Any lingering thought that the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) would have any role to play in President Trump’s soon-to-be-released peace plan has vanished – after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that $165 million had been deducted from funding to the PLO because of its continuing “pay for slay” policy in breach of the Taylor Force Act.
Jordan has now signalled its preparedness to replace the PLO by publically supporting Trump in an article written in the Jordan Times by Walid Sadi – a retired Jordanian diplomat with over 35 years’ experience and himself a former editor of the Jordan Times.
Sadi’s CV is impressive – having headed the Jordanian Delegation to the International Criminal Court (ICC) Conference in Rome and been the Chairperson of the ICC’s Working Group on Crimes against Humanity. He also represented the Jordanian government in Washington, Moscow, Ankara and London.
The Jordan Times is published by the Jordan Press Foundation – in which the government-owned Social Security Investment Fund has a majority stake. Sadi’s endorsement of Trump could only have been published with the knowledge and approval of Jordan’s King Abdullah.
Sadi makes no bones in airing his reasons for Trump’s success on the world stage:
“World leaders fear him because they know he is capable of anything and his finger is so close to nuclear weapons capable of blowing hostile capitals to smithereens with no qualms or hesitations. And above all, he seems to get away with anything as if he is immune to any mischief from within or outside his country.”Sadi frankly acknowledges:
“No matter what Trump’s opponents or enemies throw at him, populist support for him remains solid and unwavering. It was the populist wave that brought Trump to power and this wave remains as strong as ever. It is almost a love or hate narrative when it comes to Trump and he is riding high on the love tsunami that won him the election in the first place.”Given these fundamentals in the Trump persona – Jordan would be foolhardy indeed to reject Trump’s invitation to enter into direct negotiations with Israel to resolve the allocation of sovereignty in the West Bank – which the Trump-hating PLO has unequivocally rejected with devastating consequences.
Jordan currently exercises:
- Sovereignty in 78 per cent of the territory comprised in the 1922 League of Nations Mandate for Palestine
- Custodianship over the Muslim Holy Shrines in Jerusalem under the 1994 Israel-Jordan Peace Treaty.
- Renamed “Judea and Samaria” the “West Bank” – after Transjordan and Judea and Samaria had been unified into one territorial entity in 1950 and named “Jordan”
- Granted Jordanian citizenship to the West Bank Arab population from 1950 until it ceded legal and administrative control to the PLO in 1988.
- Conferred citizenship on 70 per cent of Jordan’s population hailing from the remaining 22 per cent of former PalestineSadi argued for Jordan’s inclusion in Trump’s plan in an earlier Jordan Times article dated 12 August:
“… the unity of the West Bank with the East Bank was officially and constitutionally adopted on 24 of April 1950. No one disputes this fact. The Constitution of the country at the time was the 1952 Constitution, which stipulated in no uncertain terms that no part of the Kingdom shall be ceded, period. This provision makes the 1988 decision to cut off all legal and administrative relations between the two banks stopping short of ceding the West Bank to any side whatsoever. Any other interpretation of the 1988 political decision is absolutely untenable constitutionally.”The Trump bandwagon is swinging into top gear – with Jordan in the box seat and the PLO left flailing way behind.
(Author’s note: The cartoon – commissioned exclusively for this article—is by Yaakov Kirschen aka “Dry Bones”- one of Israel’s foremost political and social commentators – whose cartoons have graced the columns of Israeli and international media publications for decades. His cartoons can be viewed at Drybonesblog)