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'What’s the Alternative?' MK Orlev: Jordan is Palestine

Asked to present his alternative to the “two-state option,” MK Zevulun Orlev says, “The PA Arabs already have a state – Jordan.”
By Hillel Fendel
First Publish: 2/9/2010, 12:56 PM / Last Update: 2/9/2010, 1:05 PM

Asked to present his alternative to the “two-state” Israel-Palestine option, MK Zevulun Orlev (Jewish Home) says, “The Arabs of the Palestinian Authority already have a state – Jordan.”

Speaking with Arutz-7 on Tuesday, Orlev – the Chairman of the Knesset Education Committee – said, “The basis for every plan is our right to the Land of Israel, halakhically, historically, etc.  In the present situation, however, we must see how we make the most of the situation - and not go for ‘all or nothing.’ There is no question that we cannot expel all of the Arabs who currently live in Judea and Samaria, and so the question is how do we deal with the given situation.”

My proposal, or vision, is based on the fact that there is not enough of an expanse in Judea and Samaria for a Palestinian state, and that if one is established, it will not be viable and will have to spread out towards and threaten Israel. Not to mention that such a state would not be stable; we can never know who will rule there – Hamas, Al Qaeda, Iran…

“The only solution, therefore, is that Jordan, of which 80 percent of its citizens are Palestinian, should be the Palestinian state, with offshoots in the areas that the PA currently controls here in Judea and Samaria. Their national rights, which I believe they deserve, such as a flag, currency, etc., should be manifest in a federation with Jordan - but it must not be an independent state, and Israel must maintain sovereignty and full military control over Judea and Samaria, including the Jordan Valley. In this way, we will maintain our historic rights and our security.”

Benny Elon's "Israel Initiative"
A more detailed plan along these lines has long been promoted by former MK and Moledet party leader Benny Elon. Known as the Israel Initiative, the program calls for the rehabilitation of the Arab refugees and the dismantling of their ‘camps’ and of UNRWA; replacing the ineffectual Palestinian Authority 'partner' with Jordan - a reliable partner interested in stability; and replacing the Israeli ‘occupation’ in Judea and Samaria with full Israeli sovereignty, which will prevent Hamas and other terrorist organizations from taking control and will grant security to Israel and neighboring countries.

Whether or not the plan meets with immediate acceptance does not much concern Orlev, who said, “With or without us, Jordan will one day become a Palestinian state, as a large majority there has Palestinian roots.”

Orlev feels that it is not too late to combat the left-wing success in placing the “two-state” option on the table: “The final borders will not be determined on the battle field, but rather in the schools. If we teach the dangers of a Palestinian state, and that the Land of Israel is ours, and that Jordan is theirs, then we will succeed.”

Unity in the Ranks
Orlev mentioned that if the religious-nationalist camp were united in one party, “we would be a strong political force that could have a strong influence on the diplomatic solution. I have been pushing for unity for a long time, but unfortunately there are those who would rather remain in their own camp…”                 

A bid to unite what are now the Jewish Home and National Union parties in late 2008, before the last elections, failed after the latter felt that it was being marginalized in the new list of Knesset candidates. National Union leader MK Yaakov Katz (Ketzaleh), who joined the party after the split was announced, has been insistent of late on the importance of unity between the two parties.