Palestine’s Most Surprising Opponent
Neighboring Jordan might fear statehood even more than Israel
Even as countries around the world, from South America to East Asia (and of course the Middle East), line up to support the Palestinian Authority’s potential bid for (symbolic) statehood at the U.N. General Assembly in September, a country much closer to the Palestinians’ home, in all senses of the phrases, is reportedly against the gambit. A high-ranking Jordanian official told the Dubai-based Arabic-language Al Bayan, “Jordan’s top national interests will be in danger if the Palestinian Authority declares statehood unilaterally—especially in everything related to the issue of refugees, water, Jerusalem, and the borders.” A Palestinian state based on its 1967 borders with Israel, after all, could all of a sudden put pressure on the West Bank’s other border: That with Jordan. And the Hashemite Kingdom might then face additional pressure for the Palestinians to be treated as their problem rather than Israel’s given the substantial Palestinian population in Jordan proper—which is why, in a related move, Jordan is also moving to cancel the Palestinian statesmen’s identity papers.
Oh, and Holland’s government won’t recognize statehood, either, President Abbas was told by the Dutch foreign minister, whose name (I’m not making this up) is Uri Rosenthal.