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The 'Jordan option' and the failure of the Israeli right


(MENAFN- Jordan Times) Implicit in the call for the implementation of the 'Jordan option' is the failure of Israel's leaders to transcend domestic constraints and overcome internal impediments to peace.

The seeming collapse of the peace process has led many analysts to ponder what role Jordan can play in the West Bank.

Should Amman intervene, and if so, under what conditions?

Such questions tend to tie Jordan's moves in the region to the changing dynamics of the Palestinian political arena.

For some, the failure of Israelis and Palestinians to come to some understanding means, inter alia, direct Jordanian involvement in the West Bank. But this view shows a lack of appreciation of how Jordan's strategic thinking has evolved over the years.

Indeed, projecting Jordan as a fence sitter, waiting to step in should the Palestinians fail in their state-building endeavour fails to capture the complexity of the issue.

Today, Begin Centre in Jerusalem hosts a conference titled 'The Jordan Option: The Ultimate Alternate Solution'. This alternate
solution calls for Jordan to be the Palestinian state and Israel, to the Jordan River, to be a state for the Jews.

This proposed scenario, which will never materialise, is fraught with danger for all American allies in the region.

Jordan has been a beacon of stability and played a prominent and positive role in peacemaking. All along, Jordan's stability and resilience benefited all neighbouring countries, Israel included.

Therefore, those who advocate changing Jordan into a Palestinian state are indeed playing with fire and have no understanding of the dynamic of war and peace in this part of the world.

This call is a recipe for a regional turmoil that would jeopardise the existence of Israel itself.

The conference and those who participate in it do not respect the fact that Jordan and Israel signed a peace agreement in 1994.

The Israeli right — not to mention the so-called Jordan Opposition Coalition (which has no presence in Jordan) — has yet to internalise that peace with Jordan entails mutual respect.

The crux of the matter is the inability of the Israeli right to defend the course of action it has caused since Begin assumed power in 1977.

Its obsession with establishing settlements has distracted it from the demographic developments in the area stretching from the Mediterranean to the River Jordan.

As Israel moved to the right over the last two decades, it has become extremely difficult to spot leaders who fit the bill of leadership.

Obviously, Rabin was the last Israeli who was willing to overcome internal opposition to make peace.

In short, the failure of the Israeli right to address the demographic crisis caused by the perpetuation of the occupation and the mushrooming of settlements has led some of them to look for a scapegoat.

The 'Jordan option' in the version proposed by the conference is an act of war rather than a call for a solution.

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