Jordan and Israel are becoming enmeshed in a bi-national agenda requiring urgent direct negotiations – which if successfully concluded – could end the 100-years old Jewish-Arab conflict.
That agenda includes:
- Redrawing the existing Jordan-Israel international boundary after allocating sovereignty in Judea and Samaria (West Bank) between their two respective States.
- Clarifying the right of Jews to enter and pray at the Temple Mount in Jerusalem – currently controlled by Jordan as Custodian of the Islamic holy sites
- Renewing 25-year leases of two areas leased by Jordan to Israel for agricultural use that expire next year.
- Increasing the amount of water currently being supplied by Israel to Jordan
- Progressing the feasibility of constructing the Mediterranean-Dead Sea Canal
- Financing the Red Sea–Dead Sea Water Conveyance – a planned pipeline that runs from the coastal city of Aqaba to the Lisan area in the Dead Sea.
- September 1997 – when an Israeli attempt to assassinate Hamas leader Khaled Meshall was botched
- May 2014 – when Jordan recalled its ambassador from Israel “in protest at the increasing and unprecedented Israeli escalation in the Noble Sanctuary, and the repeated Israeli violations of Jerusalem,”
- July 2017 – when an armed guard at the Israeli embassy in Amman opened fire after being attacked with a screwdriver by a teenager who was delivering furniture to a home within the embassy compound – killing his attacker and the owner of the property.
In contrast – the lack of any peace agreement with the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) has caused negotiations between Israel and the PLO to be conducted over the last 25 years under an atmosphere of confrontation and mutual distrust.
Jerusalem-based journalist Khaled Abu Toameh has pointed out that PLO Chairman Mahmoud Abbas has vowed at least 15 times in recent months to thwart President Trump’s upcoming plan to end the Jewish-Arab conflict – even though Abbas hasn’t yet seen its contents.
“Abbas and his representatives in Ramallah have radicalized their people against the Israeli government to a point where meeting or doing business with any Israeli official is tantamount to treason. That is why Abbas does not and cannot return to the negotiating table with Israel and also why Abbas cannot change his position toward the Trump administration.”Abbas has instead sought to advance the PLO’s stated aim to destroy both Israel and Jordan by using the United Nations as the Trojan horse to initially try to impose the creation of a second Arab state in former Palestine – in addition to Jordan – over Israel’s objections.
The UN General Assembly recognition of the fictitious and non-existent “State of Palestine” as Chair of the 144 nation G77 bloc at the United Nations for 2019 indicates the lack of credibility and integrity to which an acquiescent and fawning United Nations is prepared to sink in supporting the PLO’s agenda.
Trump’s plan could represent the last chance to resolve the Jewish-Arab conflict peacefully. Should Jordan and Israel simultaneously agree to negotiate on its final terms – then the prospect of Trump actually pulling off “the deal of the century” becomes realistically achievable.
Redefining the boundary between two countries sharing a signed peace treaty is infinitely easier to achieve than creating a potentially-hostile third state between them that seeks both their destruction.
Jordan-Israel negotiations offer hope for an enduring peace.
The PLO-UN flight into fantasy promises war, chaos and upheaval.
(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)