Senator Sam Brownback (R – KS) gave a strongly pro-Israel speech at the Jerusalem Conference Tuesday, in which he advocated rethinking the idea of letting the PA administer itself. Instead, he suggested a confederation between the PA and Jordan, with the Arabs of Judea and Samaria enjoying limited self-rule. The current path to peace “isn’t working, wasn’t working, and will never work,” he said, drawing strong applause.
The PA, said Brownback, is not capable of administering its own territory. "After 15 years, billions of dollars in aid, massive international attention and unlimited diplomatic support," he asked rhetorically, "what do the Palestinians have to show for it?"
"Nothing," he answered.
Putting Jordan in the equation
"If our leaders want to talk in terms of a two state solution, it's high time that we started thinking of Jordan as the second state in that equation," Brownback told the audience at the Jerusalem Hyatt Regency Hotel auditorium. He cited a 2007 poll in which 42% of Palestinians expressed support for the idea of a confederation.
The senator from Kansas opened his speech with a clear statement of support for Jerusalem as Israel's undivided capital. “A house long divided against itself cannot stand,” he said, echoing Abraham Lincoln.
Brownback argued that keeping Jerusalem united not only helps hold Israel together, it helps protect the religions which hold Jerusalem to be holy. He spoke of the freedom with which his wife toured the holy sites during their visit to Jerusalem, and said that he was sure this would not have been possible under Arab-Muslim rule.
Giving Hamas a haven
The senator expressed his strong belief that the Palestinians cannot be given their own state because “it would be giving Hamas a haven… and we simply cannot afford to do that.”
Brownback said that a Palestinian-Jordanian confederacy would work because:
• Jordan is a country with good diplomatic ties with the international community
• It would halt talk of dividing Jerusalem, and because Jordan is largely a peaceful
'Jerusalem is off the table… It is the capital of Israel!'
• It would strengthen Israel’s defense and security situation.
He pointed out that Jordan fears falling into the same instability as Iraq is experiencing presently. If the Palestinian problem were to get out of hand, he explained, this would be a very real threat.
The senator ended on a strong note. “It is up to us," he said, "to declare clearly and convincingly that Jerusalem is off the table… It is the capital of Israel!”
Earlier in the day, Senator Brownback gave an exclusive interview to IsraelNationalNews. The interview can be seen here:
[If you cannot see the video, please click this link]