Ted Belman. This is great. Even Haaretz is entertaining the Jordanian solution.
but as I pointed out in The Ultimate Alternate Solution, there is no need to include Area B and perhaps Area A in the bargain.
Effectively he wants Israel to retain Area C and to join A and B to Jordan.
If leaders on both the Israeli and Palestinian side are brave, there is another way of solving the problem that would give the Palestinians a state five times larger than Israel
By Israel Harel, HAARETZ
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and U.S. President Donald Trump walking into the White House, February 15, 2017.Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg
Habayit Hayehudi Chairman Naftali Bennett believes the way Israel – that is, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu – is conducting itself with the Trump administration constitutes a missed strategic opportunity. Instead of presenting Trump with a plan for the annexation of the West Bank’s Area C, Netanyahu has repeated his commitment to the hollow “two states for two peoples” formula. Indeed, in the meeting with Trump in February, Netanyahu didn’t need to be bold, let alone show chutzpah, in order to show him – taking care not to be seen asking for acquiescence – a plan for the annexation of certain areas and unlimited construction in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria.
Israel, Netanyahu could have told Trump, has examined all your campaign declarations while running for the Republican nomination and presidency. The plan I am presenting to you, Mr. President, encompasses your own declarations.
Trump, even if he had another plan (which he didn’t have, doesn’t have and probably never will have), could not have denied his own statements. If he had denied them, it would have put him in an awkward position. In this meeting, Netanyahu lacked the vision, courage and sense of perspective with which he could have represented a free nation, whose liberty is as important as it also is for the American people, which never tires of reminding itself, on a daily basis, of the values of freedom of thought and action.
Bennett should also blame himself and his party for the fact the annexation formula has not sufficiently penetrated the Israeli and international consciousness. Even governing coalition members who support annexation – and they are the majority – are in no rush to create a new, irreversible reality. They worry instead about what “the world” will say.
The main opposition to such a move, abroad and among many Israelis, stems from the fact that Arabs in Judea and Samaria will not enjoy the same civil rights as Jews. An annexation that includes the granting of such rights, which is a major component of such a plan, will make it easier for Arabs, Jews, Europeans and Americans to accept the reality. If the move succeeds – which it will if we invest the required determination in it – then those whose opposition does not stem from hatred of Israel may even become supporters.
Such a dramatic move will force the Palestinian leadership to make some courageous decisions, after decades of inertia. One path, which is also desirable for Israel, is the joining of territories under current Palestinian Authority rule to Jordan, in a political amalgamation. The kingdom suffers from instability, which has only intensified since a million Syrian refugees and hundreds of thousands of Iraqis sought asylum there. Israeli intelligence sources believe the Palestinian citizens of Jordan – comprising at least 70 percent of the population – are currently the kingdom’s stabilizing pillar. Moreover, it is Israeli protection – some overt, but most of it covert – that safeguards King Abdullah II’s reign.
Israeli defense and the linking of Areas A and B to Jordan could stabilize the Jordanian regime with regard to Iran and the terrorist organizations seeking to undermine and topple the kingdom. Under such circumstances, Palestinians won’t have a state comprising 20 percent of Israel, but instead will have a state five times larger than Israel.
This is not a pipe dream. This is a realistic alternative to the stalled two-state formula that only encourages endless terror. We’re on the brink of marking the jubilee year of the Six-Day War – the war of salvation. The time has come, after decades of being dragged into concessions involving uprooting and bloodshed, to reach the opposite strategic solution. Only political bravery can turn such a plan into reality. Trump, if we take his character into account, will acquiesce to this and ultimately give it his blessing.
I believe that after a period of adaptation, perhaps not a short one, the Palestinians – as well as their supporters around the world – will learn to live with this new reality and ultimately give it their blessing, too.