Bannon: Let Jordan have Judea and Samaria

Excerpts from explosive new book claim Breitbart editor, ex-Trump chief strategist said Mideast plan included surrender of land to Jordan.

David Rosenberg ,

Steve Bannon
Steve Bannon

Excerpts from a soon-to-be released book covering the first year of the Trump administration suggest that the White House and former Trump chief strategist Steve Bannon had developed a basic framework for a future comprehensive Middle East peace deal between Israel and its Arab neighbors, envisioning Jordanian and Egyptian rule over areas now governed by the Palestinian Authority.

On Wednesday, Michael Wolff’s Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House made headlines when excerpts from the text were released, including quotes from former Trump campaign strategist and White House staffer Steve Bannon slamming the president’s inner circle.

According to Wolff, Bannon ripped President Trump’s son, Donald Trump Jr., the president’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and then-Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort over what he called a “treasonous” and “unpatriotic” meeting with a Russian lawyer in 2016.

The revelation Wednesday prompted an angry and unprecedented response from the president himself, who bypassed his favored outlet, Twitter, and released a blistering four paragraph statement claiming Bannon had “lost his mind”.

“When he was fired, he not only lost his job, he lost his mind. Steve was a staffer who worked for me after I had already won the nomination by defeating seventeen candidates, often described as the most talented field ever assembled in the Republican party.”

“Now that he is on his own, Steve is learning that winning isn’t as easy as I make it look,” Trump continued.

Other excerpts released on Thursday suggested that First Daughter Ivanka Trump has seriously considered a possible future presidential bid, The Guardian reported.

Wolff, who was granted access to the Trump White House early in 2017, cites numerous unnamed administration officials. Yet the White House on Wednesday denounced Wolff’s work, calling it “tabloid fiction”.

"This book is filled with false and misleading accounts from individuals who have no access or influence with the White House,” said Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders. “Participating in a book that can only be described as trashy tabloid fiction exposes their sad desperate attempts at relevancy.”

Some of the quotes attributed to Bannon in the book related to the Trump administration’s early plans for a new framework for a comprehensive Middle East peace deal.

According to a New York Magazine adaptation of portions of Fire and Fury, Bannon said the Trump administration would relocate the US embassy to Jerusalem early on, and that the administration had the backing of Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and American Jewish billionaire and Republican donor Sheldon Adelson.

“Day one we’re moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem. Netanyahu’s all-in. Sheldon is all in.”

Bannon then reportedly added that the endgame of talks between Israel and its Arab neighbors would obviate the need for concessions to the Palestinian Authority or the establishment of a Palestinian state – but would instead involve Jordanian control over Judea and Samaria, with Egypt taking over the Gaza Strip.

We know where we’re heading on this … Let Jordan take the West Bank, let Egypt take Gaza. Let them deal with it. Or sink trying.”

When asked by the late Fox News chief Roger Ailes where the president stood on the plan, Bannon replied “He’s totally onboard.”

The NY Magazine article further claimed that Ailes and Bannon had both backed former US Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton for National Security Adviser, in part because of his support for Israel.