Jordan moves to resolve 'West Bank' sovereignty problem it created

Jordan wants a one-state solution, which can work if it absorbs the PA and leaves the rest of the area in Israel's hands as it is now. Oped.

David Singer ,

Dry Bones One State Solution?
Dry Bones One State Solution?

Jordan’s Prime Minister Omar Razzaz has made a welcome intervention to resolve the issue of sovereignty in Judea and Samaria (aka 'West Bank').

Razzaz’s offer comes as Israel readies - hopefully - to restore Jewish sovereignty in 30% of Judea and Samaria after an absence of 3000 years – as promulgated by the 1922 League of Nations Mandate for Palestine and article 80 of the UN Charter - and detailed in President Trump’s deal of the century.

Razzaz has raised the possibility of a “one-state solution” to replace the “two-state solution”:

“We are against unilateral actions. We are against annexation. We are against any steps that are not within an overall scheme that leads to a two-state solution. Short of that, if we’re not going towards a two-state solution, let us know what we’re going towards, what kind of one-state solution we’re going towards.”

The “two-state solution” favoured by the international community for the last 40 years – creating an independent State of Palestine between Israel and Jordan – has long passed its anticipated birth date. The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) refusal to sit down with Israel to negotiate creating such a State in Gaza and 70% of Judea and Samaria – as detailed in Trump’s Plan - is the final nail in the coffin for an unattainable solution first aired by the 1980 Venice Declaration.

Razzaz should consider going towards a varoatopm pf the “Jordan one-state solution” that existed between 1948 and 1967 - after Transjordan:

  • invaded and conquered Judea and Samaria in 1948 - ethnically cleansing all Jews then living there (irreversibly changed in Area C)
  • changed its name in 1949
  • unified “the two banks of the Jordan, the Eastern and Western, and their amalgamation in one single state: The Hashemite Kingdom of the Jordan” in 1950
  • granted Jordanian citizenship to the 'West Bank' Arab residents between 1950 and 1988

Razzaz lays down three conditions for any “one-state solution”:

  • “Jordan will not absorb transfers of Palestinians.
  • Jordan will not become ‘the’ Palestine, as the Israeli extreme right wishes.
  • And Jordan will not give up its custodianship over [holy Muslim and Christian sites in] Jerusalem. These three are clear for us.”

Under the “Jordan one-state solution”:

  • No 'West Bank' or Gazan Arab would have to move from his current home or business
  • 'West Bank' Arab residents would regain their 1954-1988 Jordanian citizenship – once again electing their own representatives to the Jordanian Parliament
  • Unification of Gaza and possibly 70% of the 'West Bank' with Jordan would accord with proposals contemplated by article 25 of the Mandate for Palestine 1922, the 1937 Peel Royal Commission and UN General Assembly “Resolution 181 (II) Future Government of Palestine” in 1947.
  • Jordan’s custodianship over the Muslim Holy Sites in Jerusalem is retained under the Jordan Israel Peace Treaty 1994
  • The status quo existing between 1964 and 1968 would be restored when the PLO under article 24 of its founding Charter did “not exercise any regional sovereignty over the 'West Bank' in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan” or “on the Gaza Strip”:
  • The territory comprised in the Mandate for Palestine would have been finally allocated as intended.

The late King Hussein of Jordan - writing in Uneasy lies the Head (p.82) stated:

“Palestine (as it was called then without any connection to those calling themselves, Palestinians today, ed.) 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”

Razzaz and Netanyahu need to start a dialogue to bring a variation of the “Jordan one-state solution” to fruition and end the 100 years old Arab-Jewish conflict.

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.

Author’s note: The cartoon – commissioned exclusively for this article — is by Yaakov Kirschen aka “Dry Bones” - one of Israel’s foremost political and social commentators – whose cartoons have graced the columns of Israeli and international media publications for decades. His cartoons can be viewed at Drybonesblog.