top of page


Jordan covers an area of about 90,000 square kilometers, an area thirteen times bigger than all of Judea & Samaria and 4.3 times bigger than the area of sovereign Israel lying within the Green Line.  The Arab population still boasts a high rate of natural increase (although according to studies done by Ettinger and Zimmerman, this rate is on the decline).  This is not a "natural phenomenon" nor a Muslim cultural pattern.  The rate of natural increase in an Arab country like Egypt has been curbed, same goes for Iran, a radical Muslim country, which has managed to curb its natural growth by being proactive and taking the necessary measures to ensure this.  It follows then that intervention on the part of the government, or other religious and social institutions, is able to impact natural increase even in the case of Muslim countries.  The fertility rate of Israeli Arabs has dropped in recent decades from 9 children per woman in 1960s to 4.4 children per woman in 2000, with a further drop in 2006 – 3.6 children per woman.  In the year 2025 the natural growth of Jews and Arabs in Israel is expected to even out.  Even if we do not factor in possible Jewish immigration from Europe and America, in the year 2025, 80% of the people residing inside the Green Line will be Jewish.  67% of the population living in the area lying between the Jordan River and the sea will be Jewish in 2025 (and 60% will be Jewish, if one includes the Gaza Strip).  The natural increase rates among the Palestinian population living in Judea & Samaria are constantly on the decline, although they have not reached those of Egypt and Iran.  Fertility rates are still high because of ideology ("We shall fight the Zionist enemy with the womb of the Palestinian woman," said Yasser Arafat), economic factors (UNWRA's support) or the lack of control measures (as is the case in Egypt and Iran).  Ergo, anyone claiming that Israel must disengage from Judea & Samaria instantaneously (we have already "disengaged" from Gaza, as can be recalled) while waving the threat of demographics, is doing no more than distorting reality and creating panic for naught.  The facts tell a different story, as already explained, and in 2025 there is expected to be a large Jewish majority between the River Jordan and the Mediterranean.  On the other hand, those who suggest that Judea & Samaria be turned into areas for the resettling of refugees currently living in Syria, Lebanon and maybe even Jordan, are throwing a very real demographic time-bomb, which just might explode in Israel's face.  Such a scenario can truly lead to a situation in which there is an Arab majority between the River Jordan and the Mediterranean.  Should such an independent Palestinian entity come to be, it would surely become an irredenta, aspiring to spread westwards and eastwards, and ultimately unite with Israeli Arabs in order to take control of the State of Israel from within.  This is the true "demographic demon" those wishing to partition the land west of the Jordan River wish to bring upon us – and not the annexation of Judea & Samaria, as some believe.

The refugees

Approximately 600,000 Arabs left the State of Israel during the course of the War of Independence and signed up as refugees.  Today, there are over four million persons who are officially recognized as refugees by UNWRA – the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees.  Most of the refugee population lives in refugee camps in Gaza, Judea & Samaria, Jerusalem, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria.  Many of the refugees emigrated to European countries, North and South America as well as to other countries.

Economic Feasibility

The Palestinians' economic situation in the refugee camps is no less than dire.  The average income per capita is one of the lowest in the world.  To improve the current situation, tens of billions of dollars will be needed and these will have to be gotten from foreign investments.  If these investments are channeled to creating new jobs and housing, Jordan might become an attractive destination for refugees from Judea & Samaria, Gaza, Lebanon and Syria.  Anyone living on an average of 400 dollars per annum, will seriously consider moving to another part of his homeland (yes, even in the eyes of the Palestinians "Jordan is Palestine") if he is promised proper housing and a job that would pay ten times more than what he is currently earning.  Such investments, if channeled to Jordan, can turn it into a state wealthy enough to provide for its entire population at present, as well as the refugee population that will wish to resettle in Jordan.  Furthermore, such investments can serve as leverage for gaining the support of the international community in the plan, since such investments can yield fruit and also curb Muslim immigration to Europe – something in which the Europeans would take delight.  On the other hand, any investment which aims to help refugees continue living in their current places of residence, is a high-risk one, because any such investment will have been for naught the minute the next war breaks out.  Similar investments can be channeled to Syria and Lebanon or even Egypt if these are willing to dismantle the refugee camps in their territories and resettle these refugees in permanent localities instead, in addition to granting them citizenship and helping them to rehabilitate.


Jordan is an arid country.  Even now it is in desperate need of water from Israel in order to provide for its residents and irrigate its agricultural plantations in the Jordan Valley.  Any plan which would incorporate the resettling of two million Palestinian refugees in Jordan would have to solve the water problem in the region.  Nuclear or conventional desalination facilities, operating on the natural gas recently discovered in the Mediterranean, are one such solution.  One big desalination facility can also be built in the Jordan Valley.  It will be powered by energy from a hydroelectric power station, exploiting the altitude differences between the Mediterranean and the Dead Sea, or the Red Sea and the Dead Sea (AKA the Red Sea- Dead Sea Water Conveyance).  This water channel will provide sea water for desalination and will also pump water into the Dead Sea which is currently drying up.  Building these water plants is very costly, but is still relatively cheap in comparison to what the international community has paid out in the past sixty years to perpetuate the refugee status of the Palestinians.  Ergo, the main infrastructure problem that might prevent Palestinian refugees from settling down across Jordan is actually solvable. 

The objections to the plan

Two main objections to the plan can be foreseen: Jordan (which already objects to the plan) and the Palestinians themselves.  But can these objections be overcome?  Jordan will become Palestine sooner or later.  'Sooner' can be achieved peacefully, while preserving the status of the royal family, if the transition is managed wisely.

The 'later' scenario will transpire if Israel accepts a Palestinian state west of the Jordan River.  This will inevitably be followed by radical Islamic forces taking over the new state (either by force or by means of democratic elections, or the combination of both, as was the case in Gaza).  In the next phase, the Palestinians will take over the Kingdom of Jordan as part of their vision for "The Greater Palestine", which would mark another milestone in their mission to demolish the State of Israel and build a Palestinian state in the entire area of Mandatory Palestine.  The Hashemite royal family in Jordan is well aware of these intentions and is very concerned – after all, the Palestinian aspirations were clearly expressed in the summer of 1969.  It was only because of King Hussein's adamant fight against the Palestinians, as well as Israel's intervention on the former's behalf by barring the Syrians – that saved the Hashemite royal family and prevented a Palestinian state from forming sooner than expected.  In fact, this was one of Israel's gravest mistakes in all of its years as a state.  If the Palestinians had had a state forty years ago, their internationally acclaimed slogan of "a nation with no state" would have been a far weaker one, and the international community would have been far more willing to accept the "two states on either side of the Jordan River" solution.  The Hashemite royal family knows it is living on borrowed time, and is fully aware that should a Palestinian state be established west of the Jordan River, it would soon turn into a nucleus of subversive activity attempting to incite the Palestinian majority in Jordan into taking over Jordan by force.  If the Hashemite royal family wishes to survive, its only option is to accept a plan that would turn Jordan into a Hashemite-Palestinian state, with international backing and huge budgets aimed at water desalination, housing, job creation and advanced industrialization.  Only an ongoing Israeli guarantee to vouchsafe the stability of the Jordanian regime by foiling the establishment of an independent Palestinian state west of the Jordan River – a state which will always pose a threat to Jordan - only such a guarantee, based, of course, on the common interest of both parties to weaken the common enemy, has the power to ensure that the Hashemite regime will continue to survive over time and, as such, can obtain Jordan's support for the aforesaid plan. 

Is it possible to gain the support of the Palestinians for such a process?  In the 1970s, Yasser Arafat proclaimed that "Jordan is Palestine", and only changed his mind following pressure placed on him by the Arab League.  Today, the Palestinian position is that no move should be made on their part to take over Jordan before an independent state is established west of the Jordan River at the expense of Israel.  As long at they cherish the hope of annihilating the State of Israel (in accordance with Arafat's 'Phased Plan') and gaining an independent state in the western part of the Land of Israel, and as long as talks about dividing the land persist – no Palestinian in his right mind will voluntarily accept any plan that appears to be a concession or surrender of any kind.  Only if the option is rendered completely unfeasible, it might be possible to re-channel the pressure in the direction of Jordan, as was the case at the end of the 1960s, turning Jordan into the key factor in obtaining a Palestinian state.  However, it goes without saying that the chances of the Palestinians joining such a move of their own accord is virtually nil.  Any form of resettlement of refugees is perceived by the Palestinians as a concession on their part because it means surrendering their strongest weapon in their fight against Israel.  In fact, such a concession runs counter to what they believe to be their only chance of realizing "The Right of Return" to Israel.  If this option is no longer feasible or possible, it may very well be that even the refugees themselves will see no point in staying on in the refugee camps, if this can no longer produce the desired "fruits of return".  On the other hand, broad international support in the resettling of refugees in Jordan, backed by significant investments in water desalination, housing and job creation, as mentioned above, might, in fact, be attractive to many individuals, even if the leadership and the heads of terrorist organizations continue to hold onto their extreme positions.  The removal of such entities by force may enable a solution for the refugee problem.  Millions of people around the world relocate voluntarily in search of a better future for themselves and their progeny.  If we act wisely, determined not to endanger our very existence, we will be able to convince millions of Palestinian refugees to choose this path as well: not by means of evacuation or forced population transfer; rather, by blocking the Palestinians' option of "return" and their dream to conquer the Land of Israel west of the Jordan River, on the one hand, and by creating appealing conditions in the areas lying east of the Jordan River, on the other.  In surveys conducted in recent years, more than 30% of Palestinians have expressed the wish to immigrate to another country, and 50% have reported contemplating this option.  Only 15% stated that they have no intention of leaving under any condition. 

As to the Arabs living in Judea & Samaria, who are not defined as "refugees" according to UNWRA's listings, as well as those refugees who wish to stay on in their current place of residence – even if this should mean losing their refugee status and the economic benefits that come with it – they will be allowed to stay.  In the course of a few years, by means of a formal process, they will be entitled to Hashemite-Palestinian citizenship.  Subsequently, they will be allowed to vote for the parliament in Amman, and will be entitled to manage their own social and municipal affairs, and take charge of matters such as: economy, agriculture, transportation, education and religion.

bottom of page