President Trump’s soon-to-released proposal on resolving the Jewish-Arab conflict will be more readily achievable following the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) confirming it will not participate in implementing Trump’s peace plans.
Secretary General of the PLO Executive Committee Saeb Erekat led the charge:
“No one will deceive us and we will not fall into the illusion that the United States can have any balanced ideas that could lead to the achievement of a real and just peace. Washington has become part of the problem and not the solution”PLO Chairman Mahmoud Abbas backed-up Erekat a few days later – censuring Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and stating Palestinians believe the US can no longer be the sole mediator in the decades-long conflict with Israel due to America’s pro-Tel Aviv bias.
Abbas declared Trump’s plan would be:
“an end to the peace process in the Middle East”
Erekat and Abbas’s acts of political hara-kiri coincided with Trump’s newly-appointed Secretary of State – Mike Pompeo – visiting Jordan
Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi welcomed Pompeo with the decades-old Arab mantra:
“[The Palestinian -Israeli conflict] is, we believe, the main cause of instability in the region, and its resolution is the key to achieving the lasting and comprehensive peace that we want. The two-state solution remains the only path to that peace, as we believe in Jordan, and it is the solution that would allow for the emergence of an independent, sovereign Palestine state with East Jerusalem as its capital in the lines of June 4, 1967.
Yes, that – the two-state solution is being challenged. Yes, there are many obstacles. But I think what is – what is the alternative? We cannot give up in our efforts to achieve peace, nor can we say that there is any viable alternative that we can sustain.”Pompeo begged to disagree:
“ We’re certainly open to a two-party solution. That’s a likely outcome.”Another likely outcome will doubtless be revealed in Trump’s proposal.
Pompeo deferred answering whether the Israeli-Palestinian conflict was the most serious threat to stability in the region. He would have been derided had he agreed – given the conflicts in Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Lebanon and Libya.
On Trump’s ultimate deal – Pompeo asserted:
“We understand that ultimately this deal will be agreed to between the Israelis and the Palestinians, but certainly it’s the case that as America continues to be involved in facilitating such an arrangement, we’re doing so in close alignment with Jordan and the Jordanian people so that we’re working together …”Any PLO refusal to agree to the deal will receive the Trump treatment meted out to Trump-defiers – reduced funding and diplomatic downgrading. Jordan – working in close alignment with Trump – will reap substantial dividends.
Pompeo referred to the five-year Memorandum of Understanding signed by the United States and Jordan in February committing the US to provide over $6.3 billion in bilateral foreign assistance to Jordan over the next five years – a powerful incentive for Jordan to help Trump bring his proposals to fruition.
Pompeo – significantly – provided two additional substantial sweeteners:
“We’ll continue to work with Jordan to help the Kingdom defend its borders, always.”Pompeo was signaling that any PLO attempt to overthrow 95 years of unbroken Hashemite rule in Jordan – unsuccessfully attempted by the PLO in September 1970 – would be rebuffed by American military force.
Protecting the Hashemite regime and Jordan’s borders – coupled with massive injections of American financial aid – could see Jordan replacing the PLO as Israel’s Arab partner in implementing Trump’s peace proposals.
Trump – the master deal-maker – may have just pulled another rabbit out of his magic hat.
(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.)