Palestine: Realities Overtaking Fairy Tales

November 9, 2012 by David Singer
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The idea of reunifying a substantial part of the West Bank with Jordan received a further boost this week – when former head of the PLO Political Department – Farouk Kaddoumi – told the newspaper London-based newspaper Al – Quds Al – Arabi that giving the West Bank back to Jordan would be a “positive move.”…writes David Singer.

His remarks are the first of their kind to be voiced by a senior PLO figure in decades.

His statement follows hard on the comment recently made by Jordan’s Prince Hassan that the West Bank was part of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan

It was back in March 1977 that Kaddoumi himself told Newsweek:

“There should be a kind of linkage because Jordanians and Palestinians are considered by the PLO as one people.”

His viewpoint was echoed by another PLO leader – Zuheir Mohsen – who told the Dutch newspaper Trouw in the same month:

“The Palestinian people does not exist. The creation of a Palestinian state is only a means for continuing our struggle against the state of Israel for our Arab unity. In reality today there is no difference between Jordanians, Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese. Only for political and tactical reasons do we speak today about the existence of a Palestinian people, since Arab national interests demand that we posit the existence of a distinct Palestinian people to oppose Zionism.

For tactical reasons, Jordan, which is a sovereign state with defined borders, cannot raise claims to Haifa and Jaffa, while as a Palestinian, I can undoubtedly demand Haifa, Jaffa, Beer-Sheva and Jerusalem. However, the moment we reclaim our right to all of Palestine, we will not wait even a minute to unite Palestine and Jordan.”

The greatest criticism of the international community since then has been the failure to heed these statements and recognise there is no difference at all between the Arab residents living in the West Bank and the Arab residents living in Jordan. Both reside in an area comprising almost 80% of former Palestine and live within one hours drive of each other. Both were citizens of Jordan and had Jordanian passports from 1950-1988.  Both have families that live on both sides of the Jordan River.  No country was ever called “Jordan” until 1950.

The attempt to create two separate national identities and two separate peoples – Jordanians and Palestinians – have always been nothing but misleading and deceptive fairy tales.

Even the 1968 PLO Charter itself makes this abundantly clear in its opening two articles which state:

Article 1: Palestine is the homeland of the Arab Palestinian people; it is an indivisible part of the Arab homeland, and the Palestinian people are an integral part of the Arab nation.

Article 2: Palestine, with the boundaries it had during the British Mandate, is an indivisible territorial unit.

These clear and unambiguous provisions of the PLO Charter were reiterated and confirmed at the 8th Palestinian National Council meeting in February-March 1971 – which declared:

 ” Jordan is linked to Palestine by a national relationship and a national unity forged by history and culture from the earliest times. The creation of one political entity in Transjordan and another in Palestine would have no basis either in legality or as to the elements universally accepted as fundamental to a political entity. .. In raising the slogan of the liberation of Palestine and presenting the problem of the Palestine revolution, it was not the intention of the Palestine revolution to separate the east of the River from the West, nor did it believe the struggle of the Palestinian people can be separated from the struggle of the masses in Jordan…”

Despite similar statements by many other Arab spokesmen – the Quartet – Russia, America, the European Union and the United Nations – still remain foolishly fixated on creating an independent Arab State between Israel and Jordan in the West Bank and East Jerusalem – thus separating the East Bank of the Jordan River from the West Bank and dividing the Arabs who live on each side of the Jordan River from one another.

Reunification of the West Bank with Jordan – so far as is now possible given the changed circumstances since Jordan’s loss of it to Israel in the 1967 Six Day War – remains the only realistic option available to the Jews and Arabs to advance the cause of peace and reconciliation.

Any such agreement reached on the territorial dimensions of the dispute will not – however – herald an end to the conflict.

Kaddoumi himself made this clear when he added:

“We launched our revolution for all of Palestine, and that’s why we need to be very cautious. We must safeguard our people’s right to return. We must insist on the right of return for all refugees, because this is the minimum that we could accept.”

Whilst the temperature may be lowered once the reunification of the two banks of the Jordan River into an expanded and enlarged Jordan has been achieved – attitudes such as the above espoused by Kaddoumi and likewise by Hamas and the myriad number of terrorist groups who continue to conduct their murderous campaign to eradicate the Jewish State – will not end overnight.

Yet there is hope that even the vexed right of return is slowly being recognised as a right of return to the 80% of former Palestine that will be encompassed within the newly redrawn borders of Jordan – and not to the remaining 20% of former Palestine that will become the established borders of Israel.

PLO Chairman Mahmoud Abbas caused raised eyebrows when he stated this week that although he is a refugee from the town of Safed – he does not have the right to live there although he likes to visit the town as a tourist.

Abbas continued:

 “I am a refugee, but I am living in Ramallah, I believe that West Bank and Gaza is Palestine, and the other parts is Israel.”

How anyone can be classified as a refugee whilst living in any part of one’s country is perhaps a question that Abbas should be asked by one of the intrepid reporters that frequently interview him. Nevertheless the growing focus on Jordan being part of the solution to the Arab-Jewish conflict is a welcome development that should be encouraged and fostered.

Fairy tales usually have happy endings.

Perhaps an energised and reinvigorated Barack Obama can wave his Presidential wand this time round by facing up to the above realities and help everyone’s dreams come true.

 

David Singer is a Sydney Lawyer and Foundation Member of the International Analysts Network

Comments

29 Responses to “Palestine: Realities Overtaking Fairy Tales”
  1. Liat Nagar says:

    David,
    The point you make about the present ‘negotiating void’ and the dangers inherent in that is a very good one, and one I had not thought of. There’s a subtext to negotiations as, even if they seem to be going nowhere and everybody loses faith in them, they do provide an excuse, or a facade behind which to retreat, that prevents or puts off ‘boil over’ into a situation more drastic.

  2. Ben says:

    Hello Mr Singer

    Thank you for the long response. What is unclear is where does that leave the settlements? Will the settlements be removed along with the barrier ? How can Jordan – provided the Palestinians and Jordanians are allowed a free referundum by the monarchist regime – ensure territorial contunity to the isolated cantons surrounded by exclusive highways and checkpoints without removing the settlements or giving Jordanian citizenship to the settlers. Will the settlers accept Jordanian citizenship ? Will israel still have any credibility left if it transfers Jewish citizens to a foreign country ?

    Will it Israel vacate the Jordan valley and the agricultural, military settlements there not to mention the waters of the Jordan and the minerals of the Dead Sea?

  3. Shirlee. says:

    David, I think there are two Bens

  4. David says:

    Liat

    Jordan may be reluctant to negotiate with Israel but that should not deter the world putting pressure on King Abdullah to do so.

    Israel is constantly being pressured to do things it does not want to do. Why should Jordan be exempted from similar treatment?

    Negotiations with the Palestinian Authority (PA)on the future of the West Bank are at an end since the PA refuses to come back to the negotiating table unless preconditions demanded by it are met.

    The negotiating void is very dangerous and needs to be reinstated to avert a diplomatic and political boil-over

    Jordan is the obvious choice to replace the PA.

    Obama should be whispering in King Abdullah’s ear to get to the negotiating table or face the prospect of the Arab Spring visiting itself on Jordan without American support for the ruling administration

  5. Paul Winter says:

    For Farouk Kaddoumi transferring Judea/Samaria to Jordan would clearly be a “positive move” a positive move for the Arabs, because it would be positively suicidal for Israelis.

    Nothing, nothing that the Arabs say is positive for Jews or the Jewish state. Apart from religiously sancitioned lying, taqqiya, in that society dissimulation – tawriyya – is also endemic. And the truism that what is said in English is contradicted in Arabic was reaffirmed by abu Mazen just recently: on Israel’s channel 2 he declared that he would not return to his birthplace, Safed, but in Arabic he said that he only said that to influence Israelis and the “right of return’ is still non-negotiable. (See PMW bulletins of 6.11.12). While some Israelis like Peres, more a bird-brain than merely a dove, enthused about abu Mazen’s change of heart, nobody seemed to notice that the unelected “President” also stated that it was his RIGHT (!!!) to return and see Safed. What arrogance! What contempt for Israeli sovereignity!

    UNSC 242 compelled Israel to return territory captured in 1967 in return for security. It was not compelled to return all the territory because the six day war was clearly a defensive one on the part of Israel. In case anyone forgot, Israel returned the Sinai to Egypt, it pulled out of Gaza and it returned a part of Lebanon. Jordan renounced claims to Judea and Samaria. Egypt and Jordan with which Israel have strong movements demanding those countries peace treaties with Israel be abrogated. Egypt is ruled by the Moslem Brotherhood, the MB’s offshoot Hamas rules Gaza from which attacks on southern Israel come, which is kept under control in Judea and Samaria by Israel’s help to its PA enemy and it is pushing Abdullah for control of Jordan. Hizballah is a constant threat to Israel’s northern part. TRADING LAND FOR LIES IS INSANITY!!!

    I just recently came across Rabin’s last speech: he envisaged secure borders with those on the east being in the Jordan valley. The Jordan and the mountain passes must remain in the hands of the Jewish state. It is fiendishly clever to by-pass the PA by turning Judea and Samaria over to their erstwhile conquerors, but it ignores realities, it is predicated on unjustified assumptions and it ignores ramifications.

    It defies reality to imagine that a Jordanian princeling’s claims to territory it lost and then formally reliquished would be to benefit Israel; if anything such a chutzpadige claim should ring alarm bells. To hand over land needed for security to an unstable regime ready to be taken over by Hamas is dumber than dumb.

    Handing over land to Jordan assumes that any agreement made will be honoured in full and that it will last. Treaties Israel has made with Arabs have not been fully honoured and are likely to be repudiated. Orders by the UN have been ignored to Israel’s detriment. Agreements with other countries have been twisted and ignored to Israel’s disadvantage.

    If Israel hands Judea and Samaria over to Jordan and it is taken over by Hamas or other islamofascists, there is nothing to stop a full militarisation of the borders. If that border heats up and Israel takes defensive action. as a member of the UN (unlike Gaza), Jordan can appeal for help and get a Chapter VII UNSC order compelling Israel to cease fighting, to withdraw and have a “peacekeeping force on its eastern front. Well we see the usefulness and impartiality of the UN in Sinai and in suthern Lebanon.

    The only success of the Palestinian Arabs has been to drive Israelis insane in the search for peace with people who want nothing but war. The conflict is religious/ideological and Israel must win that to survive. The islamofascists must destroy Israel because it is a non-mohammedan state in the muslim waqf and because the superiority of the Jews as fighters undermines the superiority of Islam, predicated as it is in success in jihad campaigns. And the umma must also avenge the humiliation of defeat and return the dhimmi Jews to their proper station. Peace must be put aside until mohammedans accept Israel, or as someone just recently said until they say not just a “two state solution” to the conflict but “two states for two people”. Israel has done enough for peace, it is time for the Arabs to abandon their conflict perpetuating, baseless claims.

    • David says:

      Paul

      You are falling into Ben’s error in trying to preempt the outcome of negotiations. I am sure both Israel and Jordan will be cognisant of the issues you raise and any successful conclusion to such negotiations will take the matters raised by you into account.

      • Paul Winter says:

        You may well be right David. But considering that Israel fell into the Oslo process, the withdrawal from South Lebanon and from Gaza, the Road Map proposals, I believe that my apprehensions are reality based.

        Trying to dismiss my concerns by linking them to Ben’s off this planet raves is a ploy that is unworthy of you.

        Please look at your position objectively, without pride and without substituting reality with your hope of success in negotitions. There are too many parties to talks between Israel and its neighbours for them to either achieve their objectives or to meet Israel’s interests. Please bear in mind another Arab proposal about ten years ago. The Saudis in an apologetic role proposed a half reasonable plan that could have been negotiated. At a meeting in Damascus it was gutted and became unacceptable. Nevertheless, Israel is still being urged to use the now altered plan as a basis negotiations.

        The fate of the Jewish state must not be abandoned to clever ploys, trust in the untrustworthy, solemn pledges from serial liars, on pride in one’s good will and intelligence and on the adherence to hopes in place of plans that can be enforced.

        On a slightly different note, I recall a person who pointed out the realities of bargaining in the bazaar; the more you want an item the higher the price goes. Israel at some stage must tell the world that the price that the Palestinian Arabs and the umma are demanding is too high; there will be peace only when they accept a reasonable price and provide the true item they are trying to sell.

        • David says:

          Paul

          Israel will be left with no alternative to act unilaterally – once it is clear there is no one to talk to.
          The Saudi Peace Plan is not acceptable to Israel as a basis of negotiation.

          The only proposals to be negotiated are those laid down in the Oslo Accords and the Bush Road Map – and Israel has made clear that it has accted the Road Map with 14 reservations that America has promised will be addressed.

          That is the.present state of play . A the moment there is no Arab partner ready to step up to the plate

          • Paul Winter says:

            David, you are perfectly right in stating that the Oslo Accords and the Road Map are the only proposals to be negotiated. So why then argue for Israeli/Jordanian negotiations over Judea/Samaria which by-pass those proposals?

            Yes, Israel will have to act unilaterlly once it is clear that there is no one to talk to. But why should Israel expose itself to illegal and dengerous ploys to by-pass the PA?

            In essence, you are saying that Israel/the Jewish state/Jews need to prove to the world that it/we have done everything to harmony. This is predicated on the notion that Jews have to grovel for the mere sufferance by the family of nations. Acting like inferiors results in being treated as inferior, particuarly by those who demand of the Jewish state/Jews a higher standard and when that is attained lie that the standard has been failed miserably and set the bar higher still.

            Again, why talk to Jordan to satisfy its ambition for territory and prestige in getting the better of Jews, when the 14 reservations to the Road Map is disregarded by the US, its gauarantor? The same US that disregards the Sharon/Bush understandings in an exchange of letters that formed the basis for the Gaza withdrawal?

            Israel and Jews must demand to be treated as equals to any other nation/people. Instead of being clever we need to be principles and forthright, not standing up for our enemies as they play the vicitm game or aggress against us. And instead of wringing our hands when Israel’s great friend, the USA, states that natural growth must stop beyond the Green Line, we need to tell it that that is tantamont to the Nazi sterilisation program. And when a Jordanian talks of Jordan’s right to land it illegally occupied for 19 years we need to tell him to try his strength with a camel.

  6. Ben says:

    What is a “substantial part of the west bank ” ? Handing over the Palestinian bantustants to Jordan so that they can be ruled by the puppet regime installed by British imperialism, or the people of Palestine and Jordan jointly forming a political union with a representative government ?

    • Shirlee. says:

      Ben what’s your answer?

      At present these people are in limbo, but a far better limbo now than when they were under Jordanian control.

    • David says:

      Ben

      Concentrate your mind on the benefits of getting two states at peace with each other sitting down to negotiate the future of a small piece of territory between them. Speculating on the outcome of those negotiations is a waste of time and diverts from the objective of first getting the parties together.

  7. Ben says:

    Mr Singer

    One can be refugee if one is forced by terror and bombing to flee from Sydney to Melbourne.

    • Shirlee. says:

      Ben, presuming you have a brain, please use it.

      The 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees (and its
      1967 Protocol), to which Australia is a signatory, defines a refugee
      as:

      Any person who owing to a well founded fear of being
      persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality,
      membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is
      outside the country of his/her nationality and is unable, or
      owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself/herself of the
      protection of that country.

      • David says:

        Shirlee

        You are spot on.

        Regrettably Ben has the capacity to constantly be ignorant of pertinent facts concerning issues he comments on.

        The whole refugee issue as it relates to Palestinian Arabs living anywhere in the area of Mandatory Palestine has always been a hoax. They moved from one part of the country to another and that is why the UN had to create UNRWA to give them a supposed refugee status that does not apply to any other refugees around the world.

        Abbas has acknowledged the hoax

      • Ben says:

        Hello Shirlee

        Thank you for the ad hominem slur. So Palestinians have been forcibly displaced from their country.The state that exists there prevents their return, while welcoming people from all over the world if they can show a Jewish connection.

        • Shirlee. says:

          For G-d’s sake Ben. The fictitious people of whom you speak were never forcibly displaced.

          That is well documented in the Arab press. Abbas has acknowledged that fact himself.

          “The radio stations of the Arab regimes kept repeating to us: ‘Get away from the battle lines. It’s a matter of ten days or two weeks at the most, and we’ll bring you back to Ein-Kerem [near Jerusalem].’ And we said to ourselves, ‘That’s a very long time. What is this? Two weeks? That’s a lot!’ That’s what we thought [then]. And now 50 years have gone by.” [PA TV (Fatah), July 7, 2009]

          Here’s the whole article and we EVEN have a Palestinian Arab giving his version of what happened on video
          http://www.palwatch.org/main.aspx?fi=157&doc_id=1102

          Here’s a whole heap of Arab quoes, written by an Arab

          http://www.wnd.com/index.php?pageId=70765

      • Ben says:

        Hello Shirlee

        The Webster dictionary defines refugee as one who is forced to flee.

        The post 51 protocols added to the UN definition describe a refugee as a person who flees violence et al.

        Pedantic definitions apart, the historical reality is that Palestinians were expelled from their places of habitual residence through massacres and terror and were refused the righty of return to their homes.
        I am quite willing to substantiate these with facts and dates.

        • Shirlee. says:

          Ben, do us all a favour and go and play elsewhere. You are decidedly tedious.
          I gave you quotes and I have dozens from the Arab press, plus accounts from my own family.

          I gave you a link to a video from a man who lived through it all.
          http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=FuGqpFxogRg

          It well documented fact that the Arabs left at the insistence of their leaders with the promise of return when the ‘Zionist entity’ was destroyed

          • Ben says:

            Dear Shirley,

            What is more tedious is the old canard that the Pals forfeited the rights to be regarded as refugees due to some documented decision to flee under orders from the Arab armies – a decision most would probably consider wise under the circumstances.

            Mr Singer’s snipe at Abbas’ comment (“How anyone can be classified as a refugee whilst living in any part of one’s country is perhaps a question that Abbas should be asked by one of the intrepid reporters”) misses the point. Firstly, Mr Abbas does not, as a result of Israel’s strident efforts, have a country (yet) and secondly, the fact that he may one day have one makes him no less a refugee – in the sense that I’m sure many asylum seekers in this country with Australian citizenship might still in their hearts consider themselves refugees.

            In any event, none of this quibbling and sniping over the definition of a refugee alters the simple fact that Mr Singer’s proposal is completely unworkable.

            The idea that one can unilaterally and at a stroke of a pen decide that the Pals will all become part of Jordan is the real “fairy tale” in Mr Singer’s post.

            Lastly using phrases like “these fictitious people” is highly insulting as poor old Mitt Romney discovered. In my view, people who do use it, do themselves no credit and should reflect on how they would feel if that phrase were used to describe the group they most strongly identify with.

            Ben (no. 2)

          • Ben says:

            Just one incident. The massacre at deir yesin was done before the declaration of the Zionist entity.

  8. Liat Nagar says:

    David,
    If things worked out in this way, with 80% of the West Bank becoming part of Jordan and 20% part of Israel, there are going to be a lot of opinionated and politically active people around the world left looking pretty silly. And rightly so. The balloon will have been pricked, the bombast will fall away to nothing, and they’ll be left with a dead cause. Although, most surely they’ll pick up the disparate pieces and put them together in a new way to bash Israel with.

    How will King Hussein and his administrators feel about receiving back to the fold all the ‘refugees’ the Palestinians are insisting on right of return for? And how does the Israeli government feel about this 80%/20% scenario? As for President Obama, I get the distinct impression that Israel and the Jews do not have his particular interest or sympathies and that he has to extend more goodwill in our direction than he would prefer to given the political situation he finds himself in, vis a vis the Jewish vote in the USA.

    • Ben says:

      This will probably be Jordan’s worst nightmare and Israel’s as well. The population mix will be enough to topple the puppet monarchy. Israel will have another popular movemnt on its border.

      • David says:

        Ben

        Trying to predict the outcome of negotiations might be uppermost in your thought processes. I believe that Jordan and Israel will be well aware of the opportunities and downsides that the successful conclusion of such negotiations can entail and will make their decisions accordingly.

        • Ben says:

          Hello Mr Singer

          Presumably such a proposal will be the subject of a referundum in the West Bank and Jordan.

          • Ben says:

            You’ve hit the nail on the head Ben. This idea, long propagated by Mr Singer, ignores a very basic requirement for consent and no one, not even Mr Singer, has even presented evidence that population transfer, re-classification, re-nationalisation, whatever you may call it, will ever be agreed to by Palestinians or the Jordanians. So, having an orgasm over some throw away comment by a loose cannon who represents no one (Kaddoumi) is a waste of Mr Singer’s valuable time.

          • Singer says:

            To the two Bens (or is there only one Ben talking to himself?)

            I am talking about negotiations being commenced between Jordan and Israel – now that negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority are at an end.

            You are talking about the success of any such negotiations with Jordan and whether the results will be accepted by the constituencies of those involved in the negotiations.

            That has nothing to do with getting negotiations started where none currently exist. It is the first step in a process that must be taken if there is any hope of some form of reconciliation being achieved.

            There was no problem in the West Bank Arabs agreeing with Transjordan to reunify the West Bank with the East Bank and form a new territorial entity called Jordan that lasted for 17 years and would still be going today had Jordan stayed out of the Six Day War.

            One would hope that this precedent could be replicated again in negotiations between Jordan and Israel and ultimately accepted by the Arab populations living on both sides of the Jordan River. The halcyon days of 1950-1967 are not going to return and Jordan will have to agree to accept less territory than it occupied during that period.

            That is what the negotiations will focus on as well as issues such as water,refugees and Jerusalem.

            With views such as yours negotiations would never have been started between East Bank and West Bank Arabs nor under Oslo and the Roadmap.

            Calling Kaddoumi a loose cannon who does not represent anyone is misunderstanding and ignoring his influence within the PLO.

            Is Prince Hassan also a loose cannon.?

            Is Abbas a loose cannon because he has now publicly retreated from his previous statements on the right of return?

            Indeed Ben or Bens are you also happy to be called loose cannons?

            Name calling will get us all nowhere.

            Jordan was a major player in creating the problems in the West Bank from 1967-2012. It has to be a major player now in resolving them.

          • Ben says:

            David, Its Ben No. 2 here. Re you last post, good luck convincing the Pals to accept being twice transferred. I await news of your standing ovation at the next conference of Arab leaders.

            If your next question is: so what is the solution ?

            Well, sadly, there are no solutions at present. A change of Gov in Israel may help but I doubt it. The next 5-10 years will probably see a series of terrible intifadas followed by wars along the southern and northern borders. Most are surprised this hasn’t commenced already. When it does, the Int community will castigate Israel if it perceives this to be a response to Israel’s rejection of a 2 state solution – which I’m tipping will be the case given the widespread opposition within the EU and US to the settlements and the belief that Israel will not agree to such a solution other than on terms which produce a wholly unviable and emasculated Pals state.

            Will be interested to see if my post gets published. Apparently you have to write in caps or make insulting comments referring to Palestinians as “fictitious people” before your posts are approved…or perhaps I’m being confused with Ben No.1 !

            Ben (no.2)

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