T. Belman. This article was written just a month after Pres Trump was inaugurated. Six months later I hosted a conference at the Begin Center in Jerusalem called The Jordan Option. All aspects of this option were discussed. The Jordan Opposition Coalition was represented by its founder Dr Mudar Zahran and Abed Amaala, the head of a million man Bedouin clan in Jordan. Close attention to the ideas presented, was paid by the PMO in Jerusalem and the Trump team in DC.
These ideas were further developed in my article, Memo to Kushner, published in Feb 2019. Dr. Mudar Zahran addressed members of the EU Parliament (video) and debated at the Oxford Union delivering a pro-Israel message. Be sure to watch both.
I like to believe that it was our initiative and our ideas that lead to the Abrahamic Accords and their progeny of peace deals yet to be born. Dr Mudar Zahran strongly believes in cooperation, not confrontation, just as King Feisal proposed and the Abrahamic Accords formalized. Jordan may yet become the Palestinian State under his leadership.
With a new U.S. president, new ideas are emerging on how to resolve the Israel-Palestine debacle. One of the most promising comes from Jordanian Opposition Council who favor a new Palestinian state — in Jordan.
By Ted Belman, (First published in slightly different form on Apr 1/17)
The GOP unanimously approved a pro-Israel platform at their convention in July 2016 which stipulated:
“The U.S. seeks to assist in the establishment of comprehensive and lasting peace in the Middle East, to be negotiated among those living in the region,”
David Friedman and Jason Greenblatt, representing Donald Trump, participated in the drafting and were in complete agreement with the final text.
Gone was any reference to the Palestinian people or to a two-state solution. In addition, the platform included the words “We reject the false notion that Israel is an occupier.” If not an “occupier,” then presumably Israel is a sovereign.
T. Belman. What a flimsy argument.. Very few people on the right have plans to overthow Abdullah. If he were overthrown, its not the beduoin who would seize power but the Palestinians under the leadership of Mudar Zahran, with the backing of the beduoin. The Palestinians, afterall make up 82% of the citizens. Also, using the words transfer, ethnic cleansing, aparthied and racism are misusing them and incendiary.
My plan, which has the best chance of succeeding, would make all Palestinians west of the Jordan R, Jordanian citizens. They are now citizens but this would remove any doubts. Israel can annex the land without being an apartheid state because there is no obligation to give residents who are citizens of another country, citizenship. They can remain as foreign residents. My plan also envisaging incentivizing Palestinians to move the Jordan. There will be no transfer. Finally, its not like Jordan wasn’t part of Palestine from the beginning. So this isn’t transfer, it is voluntary movement from one part of the original Palestine to another part.
ZOUBEIR SOUISSI / Reuters
Once again it is clear that the Israeli right has no solution to the issue of civil rights for Palestinians in the West Bank after the planned annexation, except for the overthrowing of the Hashemite monarchy in Jordan. And once again, it turns out that both the Israeli right and the ayatollahs’ Iran have a deep partnership with shared interests.
Let’s start with the second point: The Israeli right has a real need for a strong Iran, whose influence spreads through the Middle East, because this helps the right implement its strategic goals. Iran’s aggression unites the moderate Sunni nations in an alliance with Israel against Iran, at the expense of Arab solidarity with Palestinian nationalism and the Palestinian aspiration to end the occupation and establish a state.
by Michael Makovsky, PhD and Jonathan Ruhe, JINSA
A targeted killing of a mass murderer is a horrible opportunity to waste. On Jan. 3, a U.S. drone commendably killed the mastermind of Iranian aggression, Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani, and upended Iranian assumptions about declining American power in the Middle East. But this will, by itself, neither restore U.S. deterrence nor roll back Iranian power. Instead, the strike should be the opening salvo in a concerted strategy to bring about regime collapse in Tehran.
Since its birth, the Islamic republic has waged war and spilled blood – of Americans, Iraqis, Syrians, Yemenis, Israelis, Argentine Jews and Iranians, among many others – with virtual impunity. Only the Israelis have consistently retaliated. Iranian weapons in the hands of Iranian-backed groups killed 241 U.S. service members in Beirut in 1983 and more than 600 in Iraq during the 2000s. Yet Iran was never held responsible, which only emboldened its leadership.
By Dr. Mordechai Nisan, Hebrew University of Jerusalem
T Belman. This article was published in Hebrew in Volume 1, No. 2 – Fall 2019 of the journal “National Resilience, Politics and Society” published by the University of Ariel. I posted a Google translation of same. I have now replaced it with a better translation
Nisan. Palestinian integration into Jordan as a historical phenomenon of significant political importance, showing why Palestinians are rejected not because they are foreigners in Jordan, but precisely because they have a very strong connection with it. The Jordanian kingdom fears internal problems more than external ones: For her, the Palestinian threat has not weakened through times, but has taken on various forms of settlement, involvement and integration, including the possibility that in the final stage of his complex relationship with the government, the Palestinians will even take over the kingdom.
The article’s conclusions on the future are primarily related to policy decisions on this bloody issue:
A Palestinian state east of the Jordan River should be established, which will attract the Arabs of Judea and Samaria, develop as a prosperous state and avoid the current Palestinian preoccupation with terrorism.
The complexity of the relationship between Jordan and the Palestinians
For over a century, the Jordanian actor has been seeking a role and identity on the history stage. He is often debating whether to grant more or less liberties to his residents, as well as whether to integrate extensively with radical Arab forces or collaborate with moderate forces. At the same time, he maintains a secret security relationship with Israel on the one hand, and on the other, he is openly alienating himself with it on the international stage.
Abdullah’s grandson, King Hussein, discovered impressive political art when, in September 1970, for example, he appointed a Palestinian prime minister to lead the military suppression of the PLO uprising, or when he signed a peace treaty with Israel following the 1993 Oslo Accords.
Sa’ar said that the solution needs to be an autonomous Palestinian entity linked together in a federation with Jordan. “Between the Jordan River and the (Mediterranean) Sea there cannot be another state,” he said.
Attacking PM from the right, challenger blames Netanyahu’s ‘endless concessions’ for helping perpetuate the idea that a Palestinian state is the only way to achieve a peace deal
By TOI STAFF
Gideon Sa’ar, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s sole challenger in the upcoming Likud party leadership race, said Sunday that a two-state solution with the Palestinians is an “illusion,” and attacked the premier for giving the notion credibility over the last decade.
“Throughout the world they say that a two-state solution remains the path to an agreement,” Sa’ar said, speaking at a conference.”I have to say to you, this is not a position that helps anyone. Two-states in an illusion.”
The two-state solution would endanger Israel’s safety. The one-state solution may endanger Israel’s Jewish identity.
The two-state solution would create an independent Palestinian Arab state approximately along the pre-1967 lines. It would occupy all, or almost all, of Judea-Samaria (the West Bank) and be linked to Gaza.
So Israel would be just nine miles wide at its narrowest point — virtually indefensible. Israel’s major cities and Ben-Gurion Airport would be within easy range if a Palestinian terrorist army should arise — an unprecedented danger. Also, there would be a mass expulsion of tens of thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousands, of Jews in existing settlement towns — which would be utterly immoral.
Jordan demands Israeli mayors remove religious items, conducts military exercise against Israeli ‘invasion.’
A serious incident on the Jordanian Israeli border near Eilat on Tuesday once again showed how Jordan has become a hostile entity for Israel and information provided by two members of the Jordanian opposition in exile sheds new light on the behavior of King Abdullah II.
The incident at the Jordanian-Israeli border near Eilat involved a large group of Israeli deputy-mayors who wanted to travel to the ancient city of Petra in Jordan but were humiliated by Jordanian border guards.
By Martin Sherman
The current situation in Gaza—and the accompanying misery—are the direct result of the misguided attempt to foist statehood on the Palestinian-Arabs.
…Arafat was sober, businesslike, almost in awe of the scale of the problems that he faces in turning this impoverished strip of land into the paradise that many of his people expect will come from self-rule – Los Angeles Times, July 2, 1994 – On Yasser Arafat’s return to Gaza following the signing of the Oslo Accords.
We predicted some years ago that Gaza would fast become unlivable on a host of indicators and that deadline is actually approaching even faster than we predicted — from health access, to energy to water – Robert Piper, Assistant Secretary General of the United Nations Development Coordination, The Times of Israel, July 11, 2017.
“I don’t believe that there is a realistic plan that can be implemented that would require anyone — Jew or Arab — to be forced to leave their home,” Friedman told the pro-settler Israel National News website.
Friedman said that Washington is “desperately” waiting for a new Israeli government to be formed. The US will release its so-called Deal of the Century soon thereafter and expects a prompt response from the next Israeli government, he said.
The peace plan will be released in its current form regardless of who the Israeli people chose to be their leader, he stressed.
The ambassador also explained why the White House has been hesitant to release the plan before a new Israeli coalition is established.
“During election periods people aren’t necessarily thinking about the long term,” he said. “They’re thinking about how do we position ourselves to gain votes in the short term. It’s not the right environment to discuss something this important, which has such long-term ramifications.”
Liberman has publicly and arrogantly laid out his demands for joining the Right-Wing bloc headed by Netanyahu. It is his and the prime minister’s responsiblity to reach an agreement.
Prime Minister Netanyahu and Yisrael Beyteinu leader Avigdor Liberman have finally met – albeit for just one hour – to discuss the possibility of the 63 votes they control being converted into Israel’s next Government.
It is hard to believe that having made that long-awaited breakthrough – they would be so foolish and obstinate to refuse to compromise their differences to prevent the Israeli electorate going through a third election within twelve months.
The direct cost to the Israeli government for new elections, including a budget for the central elections committee and state funding for parties running in the elections, is estimated at NIS 800 million ($220 million).
Wednesday, 2 October, 2019
Outgoing US Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt. AFP fil…
Outgoing US Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt, who spent nearly three years trying to bring Israelis and Palestinians to the negotiation table, made last month a sudden decision to resign, before he even got a chance to show the world the policy that he secretly shaped. His resignation opened the door to a lot of speculations that the Israeli-Palestinian peace plan may not be fully revealed or is doomed to fail.
The Trump administration had said it would release the plan, dubbed the deal of the century, in the days following the Sept. 17 election in Israel, though no date has been announced.
Jordanian union said stopwork action in public schools would be halted until Saturday
Jordanian government school teachers shout slogans during a gathering outside the Jordanian syndicates building in Amman, Jordan. EPA
The Jordanian Teachers’ Syndicate has announced a temporary suspension of its public school strike until Saturday, pending talks with the government.
After an emergency meeting on Thursday afternoon, the syndicate said any further action would be announced for Sunday if the government did not respond to its demands.
By Ted Belman
David Horowitz, in the article just below this, Goodbye withdrawal, hello sovereignty: The triumph of the settlers, understands that the tide has turned in favour of sovereignty, but what he doesn’t understand is the impact the Jordan Option will have on, … well, everything.
The Jordan Option, as articulated by me and Mudar Zahran, the Secretary General of the Jordan Opposition Coalition, anticipates that King Abdullah will abdicate, willingly or otherwise, and that Mudar Zahran will take over Jordan as its leader.
He is very open as to what his intentions are once in power.
- He wants to work with Israel rather than be in confrontation with Israel
- Jordan will grant citizenship to all Palestinians wherever they may live.
- Jordan will have an open-door policy for all Palestinians.
- Jordan will replace UNRWA as the provider of services to all Palestinian refugees of which 2 million live west of the Jordan River
- Jordan will invite the said two million refugees to emigrate to Jordan to receive the said services which include social security, healthcare and education.
- The Peace Treaty between Jordan and Israel will be reaffirmed as will the Jordan River be reaffirmed as the international boundary.
- The Palestinian textbooks will be rewritten by a joint task force to reflect in the main the Jewish narrative with appropriate nods to the Arab perspective. These new text books will be studied by all Palestinians in Jordan or Israel.
Teachers in Jordan are starting the third week of one of the longest strikes by educators in the region’s history. The teachers are demanding a 50 percent salary increase, which they claim was promised to them by the government in 2014. However, negotiations with the government have stalled, and there is no end in sight.
Whereas ten years ago, teachers and other frustrated workers may not have felt empowered enough to voice concerns about wages and quality of life, things have changed in the post-Arab Spring era. There is now an increased willingness to push back against the longstanding, but outdated social contracts between most Arab governments and their citizens.
T. Belman. That is why the King must go and be replaced by Mudar Zahran.
Extending Israel sovereignty to the Jordan River depends on it.
King assesses Netanyahu’s pledge for Jordan Valley as ‘electioneering,’ warns one-state solution with different laws for Jews would be ‘apartheid’
By TOI STAFF
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, right, and Jordan’s King Abdullah II, during the former’s surprise visit to Amman on January 16, 2014 (AP/Yousef Allan/Jordanian Royal Palace)
Jordan’s King Abdullah II says that any future Israeli annexation of parts of the West Bank would have a “major impact” on Jerusalem’s ties with his country and Egypt, the only two Arab states with which Israel has peace treaties, and warned that a one-state solution would amount to “apartheid.”
After the new Israeli government is formed, “all of us, members of our region and the international community, will jump on board to say, ‘Can we focus back on the two-state solution?’” the Jordanian royal said in an MSNBC interview broadcast Monday.
T. Belman. Not only will the annexation not hurt peace prospects, it is in line with them. I have advised many times that I believe that the Jordan Option will be embraced by the Trump team. This annexation is in line with the Option which provides for Israel sovereignty to the Jordan River. This option embraces the idea that Jordan will be the Palestinian State and Israel the Jewish state with the Jordan River deividing them has as the peace treaty between Jordan and Israel currently provides.
Despite Netanyahu’s election-eve vow, White House official says there’s ‘no change in United States policy at this time’
By Eric Cordellessa, TOI 10 September 2019, 11:17 pm
WASHINGTON — The White House said Tuesday that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s vow to annex the Jordan Valley and West Bank settlements would not foreclose the possibility of a political solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict if enacted.
A source familiar with the administration’s thinking told The Times of Israel that the United States was “informed of this announcement before it was made.” Trump’s team, the source went on, said they “do not think it precludes the possibility of a political settlement in the future.”
Jason Greenblatt’s departure from the Trump administration may mean the peace plan is released soon — but judging by those now leading the process, its real target is not Israel or the Palestinians
WASHINGTON — Jason Greenblatt’s decision to leave the Trump administration after two and a half years as special envoy for the Middle East will likely have no impact on the White House’s peace plan, which Greenblatt worked on for most of his time in D.C.
Officially, the administration is still saying that, regardless of Greenblatt’s departure, the plan will be released after the September 17 Israeli election. Israeli officials also believe the plan is still on track and will be published shortly after Election Day.
The contents of the plan aren’t going to change at this point and its economic chapter was already released three months ago. The political chapter’s release still doesn’t have a publication date, but despite growing skepticism of it ever seeing the light of day (some experts and analysts in Washington think it doesn’t even exist), the administration insists that its intention is to put it out within weeks. When exactly? That decision will only be made after next week’s election.
A dramatic change on the US State Department website sends a clear signal that Obama’s way of looking at the ‘West Bank’ is passe.
By David Singer, INN
The US State Department web site has removed the ‘West Bank’ and Gaza (“disputed territories”) from its list of “Countries and Areas” – signalling that it no longer regards these disputed territories as potentially comprising a separate country – in addition to Israel, Jordan and Egypt.
This is the clearest indication yet that President Trump’s soon to be released deal of the century will abandon the “two-state solution” – the creation of another Arab State in the disputed territories for the first time ever in recorded history – propagated by President Obama and his former Secretary of State John Kerry.
The US State Department web site under Kerry had included the “Palestinian Territories” in the “List of Countries and Other Areas” between 2009 and 2017.
The Hashemite king knows that true peace would end his significance as a ruler. The sooner he is advised on a good exit strategy, the closer we’ll be to positive change for Jordanians, Palestinians, and Israelis.
The Israeli-Arab conflict has created a complex situation in which regional peace has become unfeasible for over seven decades. One of the key reasons this conflict has persisted for so long is the fact that Jordan’s monarchy, the Hashemite family, is not fulfilling the role it was given from day one: responsibility for Arabs of the British Mandate for Palestine. Instead, the current regime sustains a situation in which the country has no ability to serve peace nor to solve the many problems it could solve. Jordan’s frozen-in-time peace role is the outcome of the current regime’s policies: The Hashemite regime wants to keep the situation as is and thus has created a Jordan in which the requirements for peace could never be met.
As one who wants to usher in an era of peace and prosperity for the Jordanian and Palestinian people, my team and I have been busy finalizing plans for a “New Jordan” – a Jordan with solid, secular policies that will propel both the peace talks and Jordan into the 21st century and beyond.
T. Belman. This is an excellent plan. The Jordan Option does not conflict with it but in fact makes it easier to facilitate. While Martin Sherman pushes the policy of Compensated Emigration, he goes no farther and doesn’t deal with anything else. The Jordan option improves on Sherman’s idea by providing a friendly Jordan as a receptical for emigrants. Feiglin’s Plan is a stand alone plan that will benefit from Sherman’s ideas and the Jordan Option.
In fact Both Feiglin and Sherman aren’t close to having their ideas implemented. Thus the Jordan Option will give a boost to both.
As a background to the plan, we must examine the process that the State of Israel has undergone since the signing of the Oslo Accords. Ostensibly, the purpose of these agreements was to end the conflict by establishing a Palestinian state, thereby achieving peace. But this goal has not been achieved. Rather, the opposite is true: the number of people killed in terrorist attacks increased fivefold (1552 between 1994 and 2015, compared with 357 between 1977 and 1994). More and more cities in Israel began to be bombarded with missiles and Israeli citizens were expelled from their homes (during the Disengagement in 2005). In addition, the Oslo Accords were supposed to bring economic well-being as a result of the anticipated cut in defense spending, but in fact the state paid more than NIS 1 billion for implementing the agreements.
By Martin Sherman
Of all the policy paradigms for the resolution of the conflict between Israel and the Palestinian-Arabs, incentivized Arab emigration is the most humane if it succeeds and least inhumane if it does not
“Past attempts to encourage Palestinians to voluntary emigrate have always failed, so time and effort would be better invested in reaching an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement.” – Yossi Beilin, former Israeli government minister, and a principal architect of the Oslo Accords, Al Monitor, August 26, 2019
The above quote is from an article by Beilin, still an unchastened champion of the fatally flawed process he helped initiate in the early 1990s, in response to a spate of recent reports indicating that Israeli officialdom is considering—albeit with some hesitancy—the idea of offering the residents of Gaza material assistance to facilitate their emigration to third party countries—see for example here, here, here, and here.