Here's the latest article by Sydney lawyer and international affairs analyst David Singer.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s last-minute election pledge to apply Israeli sovereignty in parts
of the West Bank could possibly see a large part of the remainder
of the West Bank being offered to Jordan as an exclave in direct negotiations between Jordan and Israel.
a piece of land that is politically attached to a larger piece but not
physically conterminous (having the same borders) with it because of
“We will apply sovereignty in the Jordan
Valley and the Northern Dead Sea as soon as the next government is
established in the next Knesset. Today I have appointed a working team
led by the director-general of my ministry, Ronen Peretz, to formulate
an outline for applying sovereignty to the Jordan Valley and the
northern Dead Sea”
Netanyahu has now gone even further reportedly saying
that if re-elected he plans to annex additional “vital”
parts of the West Bank in coordination with the United States.
Trump’s Ambassador in Israel, David Friedman, has already indicated
that Trump’s plan will not call for the creation of an additional Arab
state between Israel and Jordan based on the 1949 ceasefire lines agreed
between those two former enemies.
“Under certain circumstances, I think Israel has the right to retain some, but unlikely all, of the West Bank.”
Friedman then declined to say how the United States would respond if
Netanyahu moved to annex West Bank land unilaterally – stating:
“We really don’t have a view until we
understand how much, on what terms, why does it make sense, why is it
good for Israel, why is it good for the region, why does it not create
more problems than it solves. These are all things that we’d want to
understand, and I don’t want to prejudge.”
Trump seemingly has not yet secured an ironclad guarantee from Jordan
or any other Arab interlocutor that they stand ready to negotiate with
Israel on Trump’s plan. Releasing it without such a guarantee would
constitute political suicide for Trump.
Netanyahu’s pledges provide sufficient justification for Trump to further postpone his deal’s release.
One can visualise Trump’s advisers carefully scrutinising Netanyahu’s
final map – or any map drawn up by a non-Netanyahu led Government –
prior to Trump releasing his deal – to see if common agreement can first
be reached on Israel’s demands – and then advancing to the next stage
to see if agreement between Trump and Netanyahu – or Israel’s new Prime
Minister – can be reached on what should happen in the remainder of the West Bank
It would then make sense for Trump’s plan to be released only after concluding these discussions.
Trump will not be proposing the creation of any new Jew-free State in
all of the West Bank for the first time in recorded history – whilst
the PLO has rejected negotiating on Trump’s deal if it does not meet
these core demands articulated by Abbas
and the PLO
Two solutions therefore emerge for resolving sovereignty in the remainderof the West Bankterritory
that will not
come under Israeli sovereignty:
- Israel unilaterally annexes that territory including its existing Arab population
- Israel and Jordan create a Jordan exclave within that territory as may be agreed in direct negotiations.
A Jordan exclave would materially help end the 100-years-old Arab-Jewish conflict.
Details such as the demilitarization of the exclave and who controls
access into and egress from the exclave would be negotiated.
Trump is the driving force to bring Israel and Jordan together to enable these negotiations to be successfully concluded.
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