be sought by giving Israel what it wants, and ignoring the positions, demands and rights of the Palestinians and Israel’s Arab neighbours.

One important piece of advice for President Trump and his Mideast peace envoys and delegates: Mideast peace plans are not, and should not, be made in Washington, or in Washington and Tel Aviv, but through honest, sincere consultations with all parties concerned, especially the Palestinians and Jordan.

We hope that Greenblatt and the Trump team take the next logical step after the Tweet: consult more closely and in good faith with Washington’s “strong ally” Jordan, which has precious knowledge of what constitutes real, solid peace and sound experience in making peace for all happen, a long-cherished strategic goal for Jordan since the early years of King Abdullah I, about 100 years ago.

We are not so naïve, of course, as to think the Trump administration can become a reliable peace patron and a fair peacemaker overnight.

Nevertheless, one thing we are 100 per cent sure of: If the Trump administration continues to espouse and adopt the ominous, selfish vision of the hard-line, extremist Benjamin Netanyahu government, whatever “peace” plan or “deal” it comes up with is bound to fail, and fail miserably.

Bluffing, coercion and one-sided “solutions” cannot and will not work.

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