Jordan enclave in West Bank could be Trump’s “two-state” solution

October 3, 2018 by David Singer
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Creating another Palestinian Arab state – in addition to Jordan – has been seemingly consigned to the garbage bin of history following Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s CNN interview on 28 September.

President Trump had just told Netanyahu on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly:

“I like two-state solution. I like two-state solution. That’s what I think works best. I don’t even have to speak to anybody, that’s my feeling.”

When asked if he was prepared to commit to a two-state solution – Netanyahu told his CNN interviewer:

“I’ve discovered that if you use labels you are not going to get very far because different people mean different things when they say “states”. So rather than talk about labels, I like to talk about substance”

Questioned on what he would like to see – Netanyahu replied:

 “What I would like to see is that the Palestinians will have all the powers to govern themselves and not all the powers that will threaten us. What that means is that in the tiny area between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea – it’s all about 50 kilometres wide – that’s where the Palestinians live and the Israelis live – in that area under any peace agreement or without a peace agreement – Israel has to have the dominant power, the military power, overriding security power …”

Netanyahu then stressed:

“Israel has to have the overriding security, not the UN, not Canadian Mounties, not — I don’t know — Austrian or Australian forces — Israeli forces have to have the security control, otherwise, that place will be taken over by Islamist terrorists, either Daesh, ISIS or Hamas or Iran, all of the above, and that’s my condition.”

Trump’s upcoming peace plan slated for release in 2-4 months needs to deal with Netanyahu’s concerns if it is to win Israel’s backing.

 Israel’s security demands would best be satisfied by part of the West Bank being reunified with Jordan to create a Jordanian enclave in the West Bank – with the remainder of the West Bank being annexed by Israel.

This solution would enable Israel to:

  • Control access and egress between the West Bank and Jordan
  • Maintain security control for the entire area from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea
  • Ensure the enclave be demilitarized and remain demilitarized

The enclave’s residents would acquire Jordanian citizenship. Jordanian law would apply in the enclave – which could be divided into any number of electoral divisions whose residents would choose their representatives to sit in the Jordanian Parliament.

The PLO has already rejected Trump’s peace plan – sight unseen – opening the door for Jordan – at peace with Israel since signing their 1994 Peace Treaty – to fill the negotiating void necessary to create this Jordanian enclave.

Israel’s former Foreign Minister Moshe Arens presciently stated on January 11, 1989:

 “Jordan is a Palestinian state. And it is with Jordan that we must decide where the border will run…. Should the border follow the Jordan River, as it does today, or should it be west of the Jordan, as the Jordanians would like?”

I would suggest therefore that, when it comes to talking about territory there is only one negotiating party acceptable to the government of Israel. That party is the existing Palestinian state of Jordan.”

Creating a Jordanian enclave in the West Bank with Israel annexing the remainder could be – in Trump’s own words:

“the ultimate deal…as a deal maker, I’d like to do…the deal that can’t be made. And do it for humanity’s sake.”

Don’t underestimate Trump’s deal-making ability to end what he himself has called “the war that never ends”.  

David Singer is a Sydney Lawyer and 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. His cartoons can be viewed at Drybonesblog


2 Responses to “Jordan enclave in West Bank could be Trump’s “two-state” solution”
  1. Eion Isaac says:

    The Concept has a historical connection in that the Hashemite Monarchy before WW2 accepted the principle of a Partition of British Mandated Palestine into a Jewish State and Arab State .
    This would have allowed millions of Jews to have escaped the Nazi Genocide in Europe .
    So the Hashemite Monarchy deserves great support in any Peace Process.

    • DAVID SINGER says:


      Jordan deserves great support in any plan to be released by President Trump because Jordan – with Israel – are the two successor States to the 1922 League of Nations Mandate for Palestine currently exercising internationally-recognised sovereignty in 95% of the territory of the Mandate.

      Trying to create a second Arab state in the remaining 5% has proved a pipe dream and was never contemplated by the Mandate. The PLO’s refusal to ever accept the binding legal validity in international law of the Mandate has caused ongoing suffering and trauma for both Jews and Arabs for the last 54 years.

      Trump seems to realise that this tired dogma has had its day.

      Jason Greenblatt one of three Trump negotiators had this to say on 12 September:
      “I think our plan begins with reality. It recognizes the history of the conflict of course, but [other plans] were always relying on tired notions of what it should be. Instead, it focuses on what it could be. Our plan isn’t just a two-page term sheet; it’s an extensive document that we’ve developed that explains how we think the conflict can be resolved”

      Trump pledged to end the 100 years-old unresolved Jewish-Arab conflict where all other Presidents before him abysmally failed.

      Subdividing a bit of real estate one-twelfth the size of Tasmania between Israel and Jordan by redrawing the international border between Jordan and Israel – who already have enjoyed a signed peace treaty for the last 24 years – seems to be what Trump is aiming for.

      If that assessment is correct – Trump could be the recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize – particularly when one considers it went to Peres, Rabin, Arafat and Obama for achieving nothing.

      Interesting few months ahead…

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