Jordan and Israel can end the 100 years old Jewish-Arab conflict

April 4, 2022 by David Singer
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It took Jordan’s King Abdullah II just 10 minutes to fly by helicopter from Jordan to Ramallah on 26 March to meet Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) leader Mahmud Abbas in Ramallah – which is only 15 minutes’ drive from Jerusalem – Abdullah’s first trip to Judea and Samaria (West Bank) since 2017.

It took Jordan’s King Abdullah II just a 10 minutes helicopter flight from Jordan to Ramallah on 26 March to meet Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) leader Mahmud Abbas in Ramallah – itself only 15 minutes’ drive from Jerusalem – Abdullah’s first trip to Judea and Samaria (West Bank) since 2017.

The Arab Weekly reported on Abdullah’s visit:

“Well-informed Jordanian sources have linked the previously unannounced visit of the Jordanian king to Ramallah, the seat of the Palestinian Authority, to the Negev Summit. They said that Jordan was uncomfortable with the new “Abrahamic” peace process between Israel and Arab countries. It particularly resents being marginalised and losing control over its most important card, the Palestinian issue.”

Abdullah has only himself to blame for Jordan’s growing marginalisation – abandoning the policy pursued by his great-grandfather King Abdullah 1 and his father King Hussein  of unifying the two Arab populations living on both sides of the Jordan River into one State between 1950 and 1967.

Abdullah instead has been supporting the PLO demand for the creation of an independent Arab state west of the Jordan River – in addition to Jordan east of the Jordan River: two Arab states and one Jewish state within the territory comprised in the 1922 League of Nations Mandate for Palestine (Mandate).

Abdullah needs to rethink supporting the PLO’s demand if he wishes to regain control of decisions to be made west of the Jordan River affecting Arabs and Jews in the last 5% of former Palestine where sovereignty still remains unallocated between Jordan and Israel after 100 years of conflict.

Abdullah’s marginalisation also risks Jordan losing its role as the custodian of the Muslim Holy Shrines in Jerusalem conferred on Jordan in 1994 by the Washington Declaration and Israel-Jordan Peace Treaty.

Between 1950 and 1967:

  • Judea and Samaria (West Bank) – which included Ramallah – was part of Jordan – and its residents were Jordanian citizens (extending until 1988) – electing their own representatives to the Jordanian Parliament.
  • The PLO did not claim regional sovereignty “over the West Bank in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan” or the “Gaza Strip” on its founding in 1964 – claiming only that “Palestine with its boundaries at the time of the British Mandate is a regional indivisible unit”
  • Abdullah’s father King Hussein – at page 118 of his published memoirs Uneasy Lies the Head (1962) – justified continuing Jordanian rule on both sides of the Jordan River against international condemnation:

“Palestine and Jordan were both under British Mandate, but as my grandfather pointed out in his memoirs, they were hardly separate countries. Transjordan being to the east of the River Jordan, it formed in a sense, the interior of Palestine”

Jordan comprises 78% of the territory of former Palestine whilst Judea and Samaria (West Bank) comprises just 4%.

Abdullah’s visit to Ramallah took place at the same time as the Negev Summit was putting life into the Abraham Accords – Israel’s Foreign Minister working with his counterparts from Bahrain, Egypt, Morocco and the United Arab Emirates on shared challenges and interests – along with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s encouragement and support.

Ending the 100 years-old conflict between Arabs and Jews has become increasingly urgent with no movement in sight to create an additional Arab State west of the Jordan River after almost 30 years of failed political and diplomatic attempts and pressure from the United Nations.

The reunification of the Arab populations living on both sides of the Jordan River – as existed between 1950 and 1967 – by re-drawing the current international border between Israel and Jordan in direct negotiations – is the kiss of life that can end the Arab-Jewish conflict.

David Singer is a Sydney lawyer and a foundation member of the International Analysts Network

Author’s note: The cartoon — commissioned exclusively for this article — is by Yaakov Kirschen aka “Dry Bones”- one of Israel’s foremost political and social commentators — whose cartoons have graced the columns of Israeli and international media publications for decades.



8 Responses to “Jordan and Israel can end the 100 years old Jewish-Arab conflict”
  1. DAVID SINGER says:


    Thank you for your comment which has now been sent to me by the Editor.

    I agree with you on the importance of the Mandate for Palestine in understanding the ongoing unresolved conflict between Arabs and Jews. Regrettably your comment indicates a complete misunderstanding of what happened at that time.

    You state:
    “I made the Tinderbox because the basic facts are often nowhere to be found in this debate and in order to solve it we need to get away from belief and into verifiable primary evidence.”

    I fully concur.

    Unfortunately your comment contains little verifiable primary evidence – just throwaway sentences that need to be rebutted with lengthy explanations.

    I have therefore broken down into numbered paragraphs the relevant parts of your comment relating to the Mandate with my comments immediately following:

    1. “To understand this situation it is necessary to understand what happened in Palestine under the British Mandate/during WW1.”

    The British Mandate did not start until 1920 with decisions made at the San Remo Conference in April 1920 followed by the signing of the Treaty of Sevres in August 1920 culminating in the League of Nations unanimously endorsing the terms of the Mandate in July 1922

    The Mandate was the international community’s acceptance of the validity of the claim by the Jewish people to reconstitute the Jewish National Home in part of the land of their ancestors.

    Jewish rights under the Mandate were restricted to 22% of the territory of the Mandate west of the Jordan River and the civil and religious rights of the “existing non-Jewish communities” were not to be prejudiced.

    The Jews accepted these terms. The Arabs did not – and never have.

    2. “In 1915 Britain promised pan-Arab independence”.

    Britain’s promise was fulfilled when the Principal Allied Powers granted pan-Arab independence to the Arabs in 99.99% of the territories captured from the Ottoman Empire with the creation of the Mandate for Syria and Lebanon and the Mandate for Mesopotamia simultaneously with the Mandate for Palestine in the remaining 0.01% of the liberated Ottoman territories

    3. “This eventually led to the creation of Jordan (among other things) which put Gulf desert Arabs in charge (as opposed to anyone previously living there.)”

    The Gulf desert Arabs you are referring to I assume are the Hashemites – who arrived in Transjordan in 1920 – two years before the League of Nations promulgated the actual terms of the Mandate.

    Transjordan remained part of the Mandate for Palestine from 1920 until it became an independent Arab state in 1946 in possible breach of the terms of the Mandate.

    Jordan was not created until 1950 with the unification of Transjordan (78% of the territory of the Mandate of Palestine) and Judea and Samaria (West Bank) and East Jerusalem – 4% of the territory of the Mandate.

    4. “In 1917 the Balfour Declaration then promised part of the same land as a Jewish homeland.”

    The Balfour Declaration related to Palestine only – just 0.01% of the territories eventually freed from 400 years of Ottoman occupation after the end of World War 1.

    5. “At the time 10% of the population were Jewish. The rest were Muslim and Christian.”

    In 1920, the British Government’s Interim Report on the Civil Administration of Palestine stated that there were hardly 700,000 people living in Palestine – a fact you seem anxious to ignore:

    The Report states:

    “There are now in the whole of Palestine hardly 700,000 people, a population much less than that of the province of Gallilee alone in the time of Christ. Of these 235,000 live in the larger towns, 465,000 in the smaller towns and villages. Four-fifths of the whole population are Moslems. A small proportion of these are Bedouin Arabs; the remainder, although they speak Arabic and are termed Arabs, are largely of mixed race. Some 77,000 of the population are Christians, in large majority belonging to the Orthodox Church, and speaking Arabic. The minority are members of the Latin or of the Uniate Greek Catholic Church, or—a small number—are Protestants. The Jewish element of the population numbers 76,000. Almost all have entered Palestine during the last 40 years. Prior to 1850 there were in the country only a handful of Jews. In the following 30 years a few hundreds came to Palestine. Most of them were animated by religious motives; they came to pray and to die in the Holy Land, and to be buried in its soil. After the persecutions in Russia forty years ago, the movement of the Jews to Palestine assumed larger proportions. Jewish agricultural colonies were founded. They developed the culture of oranges and gave importance to the Jaffa orange trade. They cultivated the vine, and manufactured and exported wine. They drained swamps. They planted eucalyptus trees. They practised, with modern methods, all the processes of agriculture. There are at the present time 64 of these settlements, large and small, with a population of some 15,000.”

    6. “A few quotes on Jewish behaviour towards Palestinian Arabs by major Zionist figures/bodies:
    Ahad Ha’am “Truth From Palestine” 1891”

    Actually the title of the article which was in Hebrew was “Emet M’Eretz Yisrael” which translated is “The truth from the land of Israel”

    Where did you get your translation from?

    7. “So suggesting that people who hail from the Gulf and came into this story decades after Western Colonial Imperialism created/fostered a mess, is, in my opinion, missing the point”

    Regrettably it is you who is missing the point.

    People who hail from the Gulf came into this story at its very inception in 1920 – not decades after. It is due to their appearance in Transjordan in 1920 that 78% of the territory of the 1922 Mandate for Palestine originally slated for the Jewish National Home in 1920 was preserved for Arab self-determination.

    The Jews accepted that decision. The Arabs never have.

    I certainly stand by every statement in my article.

    I hope after reading this response – you will as well.

  2. Gillian Mosely says:

    Please watch my film The Tinderbox. Then see if you stand by the contents of your article. Are we Jews happy to completely cede the moral high ground?

    • DAVID SINGER says:


      What do you find objectionable in my article? I stand by its contents until someone cares to point out where I have got it wrong.

      There is no point in talking generalities. You really need to be more specific. Please do so and then I will attempt to answer you.

      Look forward to your early response?

      • Gillian says:

        I replied at length but do not see it?

        • J-Wire says:

          Hi Gillian

          I found your comment in spam and have a problem getting on to the site. Please can you post it again. In the meantime, I have cut and pasted to David Singer

          • I’m afraid I am now on the road promoting my film and do not have time to re-write what I sent you (it took about half an hour.) I really hope you find it in your system. In the meantime read up on “Truth from Palestine” 1891, by Ahad Ha’am; and look at the demographics of Palestine when the British marched into Jerusalem in 1917 vs those when they left around 30 years later. How, when and why today’s spiral of violence started is the critical piece of context that has been too long ignored and makes Jordan’s input on this (a country given to Gulf Arabs by the British around the time we took the Mandate of Palestine) not pertinent. For chapter and verse watch The Tinderbox (90 minutes) or read Israeli historian Tom Segev’s “One Palestine Complete.” Best, Gillian

            • J-Wire says:

              I can send it to you

            • DAVID SINGER says:

              Can’t access your film.
              However can you tell me if any of the following events were dealt with in the film:
              1. The San Remo Conference 1920
              2. The Treaty of Sevres 1920
              3. The Cairo Conference 1921
              4. Article 25 Mandate for Palestine 1922
              Would you have any transcript or a copy of the film that you could send to me for review:
              My e mail address is

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