Thursday, May 26, 2016

Who, Us? Immoderate and Irresponsible!?

"A confederation between the Palestinians and Jordan may seem to be a good idea in the long term. But for now, it is hard to see how Jordanian leader would agree to turn millions of Palestinians into citizens of the kingdom. It is also hard to see Jordanians agreeing to absorb either Hamas or the Palestinian Authority and share power with them. Still, the talk about a confederation between the Palestinians and Jordan shows that under the current circumstances, the two-state solution (a Palestinian state alongside Israel) is no longer being viewed by Palestinians as a realistic solution that will bring their people a better life."

It is unlikely that prominent Jordanian politicians, who have recently talked about a confederation between the Palestinians and Jordan, are acting without the backing of King Abdullah (left). Meanwhile, a majority of Palestinians have seemingly lost confidence in the ability of their leaders, such as PA President Mahmoud Abbas (right), to achieve an independent Palestinian state. (Image source: Abdullah: World Bank / Abbas: US State Dept.)

the West Bank, former Jordanian Prime Minster Abdel Salam Majali suggested a confederation as the "best solution for both Palestinians and Jordanians". There's that trouble-making reputation of the Palestinians that prickles the dander of Hashemite Jordanians, however. And the fact that the terror group Black September memorializes the fight that took place between Jordan and the PLO to expunge their threat from Jordan. Implicit in the suggestion is the recognition that the Palestinian Authority is not ready to rule a Palestinian state; it lacks the experience and the expertise.

It is far more skilled in techniques of corruption and agitation, though diplomacy mitigated against that observation entering the discussion. Instead, the former Jordanian prime minister told his audience: "Jordan cannot live without Palestine and Palestine cannot live without Jordan". As Jews have a habit of saying: "from your mouth to God's ear". Confederation, explained Mr. Majali, would result in Palestinians and Jordanians sharing a joint government and parliament.

He expanded on the issue by explaining his opinion that Palestinians were not yet "fully qualified to assume their responsibilities, especially in the financial field, in wake of the failure of the Arab countries to support them." It isn't, you see, that the Palestinians are incapable of administering their own affairs, but the fault lies in the fact that other Arab countries haven't proffered sufficient 'support' to enable them to do so, which should come as a big surprise to those Arab countries.

Jordanians themselves, for the most part, don't seem to relish the prospect of their Hashemite heritage being further diluted by the presence in the kingdom of even greater numbers of Palestinians. On the other hand, there are those among the Palestinians with tribal links to other Palestinian demographics living in Jordan as Jordanians, who see merit in the idea of such a confederation linking and melding the two societies.

Israel, whom no one is consulting on the matter, would doubtless breathe a gigantic sigh of relief that a moderate and responsible government would be closely monitoring and mentoring its direct opposite.

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