Dry Bones: Jordan and the Trump Deal
Dry Bones: Jordan and the Trump DealY. Kirschen

Jordan has backed the PLO in rejecting President Trump’s 'Deal of the Century' - as Israel prepares to regain sovereignty of 30% of Judea and Samaria (aka 'West Bank') – the Biblical heartland of the Jewish people following a 3,000-year absence.

Jordan’s Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi met with PLO President Mahmoud Abbas this week to confirm Jordan's solidarity with the PLO against Trump's plan to create a Palestinian Arab State in the remaining 70%:

“The stance that I have carried today is the Kingdom’s historical position: Attaining the rights of our brothers in Palestine to freedom and a full Palestinian state with occupied Jerusalem as its capital on the June 4, 1967 lines is the only means to realize a just and comprehensive peace”.

Safadi’s statement of Jordan’s historical position was false.

No Palestinian State – “full” or otherwise – was ever contemplated during Jordan’s illegal annexation of the 'West Bank' between 1948 and 1967. To the contrary Jordan extended Jordanian citizenship to all the Arab residents of the 'West Bank' from 1954 to 1988.

Jordan’s rejection of the Trump Plan could see the US President take a similar approach to the Hashemite Kingdom to the one he offered the PLO in lieu of its rejection of his plan – sight unseen - two years before its release on 28 January 2020:

“’We told Trump we will not accept his project, the ‘Deal of the Century,’ which has become the ‘slap of the century’. But we will slap back."

“We do not take instructions from anyone, and say ‘no’ to anyone if it is about our destiny, our cause, our country and our people… 1,000 times no,'”

Trump answered the PLO by progressively:

  • Recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and moving the US Embassy there

  • Recognizing Israeli sovereignty in the Golan Heights

  • Cutting off funding for Palestinian refugee programs

  • Closing down the PLO diplomatic office in Washington

  • Confirming that the Israeli settlements in the West Bank did not contravene international law

Responses to Jordan’s defiant stance could see Trump:

  • Agreeing to Israel extending its sovereignty beyond the 30% of the 'West Bank' currently contemplated in Trump’s Plan. This proposed area is in fact only 50% of Area C - already under Israel’s complete security and administrative control pursuant to the Oslo Accords – so there is plenty of scope for enlarging the area of Israeli sovereignty. '

  • Reviewing existing US-Jordan security and financial agreements

  • Calling on Jordan to replace the PLO in negotiations with Israel to allocate sovereignty in the remaining 70% of the 'West Bank' between their two respective states.

Jordan’s King Abdullah would find Trump’s offer to regain a major part of “The 'West Bank' of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan 1950-1967” difficult to reject.

Abdullah’s father the late King Hussein wrote in "Uneasy Lies The Head" (page 118):

"Palestine and Jordan were both under the British Mandate, but as my grandfather pointed out in his memoirs, they were hardly separate countries. Trans-Jordan being to the east of the River Jordan, it formed in a sense, the interior of Palestine"

Abdullah’s uncle Prince Hassan has written:

"Small as Jordan is, our country is politically, socially economically, militarily and historically inseparable from the Palestinian issue"

Trump would be acting in conformity with article 6 of the 1922 League of Nations Mandate for Palestine and article 80 of the UN Charter which designated the 'West Bank' as part of the area in which the Jewish National Home was to be reconstituted.

Ominously for King Abdullah however – article 2 of the PLO Charter also confirms that the 'West Bank' and Jordan form part of one indivisible territorial unit.

Jordan faces interesting times ahead.

David Singer is an Australian lawyer who is active in Zionist community organizations in that country. He founded the "Jordan is Palestine" Committee in 1979.