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The Solution

The "Kingdom of Jordan", born of a British colonial sin – the dismemberment of the territories lying east of the Jordan River from the Jewish homeland – has turned into a Palestinian state, de facto, over the last seventy years.  At least seventy-five percent of its residents are Palestinians.  In fact, some still live in the same refugee camps in which they were originally placed, by will or by force, after the War of Independence.  Others took advantage of the fact that Jordan was the only state that gave the Palestinians full citizenship and settled down in many areas of the uninhabited kingdom and, in so doing, solved their "refugee problem", as did millions of other refugees around the world, and as did the hundreds of thousands of Jews who had fled the Arab countries.  Jordan is the Palestinian nation state in virtue of its demographic composition.  Furthermore, the notion that "Jordan is a part of Palestine" is actually a Palestinian conception which even fueled various failed attempts by the Palestinians to take over the kingdom.  As for now, the Palestinians are postponing their next attempt until such time that an additional Palestinian state is established to the west of the Jordan River.  Jordan is the only feasible Palestine, because it is the only country that can offer a practical solution to the Arab refugees by allowing them to settle down in the eastern part of the Land of Israel.  Jordan is not "Palestine" as yet, even de jura.  The reason for this being that the current rulers of Jordan simply don't desire it, and because there is no real democracy in Jordan, nobody else has any say in the matter.  The "democratic" elections that take place in the country, are for appearances only, and the elected parliament has no practical authority.  The king is the one who forms the government while maintaining sole power over the country.  Both Yigal Alon and Ariel Sharon believed in the Jordanian solution for the Palestinian problem.  The only reason Sharon later stopped advocating the idea was because King Hussein fervently objected to the idea, and it was also then that Israel signed "a historical treaty" with Jordan.  Moreover, it was feared that Jordan's becoming a Palestinian state would challenge Israel with a new eastern front which would also include Iraq.  However, circumstances have changed since then – on both the personal and political level.  Consequently, should the idea of "Jordan is Palestine" be presented as the only feasible solution that could offer the Palestinians a state of their own while simultaneously securing the existence of a Zionist Jewish state that is able to defend itself – then the objection of the Hashemite royal family, currently ruling Jordan, might be overcome.  Let it be remembered that the present situation in Judea & Samaria poses no threat to the Hashemite royal family.  On the other hand, the greatest threat to Hashemite rule in Jordan is the existence of a Palestinian state west of the Jordan river, one which could easily be taken over by Hamas, either by force or through democratic elections.  Sooner or later, Hamas will turn its attention to Jordan and take over the territories east of the Jordan River as well.

The plan we suggest is comprised of four main phases:

  1. Recognizing Jordan as the nation state of the Palestinian nation.

  2. Closing down UNRWA and writing up an extensive plan for resettling the Arab refugees in Jordan.  This would be overseen by the UNHCR (the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees), which has, thus far, successfully resettled tens of millions of refugees around the world.

  3. Giving Israeli and international guarantees to the Hashemite rule in Jordan.

  4. The fourth phase, which is the most significant for Israel, is the application of Israeli law and Israeli sovereignty in all of Judea & Samaria.  Such annexation, which would come into effect gradually (starting with the Jewish settlements), is expected to be recognized by the international community if presented as part and parcel of a regional plan for the conflict.  In such case, the Arabs residing in Judea & Samaria (much like the proposal made by the UN committee and incorporated into the resolution of November 29th, 1947), would be eligible for Israeli residency and still retain citizenship of their nation state in Jordan – i.e., Palestine.  They would pay Israeli taxes and would, in turn, be entitled to Israeli national insurance benefits.  They would also be able to vote for the parliament in Amman. 


A similar arrangement can be applied to the Gaza Strip, more notably in light of the growing chasm between Gaza and Judea & Samaria, which is expected to deepen should the latter be granted special status.  If so, is the plan to resettle Palestinian refugees in Jordan and turning Jordan into Palestine de facto a realistic one?  Is it economically feasible?  Is there enough water in Jordan for both its current and future residents?  Can the international community be convinced to support this plan?  Moreover, what if the refugees themselves refuse to leave the refugee camps and thus give up their dream to return to Jaffa, Jerusalem, Haifa and Safed?  Can they be convinced otherwise?

And what of the "demographic demon", as it is called, which threatens that soon there will be an Arab majority between the Jordan River and the sea? And what answer can be given to propaganda advocating the idea that an Israeli state "between the River Jordan and the sea" could never remain both Jewish and democratic and would soon turn into an "apartheid state"?

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