Abbas’ infusion from Abdullah

T. Belman. There is no doubt in my mind that Abdullah is very worried about my efforts to promote the Jordan Option. First he got Hamas to speak out denying that Jordan is Palestine and he also enlisted the MB to do the same thing. His visit to Ramallah was intended to forestall such a plan to make Jordan  the Palestinian state.

My little conference, The Jordan Option: The Ultimate Alternate Solution, is making big waves.

By Dr Reuvan Berko, ISRAEL HAYOM

Many are wondering what brought Jordan’s King Abdullah II to visit Ramallah earlier this week, after years of not stepping foot in the West Bank. Some say the visit came about because Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas declared a cessation of security coordination with Israel, which prevented him from leaving for his visit to Jordan. Others argue that, despite Abbas’ disruption of security coordination, the Israelis did not prohibit him from leaving the West Bank, and that Abbas stayed due to illness.

It turns out the crisis on the Temple Mount and Jordan’s role in the arrangement there — at the expense of the Palestinians and alongside the release of the Israeli Embassy guard without a trial — were the basis for the timing of the rare visit, and that the king and PA president wanted to send Israel and the Americans a message that they are in lockstep, because, in their view, Israel acted on the Temple Mount without consideration for them.

Political pundit Adnan Abu Amar explained that the king went to see the frail Abbas to boost a Jordanian initiative to alleviate the Temple Mount and Israeli Embassy in Amman crises, and to strengthen the PA president politically. According to Abu Amar, the purpose of the king’s visit was to rehabilitate his popularity. The meeting was intended to restrain, by establishing coordination with the Palestinians, the rage on the street over the Israeli Embassy shooting.

Attallah Akram, another political pundit, said the king’s visit to Ramallah was an act of protest against Israel’s “deception” and manipulation, which embarrassed the king in two separate flashpoints. Political analyst Dr. Ibrahim Abrash believed the king’s visit stemmed from his concern over the viability of the Palestinian Authority’s rule, in light of Abbas’ illness and Jordan’s desire to help choose his successor.

In an interview with the Hezbollah-affiliated Al-Mayadeen television network, Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood member Laith Shubeilat, a Bedouin, denounced Abdullah’s role in resolving the Temple Mount crisis. According to Shubeilat, the Palestinians in Jerusalem are the ones responsible for the “victory.” Shubeilat mercilessly derided the king for personal corruption in the crumbling kingdom and accused him of losing control; instituting failed centralization of power; surrender and subservience to the United States, Israel and Gulf States; and for implementing the plan to make Jordan the alternative homeland of the Palestinians.

Shubeilat also accused the king of sacrificing the Palestinians and the Palestinian refugee problem, and of abandoning Jerusalem. He described Abdullah as weak and ephemeral compared to the “ancient” Bedouins, and he recounted the list of “humiliations” he suffered at the hands of Netanyahu, an affront to the Jordanian people. In Islamic terms, Shubeilat indirectly categorized Abdullah as an “oppressor” to be removed from power. The harsh tone employed by Shubeilat, who supports Palestinian terror and Hamas, is essentially aimed at muffling the Palestinians’ increasing economic and political power in Jordan. It reflects the anxieties of the Bedouins, who are consequently losing clout.

Reports from Jordan point to an increasing Islamization of the Bedouin tribes, which are shedding their traditional loyalties to the Hashemite Kingdom. And again, similar to the Arab spring, we see Al Jazeera’s role in the Islamist effort to topple Abdullah by highlighting the “kingdom’s failures” — which correspond to Shubeilat’s list of the king’s “transgressions.”

The Jordanians are in a Catch 22, and the king’s visit to Ramallah, for all intents and purposes, was a tightrope act. Because they do not want the kingdom to become an alternative homeland for the Palestinians, they are giving Abbas an “infusion.” Because the Palestinians’ interest in Jordan is to maintain the current state of the kingdom, it’s possible the Hashemites will increasingly lean on the Palestinians as a crutch.

Similar to Abbas, the king, too, can see the trend of Arab normalization with Israel at the expense of the Palestinian problem. Amid the stormy regional seas, the goal of their meeting was to quell anger on the street and create a convenient anchor for them both, as Israel is always a “safe harbor.”

All that remains now is blocking an Islamic revolution against the Jordanian kingdom. This Palestinian-Jordanian avenue of partnership could possibly adopt the British kingdom model, in other words Palestinian governance under a Jordanian crown, moving us all further along the path to the long-desired diplomatic solution.

August 10, 2017 | Comments »

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