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Palestine’s Most Surprising Opponent

Neighboring Jordan might fear statehood even more than Israel

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Jordan and the region.(Lonely Planet)

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.

Report: Jordan To Oppose P.A. Statehood [Ynet]
Dutch Government Rejects Palestinian Initiative Seeking U.N. Recognition of Palestinian State [AP/WP]

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Hershel (Heshy) Ginsburg says:

In a sense, this is old news. (Trans)Jordan’s concern about the establishment of a Palestinian state west of the Jordan river has been an open secret for many years. It wasn’t talked about publicly because it ran counter to standard P.C. dogma (just like suggesting that Jordan already **IS** the Palestinian state (given that Jordan’s population is ~70% Palestinian) was also verbotten). But Israelis and others who conducted candid discussions with senior Jordanian officials & think-tankers often reported about Jordanian reticence about establishing a (additional?) Palestinian state west of the Jordan river. The only difference now is that this is being openly stated to an Arabic language newspaper.

One of the side effects of the so-called Arab spring is that tribal and / or confessional fault lines long ignored are now undergoing tectonic shifts and are straining Arab societies. Libya’s split is largely tribal. Attacks against Egyptian Copts and their churches are at an all time high. If (or when?) Assad falls in Syria most knowledgeable observers of the region expect a religious civil war that could well make the post-Tito Yugoslavian disintegration seem benign by comparison. A Palestinian vs. Bedouin civil war has long been expected in Jordan, whose stability is an illusion; this in turn could well lead to a Salafi-led Islamist state. There is a growing Salafi movement in Jordan that the royal family has managed to keep at bay by buying them off. I strongly recommend reading Nir Rosen’s (of all people) article on the subject, published in the NY Times Magazine about 5 years ago (here: http://www.nytimes.com/2006/02/19/magazine/iraq.html).

hg

Carl says:

Marc, this surprises you? I’m sorry but this shows how little you understand what is going on in the Arab-Palestinian conflict. Why would the Hashemites who rule over the Palestinian state want another Palestinian state that would threaten their rule? They would much prefer having Israel as a neighbor.

Dani ben Leb says:

Ha ha, when push comes to shove……..

Ira M. Salwen says:

The reason why Jordan has such a large Palestinian population? Because it’s 78% of mandatory Palestine! When people talk about a Two-State Solution to the Israeli Palestinian Conflict, we should correct them and say that thy’re really talking about a THREE-State Solution.

Yaakov Hillel says:

England is not the suprr-colonial power it used to be, nor does Brtania rule the waves. It was a misfotune to many that All powering England divided up all of the middle east t one sheik that gave it help. All the sons of the sheik received Kingdoms in Syria, Iraq Saudia arabia Yemen Egypt and other countries. It promised Israel to mthe jews bfirst Palestin then they took away four fifths and made another sheikdom on ythe other side of the Jordan. Four years after mits promise they went back on it and practically did not let Jews into the borders of the country to which they recieved mandate to turn into a Jewish state. Because hitler did not have where to be rid of the European Jews to (because England closed the gates of the Jewish Country) he started his policy of extermination. We can see both England and the third Reich as partners of extermiation of the Jews. I do not exonerate the United States who closed its gates as well. When the Black Africans who migrated to South Africa became a majority, The world with England on top of the deck choked South Africa to give up government to the blacks. It is typical brittish two facedness that they do not demand of Jordan who is 70% Palestinian to give up Power to th Palestians to give them their state.n israel They reach less than 30%, and they want to divide Israel up because of their old anisemitism and two facedness.

Yaakov Hillel says:

England is not the super-colonial power it used to be, nor does Britania rule the waves. It was a misfotune to many that All powering England divided up all of the middle east to one sheik that gave it help. All the sons of the sheik received Kingdoms in Syria, Iraq Saudia arabia Yemen Egypt and other countries. It promised Israel to the jews bfirst Palestin then they took away four fifths and made another sheikdom on the other side of the Jordan. Four years after its promise they went back on it and practically did not let Jews into the borders of the country to which they recieved mandate to turn into a Jewish state. Because hitler did not have where to be rid of the European Jews to (because England closed the gates of the Jewish Country) he started his policy of extermination. We can see both England and the third Reich as partners of extermiation of the Jews. I do not exonerate the United States who closed its gates as well. When the Black Africans who migrated to South Africa became a majority, The world with England on top of the deck choked South Africa to give up government to the blacks. It is typical british two facedness that they do not demand of Jordan who is 70% Palestinian to give up Power to th Palestians to give them their state. Israel They reach less than 30%, and they want to divide Israel up because of their old anisemitism and two facedness.

I agree with Hillel. Wasn’t Jordan once part of Israel? How come the Jews took in their refugees but rabs do not take in their so-called refugees. Palestinian “refugees” are kept poor(and armed) by rich Arab states so as to cause anti-Semitism. And yes, Britain and America caused thousands of Jewish deaths by refusing entry to Jews at crucial times. Roosevelt refused to bomb train tracks leading to death camps. “This isn’t a Jewish war.” Now the U.S. imposes housing freezes on Israel causing housing shortages and high costs. On Arabs? No.

G.Haber

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Palestine’s Most Surprising Opponent

Neighboring Jordan might fear statehood even more than Israel

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