David  Singer
David  SingerINN:DS

King Abdullah of Jordan has attempted to torpedo President Trump’s peace plan by falsely suggesting it could lead to a one-state solution – not the two-state solution Trump clearly envisages.

Abdullah’s intent became apparent in this interview with Der Spiegel:

DER SPIEGEL: In a few weeks' time, the Israeli parliament plans to discuss U.S. President Donald Trump's Middle East peace plan, which includes the annexation of the 'West Bank' by Israel. What would it mean for Jordan if Trump’s plan for the Middle East were to be implemented?

The question was false in its content and framed in the language of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) - using the term “annexation of the 'West Bank'” instead of “restoring Jewish sovereignty in 30% of the 'West Bank' after 3000 years”.

Abdullah responded to this canard:

King AbdullahII: Is now, in the midst of the corona pandemic, really the time to discuss whether we want a one- or two-state solution for Israel and Palestine? Or should we be discussing how we can fight the pandemic together? The two-state solution is the only way for us to be able to move forward.

Why gratuitously throw in a one-state solution? Why no mention by Abdullah that the two-state solution could not move forward because the PLO has absolutely refused to negotiate with Israel?

The interviewer’s next question corrected his first - asking about Israel annexing “large parts of the Palestinian territories”

DER SPIEGEL: Politicians like Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu want to take advantage of the opportunity presented by Trump and annex large parts of the Palestinian territories.

Abdullah ignored the correction - repeating his false one-state allegation:

King Abdullah II: Leaders who advocate a one-state solution do not understand what that would mean. What would happen if the Palestinian National Authority collapsed? There would be more chaos and extremism in the region. If Israel really annexes the 'West Bank' in July, it would lead to a massive conflict with the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.

But neither Trump nor Netanyahu has advocated a one-state solution.

And the “Palestinian Authority” no longer exists - Mahmoud Abbas having changed its name to the “State of Palestine” by decree on 3 January 2013.

Maybe there would be a massive conflict if Israel “annexed” the 'West Bank' – but 30% - an area of 1697 km2 ?

The interviewer did not query Abdullah – but blithely continued:

DER SPIEGEL: You would suspend the peace treaty with Israel?

King Abdullah II: I don't want to make threats and create a loggerheads atmosphere, but we are considering all options. We agree with many countries in Europe and the international community that the law of the strongest should not apply in the Middle East.

Empty posturing.

The Hashemites have controlled Jordan only since 1920.

The PLO has controlled Areas A and B of Judea and Samaria since 2004 and allowed its hapless residents only one vote in 2006.

The law of the strongest is alive and kicking in the Middle East.

King Abdullah faces being called upon by Trump to fill the negotiating void left by the PLO jettisoning Trump’s plan – because:

  • Transjordan invaded Judea and Samaria in 1948 and drove out every Jew living there
  • Transjordan and Judea and Samaria were merged into one territorial entity in 1950 and renamed “Jordan” whilst “Judea and Samaria” was renamed “West Bank”
  • “West Bank” Arab residents were granted Jordanian citizenship between 1950 and 1988
  • The PLO made no claims to territorial sovereignty until Jordan lost Judea and Samaria to Israel in the 1967 Six Day War.

The one-state solution is a desperate Abdullah ploy.

The realistic two-state solution – Jordan and Israel – is coming.

Dry Bones: Abdullah II temper tantrum
Dry Bones: Abdullah II temper tantrumKirschen

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

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.