PLO leader Mahmoud Abbas’s dismissive response to President Trump’s peace plan spells the end of the road for the PLO as Israel’s Arab partner to negotiate an end to the 100 years unresolved conflict between Jews and Arabs.
The PLO will maintain its long-standing rejectionist policy of not recognising Israel as the Jewish State after Abbas panned the Trump plan in the following denigrating and unequivocal terms:
"They told me Trump wants to send me the deal of the century to read, I said I would not," Abbas told the meeting of Arab League foreign ministers.
"Trump asked that I speak to him over the phone, so I said 'no', and that he wants to send me a letter, so I refused to receive it."
Holding up a map that shows the gradual geographic reduction of Palestine through four stages from pre-1948 to Trump's Middle East plan, Abbas said: "I challenge any of you, if you can even see us on the map. If you ask a child in first grade to draw Trump's map he will never know how to."
"This is a disgrace," he added.
Abbas also said that he will cut security ties with both Israel and the US: "We've informed the Israeli side ... that there will be no relations at all with them and the United States, including security ties," he said.”Abbas has lost the plot.
The map Abbas held up (pictured below) – was false and misleading – comprising only 23% – not 100% of Historic Palestine.
Abbas’s map excluded Transjordan – 77% of the land in the League of Nations 1922 Mandate for Palestine. Transjordan was closed to Jews to reconstitute the Jewish National Home there under article 25 of the Mandate - reserving this 77% of Palestine for the Arab residents of Palestine.
Transjordan remained part of the Mandate until it was granted independence by Great Britain in 1946. A textbook containing a similar map was trashed by Publisher Mc Graw Hill in 2016.
The following map accurately records these historical facts:
Jordan and Israel are the two successor States to the Mandate for Palestine – currently exercising sovereignty in 95% of former Palestine. Sovereignty in the remaining 5% – Judea and Samaria (West Bank) and Gaza – remains undetermined.
The PLO refusal to negotiate with Israel on the Trump plan - will have the following results:
· No second Arab state - in addition to Jordan – will be created in former Palestine
· US$50 billion in development aid will not be required to build and develop that new State
· Gaza and the West Bank will remain politically divided
Jordan should now replace the PLO in negotiations with Israel on Trump’s plan because:
· Jordan was the last sovereign Arab state to occupy the West Bank between 1948 and 1967 when the PLO expressly rejected any claim to sovereignty.
· Jordan conferred Jordanian citizenship on the Arab residents of the West Bank between 1950 and 1988
· The 1994 Jordan-Israel Peace Treaty will ensure good-faith – not confrontational – negotiationsThe areas designated for A Future State of Palestine in the Trump Plan (pictured below) now become possible areas for transfer to Jordanian sovereignty in negotiations with Israel.
Successful Israel-Jordan negotiations would be a real game changer – holding out great prospects that the long-running Jewish-Arab conflict could finally be achieved.
Failure by Jordan to negotiate with Israel could see Israel extend its sovereignty to all of Area C in the West Bank.
President Trump needs to phone King Abdullah of Jordan and persuade him to embrace Trump’s “deal of the century”.
The PLO has blown its chance to do so.