Eretz Israel is our unforgettable historic homeland...The Jews who will it shall achieve their State...And whatever we attempt there for our own benefit will redound mightily and beneficially to the good of all mankind. (Theodor Herzl, DerJudenstaat, 1896)

We offer peace and amity to all the neighbouring states and their peoples, and invite them to cooperate with the independent Jewish nation for the common good of all. The State of Israel is ready to contribute its full share to the peaceful progress and development of the Middle East.
(From Proclamation of the State of Israel, 5 Iyar 5708; 14 May 1948)

With a liberal democratic political system operating under the rule of law, a flourishing market economy producing technological innovation to the benefit of the wider world, and a population as educated and cultured as anywhere in Europe or North America, Israel is a normal Western country with a right to be treated as such in the community of nations.... For the global jihad, Israel may be the first objective. But it will not be the last. (Friends of Israel Initiative)

Friday, 19 October 2012

Justifying The Jordanian Solution To 64 Years Of Conflict

"Palestine: Merging Banks Can Reap Huge Dividends" –  which argues that the solution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict lies with Jordan to the advantage of all parties – is the latest article by Sydney lawyer and international affairs analyst David Singer.

He writes:

'Prince Hassan Bin Talal, Jordan's former Crown Prince and the uncle of Jordan's current ruler –  King Abdullah –  has floated a possible new diplomatic initiative by reminding the world that the West Bank was once part of Jordan.

Prince Hassan pointed out this very important historic and geographic fact whilst addressing a meeting of the Ebal charity organization in Nablus on 9 October.

That meeting had been organised by Jordanian Senate President Taher Al-Masri - indicating that the King in all likelihood would have been given advance notice and approved what Prince Hassan intended saying.

The Jordanian website Almustaqbal-a.com reported that Prince Hassan told the meeting:
"the West Bank is part of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, which included both banks of the [Jordan] River"
The report added:
"The attendees understood that Prince [Hassan] is working to reunite both banks of the [Jordan] River, and commended him for it."
The West Bank and Transjordan had existed as one territorial entity between 1950-67  following Transjordan's occupation of  the West Bank in 1948 after the newly declared State of Israel had been attacked by six invading Arab armies.

Transjordan  –  as a result – changed its name to "Jordan" and named the territory west of the Jordan River as the "West Bank". Until then,  the West Bank had been known for thousands of years as "Judea and Samaria" –  the biblical and ancestral homeland of the Jewish people.

These decisions were not taken in isolation by a victorious occupier against the wishes of a defeated and dispirited population –  but at the request and urging  of the exclusively Arab population living in Judea and Samaria. All the Jews who had been living there prior to the 1948 War had been dispossessed and forcefully driven from the area conquered by Transjordan.

A conference was held in Jericho on 1 December 1948  –  attended by several thousand people including the  mayors of the towns of Hebron, Bethlehem, Ramallah, the Arab Legion Military Governor-General and military governors from districts in Judea and Samaria, and other notables.

The meeting resolved:
 "Palestine Arabs desire unity between Transjordan and Arab Palestine and therefore make known their wish that Arab Palestine be annexed immediately to Transjordan. They also recognize Abdullah as their King and request him proclaim himself King of the new territory."
Wells Stabler, America's charge d'affaires in Transjordan,  reported to the Acting Secretary for State in a confidential cable dated 4 December 1948  that following the meeting  a large delegation proceeded to the King's winter quarters at Shuneh to present the resolution to the King and request his acceptance. The King had replied that  the matter must be referred to his government and that he must also ascertain the views of  other Arab states. Although usual jealousies and frictions had been apparent during the meeting, the King believed it to be of significance and might be regarded by him as his mandate from Palestine Arabs.

On 6 December Stabler sent a secret cable to the Acting Secretary for State in which he reported that UN Acting Mediator Ralph Bunche had met with the King - when the following matters had been discussed:

1.    The King believed that annexation of Arab Palestine to Transjordan would be an "actual help" in reaching a final settlement.
2.    Arab Palestine was then in a vacuum which needed to be filled and Transjordan was in best position to do it.
3.    Basically any Palestine settlement rested with Egypt, Transjordan and Israel. Egypt and Transjordan could overcome any opposition from other Arab states.
4.    Emir Abdel Majid Haidar, Transjordan observer at the United Nations General Assembly had held talks with Egyptians in Paris but without result.
5.    Bunche had hinted to His Majesty that the annexation of Arab Palestine by Transjordan would probably be accepted as fait accompli in view of Transjordan's present position in Arab Palestine.

The subsequent annexation of the West Bank by Transjordan two years later was only recognised by Great Britain and Pakistan. The failure of other members of the United Nations to recognise such annexation has prolonged a conflict that with a little bit of give and take could have been resolved  more than 60 years ago by negotiations between Israel, Egypt and Jordan.

Jordan lost the West Bank to Israel in the 1967 Six Day War and renounced any claims to the West Bank in 1988. After 19 years of fruitless negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Liberation Organization since 1993 the settlement of competing claims by Jews and Arabs to sovereignty in the West Bank still remains undetermined.

Prince Hassan's statement on 9 October clearly attempts to resuscitate Jordan's  territorial claim to the West Bank.

Writing in the 1982 Spring issue of the quarterly publication Foreign Affairs, Prince Hassan had asserted:
"We Jordanians must add that practically speaking a settlement must also take into account our perceptions. Small as Jordan is, our country is politically, socially, economically, militarily and historically inseparable from the Palestinian issue"
Indeed the fate of Jordan and the West Bank has been tied together ever since both these areas of the former Ottoman Empire were included in the territory covered by the 1922 Mandate for Palestine within which the Jewish National Home was to be reconstituted.

The attempt over the last 19 years ito divide Jordan and the West Bank into two independent Arab states for the first time ever in recorded history has proved an abject failure, leading Prince Hassan to observe that whilst he did not personally oppose the two state solution - that solution was irrelevant at this stage since:

    "both sides, Arab and Israeli, no longer speak of a political solution to the Palestinian problem".


The vacuum existing in 1948 has returned –  and once again Jordan is the party that can fill it by opening negotiations with Israel to end the the Jewish-Arab conflict by reunifying the two banks of the Jordan River –  taking into account the vastly changed circumstances to those existing 64 years ago.

The dividends could be immense, including:

1.    The return to Jordan of  a very substantial part of the West Bank lost by   it in the Six Day War
2.    No residents of the West Bank –  either Jew or Arab –  having to move  from his present home
3.    The restoration of Jordanian citizenship to the West Bank Arab population
4.    The resolution of the competing claims by both Jews and Arabs to  sovereignty in the West Bank
5.    Placing a political solution to the Palestinian problem in the hands of the Arabs

Seizing this rare opportunity should not be missed.'

6 comments:

  1. A bit more on 1948-9, Israel actually preferred a Palestinian state, but the Arab and Communist countries voted against it. Disappointingly Australia also voted against it.

    The Future of Arab Palestine and the Question of Partition 30 July 1949
    Para 5,6 and 14->
    http://unispal.un.org/UNISPAL.NSF/0/4ECBF3578B6149C50525657100507FAB

    I think the Palestinians greatest missed opportunity was in 1985 with the Amman Accord, which proposed a Jordan/Palestine confederation with external powers controlled by Jordan.

    The Hussein-Arafat Accord, 11 February 1985.
    http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/Foreign%20Relations/Israels%20Foreign%20Relations%20since%201947/1984-1988/42%20The%20Hussein-Arafat%20Accord-%2011%20February%201985

    Unfortunately Arafat and his cronies are compulsive liars, as shown in this wikileaks cable from 1985:
    ISRAELI WHITE PAPER ON PLO OUTLOOK AND GOALS
    http://cables.mrkva.eu/cable.php?id=94

    It took the King a year to work this out, he then washed his hands of the PLO and made peace with Israel in 1988.

    The last 2 paragraphs are import but the whole speech shows the failure was all Arafat’s fault.
    Speech by King Hussein- 22 February 1986
    http://www.mfa.gov.il/MFA/Foreign%20Relations/Israels%20Foreign%20Relations%20since%201947/1984-1988/152%20Speech%20by%20King%20Hussein-%2022%20February%201986

    Arafat also mentioned a confederation with Jordan in 1999 but I doubt the Jordanians took him seriously.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ian

      Spot on.

      Missing an opportunity to miss an opportunity seems to be ingrained into the leaders of the Palestinian Arabs.

      Having failed in their stated intent to eradicate the Jewish state, continuing to deny and defy the legality of the League of Nations Mandate in international law and everything that has followed it - the opportunity to create a new Arab state between Jordan and Israel - has left them out in the cold.

      One last opportunity left to them is to see the possible reunification of the two banks of the Jordan River that existed between 1948-1967 - so far as is now possible given the changed circumstances on the ground.

      Prince Hassan is obviously alive to that possibility. Hopefully the King is also.

      Delete
    2. Empress Trudy

      As I pointed out any successful negotiations could result in not one Arab or Jews having to move from his current house or business property.

      Given the apparent hatred of the "occupation" these "one million ungrateful lunatics" should be delighted at the thought of being freed from the "occupation", regaining the Jordanian identity they enjoyed between 1950-1988, and being part of an Arab state where not one Jew lived.

      Delete
  2. Jordan attempted to outsource their underclass management problem to the Jews. This is what lies behind them walking away, UNASKED, from Yesha. They wanted to simply get rid of as many "Palestinians" as they could. Similarly, Egypt actively pursued a program of relocating as many of their socially undesireables to Gaza before also unilaterally walking away from it in 1968.

    Neither Jordan nor Egypt are going to re integrate those places. Jordan, especially doesn't want the problem of governing a million angry ungrateful lunatics who don't want to be part of their sad little country.

    ReplyDelete
  3. The Saudis will not give up their US backed rule of Jordan and will not return Jordan to the terrorist Jordanian/Palestinians.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jewess

      Jordan is being returned to no one. The Hashemite dynasty will continue its 90 year rule - hopefully reinforced by the return of a substantial part of Judea and Samaria to its control following successful negotiations with Israel.

      God help Jordan's population if they seek to emulate repeat performances of the Syrian, Libyan and Lebanon slaughters.

      Hopefully the population will understand that the Hashemites have done more for Arab residents of former Palestine than any of the other so called "leaders" in the last 90 years.

      Keeping Jordan - 78% of Mandate Palestine - free of Jews during all that time has been no mean feat - especially when you consider that the reconstitution of the Jewish National Home in at least some part of that vast area was a possible option until the Hashemites came on the scene and retained that area exclusively for the Arab residents of former Palestine.

      Had the monarchy kept out of the Six Day War - as Israel warned them to do - the area would still be under Arab control.

      The PLO and Hamas have had their chance and have both blown it. Hopefully the man in the street is coming to that realization.

      He better do so quickly if he wants a better life for himself and his family.

      Delete