Skip to comments.The 76% Solution (Jordan is Palestine and Palestine is Jordan, King Hussein)
Posted on 11/11/2002 11:39:33 AM PST by SJackson
Ever since May 14, 1948, Israels rebirth day, the world has been engaged in an ongoing obsession with the fate of the Jewish State. Israel is a tiny state whose land mass is less than one-fifth of one-thousandth of the total land mass of this planet we live on. And its population of six and a half million is less than one thousandth of the worlds total. So why the endless and seemingly obsessive focus on this tiny people sitting on a tiny speck of the map?
The reasons are complex and they include religious, psychological, economic, political and military elements. As the birthplace of the People of the Bible - the Book - Israel is the home of the people who gave the Western world the belief in One G-d, the Ten Commandments and its system of ethics and laws. The world cares and is enchanted by this unique people, who have managed to survive intact culturally, socially and spiritually for over 3,800 years and who, after 2,000 years of exile, having survived expulsions and holocausts of unspeakable horror, have miraculously returned home.
Despite all of the above reasons for global interest in Israel, it can be said that without the presence of two-thirds of the worlds oil reserves in the hands of Israels neighbor-enemies, the world would have a less pecuniary interest in the outcome of the Arab-Israeli conflict. The Wests dependence on oil, and its impotence in forcing a de-linkage between oil and politics in the Middle East, has encouraged the Arab states to threaten to shut off oil supplies to the West if the latter wont yield to their policies and ambitions to destroy the Jewish state.
Of course, the root cause of the inability of Israel and its Arab neighbors to resolve their conflict is due to the asymmetry in their political structures. Israel is a democratic state, while all of its neighbors are dictatorships. The so-called Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty, brokered by former US President Jimmy Carter in 1978, proves the futility of peace treaties between Israel and any Arab state. Twenty-four years later, there is no Egyptian ambassador in Israel; Egyptian President Mubarak has an iron-clad policy of never visiting Israel; there is no trade or commerce between the two states; and Egyptian media is splattered with the most virulent anti-Jewish propaganda spewed out since World War II.
Never in the annals of political history have democracies been able to settle conflicts amicably with nearby dictatorships. Throwing Islamic religious hatred into the mix guarantees the problem to be insoluble. But is it?
The solution to the Arab-Israeli problem should not be viewed as a local issue. Rather, it is the local manifestation of a global problem. That problem is the global threat to world peace posed by the essence of Islam. There is no point in beating around the bush on this matter. The fact is that Islam is a militant, intolerant, incendiary religion whose adherents, whenever they establish a critical mass of about ten percent of a given population, begin to foment violence, revolt and jihad. Today, Islam has effectively declared war on Western civilization. This is World War III. Therefore, only a worldwide United States-led war on Islamic terrorism can restore stability to the subcontinent of India, Indonesia and the Middle East - and ensure the tranquility of Europe and the Americas.
Along with the military effort, a bold diplomatic effort is needed, led by the US and Europe, to demand that all Islamic states, not just the Palestinian Authority, take concrete, time-limited steps to reform their form of government. Free elections, constitutions, universal suffrage cant be forestalled any longer. For only by changing the political structure of the Islamic world can we ever hope to wean it from its addiction to violent revolution.
What leverage does the West have in forcing such changes? One is the ability to reduce its dependence on Middle Eastern oil by diversifying its supplies. Russias growing reserves and its ability to supply the West with a great deal more oil than in the past, provide the West with a golden opportunity to reduce Saudi economic-political leverage on the Western economies.
A second source of Western pressure on Saudi Arabia, the birthplace and Mecca of Osama bin Laden and whole host of international Islamic terrorists, is military. Without Saudi Arabias compliance with a complete crackdown on terrorism, and without adherence to a timeline for democratic reforms, US military aid and its military umbrella against the threats from Iraq and Iran should be folded - virtually guaranteeing the collapse of the House of Saud.
The Arab-Israeli conflict is an offshoot of the global Islamic threat - and a forerunner of what is to come to the shores of the US and Europe if they dont see the picture and take steps to make sure that it develops in ways that will ensure their security and prosperity. Therefore, a permanent solution to this conflict is in the interest of the West and, ultimately, of the entire world. However, the solution must be historically just. Only then can it be stable and long-lasting.
How to proceed? First, let us examine the historical facts. The land of Israel belongs to the people of Israel via a deed that most of the world can attest to - the Bible. Bethlehem and Hebron are Hebrew words because the Hebrews lived there 2,400 years before Mohamad was born. In 1917, the region called Palestine was bequeathed to the returning Jewish people as its home in the Balfour Declaration of the mandatory power, Great Britain. In 1922, Trans-Jordan was ripped from the Jewish homeland and an Arab state was later created there. Today, Jordan sits on 76% of mandatory Palestine. Moreover, over 70% of Jordanian citizens are of Palestinian (non-Bedouin) descent. Hence, as the late King Hussein correctly stated, Jordan is Palestine and Palestine is Jordan. It is therefore wrong, historically, morally and politically, to establish a second Palestinian Arab state on any part of the 24% of Palestine that is Israel and the West Bank. Such a state has no legal, moral or historical right to exist.
King Abdullah II of Jordan must be persuaded to accept his fathers dictum, rename Jordan Palestine, and agree to give full citizenship to all Palestinians residing in Jordan and Israel. The border between Israel and Palestine will be the Jordan River - a good fence and a natural one. Those Palestinians who wish to move east of the Jordan River will be given aid provided by an international fund. Those who wish to emigrate to other countries will be helped by the same fund. The right to receive aid will be for a limited time period. Those who remain west of the Jordan will be resident aliens of Israel with no political rights whatsoever therein. This solution is realistic, doable and, most of all, just.
Harry Weber is a Certified Public Accountant and a political commentator. His articles have appeared in the Hatzofeh newspaper.
Israel's failure to do so when it had the chance was a failure of nerve, a failure which is bringing it dire consequences now. It is difficult to invision any scenario that could accomplish the desired outcome now. A realistic assessment of the situation would conclude that the best that the Israelis can hope to achieve now would be a permanent partition and absolute separation of the two populations by truly secure borders. Even that will not assure "peace", only "survival." Maybe if the Israelis survive for enough centuries, they will get another window of opportunity to take it all.
About a year ago, I proposed the exact same solution mentioned above to ending the Palestinian/Iraeli conflict, and drew nothing but catcalls asking 'what planet are you from?!'.
I missed it, but what planet ARE you from.
Not that it wouldnt be a just solution. Jordan would have dealt with Palestinian terror as they dealt with the PLO. Lots of dead, no PLO. But its too late.
Stefan Stackhouse: The window of opportunity for the Israelis to implement this solution was immediately after the 1967 war Israel's failure to do so when it had the chance was a failure of nerve, a failure which is bringing it dire consequences now.
A lesson to be learned there. At the height of the IDFs aggressiveness, following a historical military success, a lasting solution was impossible. IMO, a liberal government probably is to blame. If it were lack of the nations will, we wouldnt be having this discussion.
Actually, a better option than Jordan raised at the time was the creation of a refugee state in the Sinai, perhaps encompassing a portion of Gaza.
It is difficult to invision any scenario that could accomplish the desired outcome now
Perhaps a division of the West Bank along the lines proposed by the Joint Chiefs in the late 60s to provide Israel with defensible borders (Ill post them if you wish). It would provide the Palestinians with about 40% of the West Bank for a demilitarized state. Given the passage of time, theyd get Gaza too.
Most important, there would be recognizable borders, the violation of which (and it will happen) would be an act of war.
"...Actually, a better option than Jordan raised at the time was the creation of a refugee state in the Sinai, perhaps encompassing a portion of Gaza..."
The Sinai is as hospitable as Mars. It's also Egyptian. They won't agree to it.
Therefore, regardless how good it sounds, Abdullah will never allow this to happen.
Talking about the rights of Palestinians and Israelis in general is all well and good, but what about the property rights of those who were kicked off their lands?
How can conservatives support the Israeli's in this conflict, UNLESS the Israeli's officially declare war and take the land as the spoils of war?
All this mealy-mouthed land for peace stuff is just groupthink and grouphug politics of the most odious kind.
At the time it was under Israeli occupation. They didn't have to return it all, as they did, twice.
Actually, a contiguous state could have been created along the coast centered around Al Arish in the Sinai, possibly including Rafah and even extending to Khan Yunus in Gaza. No more inhospitable than Israel, and better for the refugees than the camps their Arab brethren have kept them in for the last fifty years. And at the time, probably a less disruptive solution that Jordan.
Not feasible now, barring a fatal Egyptian mistake (they are practicing canal crossings with their new Abrams tanks, so who knows what theyre thinking).
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