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‘The true-state solution’

Jan 05,2019 - Last updated at Jan 05,2019

This title is not mine. It is by Daniel J. Arbess, who published a piece in the Wall Street Journal on January 2, in which he argued that the two-state solution is dead and that US President Donald Trump’s administration “has offered tantalising clues about its forthcoming ‘deal of the century’ for Mideast peace”. He said that “it could be a bold new concept, replacing the failed ‘two-state solution’ with a Jordan-Israel confederacy, in which Jordan would be recognised as the Palestinian state. Call it the true-state solution”.

He is basing his argument on a few assumptions. One of them is, as he puts it, that “Palestinians have always been the majority in Jordan”. He also advocates that “the true-state solution would enfranchise the Palestinians. Jordan would extend citizenship to, and assume administrative responsibility for, Arabs now living on the West Bank of the Jordan River, including the cities of Jenin, Nablus, Ramallah, Bethlehem and Jericho, which would be Israeli territory”.

Although there is a realisation that the two-state solution has been seriously challenged and undermined by colonising Israeli policies, it is not realistic, either, to assume that creating facts on the ground is going to legitimise these de facto colonisation policies. More importantly, the Palestinian national cause remains crystal clear, despite all attempts to derail it: The right to self-determination, in an internationally recognised legitimate state, in line with United Nations Security Council resolutions and subsequent initiatives accepted by the Palestinians. The Palestinians ought to solidify their position by making sure that all Palestinians, or those of Palestinian descent globally, are granted Palestinian nationality, regardless of their other current nationalities. Reasserting their rightful national identity.

As far as Jordan is concerned, Jordan’s strategic position has not changed, and it will not change: Peace means a Palestinian state for all Palestinians. Patriotic Palestinians, and with them all justice and peace seekers, will never accept or allow themselves to facilitate or make Jordan, or any other place for that matter, an alternative homeland for the Palestinians. Despite the relentless efforts by the Israelis, particularly Israeli right-wing ideologues, their supporters globally and allies regionally, to push for a “Jordan-is-Palestine” policy option in many ways and forms, there is a solid position that unifies publics and leaders on rejecting this repetitive and futile attempt. Palestinians and Jordanians of all backgrounds stand unified behind an independent Palestine. They also reject the implicit and explicit transfer of more Palestinians to Jordan. Emptying Palestine of its rightful people serves no one except Israel, and Jordanians will do whatever they can, and should, to support Palestinians.   

Despite some claims that variations of the Jordan option have received some regional support, it is the business of Palestinians first and foremost, then Jordanians, to reject or accept peace proposals, as they have been the most affected since 1948. His Majesty King Abdullah has been the most consistent Arab leader emphasising the Palestinian cause. His unwavering persistence gives him more support internally and among the Palestinians of Palestine. If the to-be-proposed “deal of the century” is going to start from “practical realities” and ignores legitimate rights, it is a non-starter, and Palestine will remain Palestine and Jordan will remain Jordan, with a harmonious patriotic mosaic.

 

The writer is chairman of NAMA Strategic Intelligence Solutions. [email protected]

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