Saudi Arabia tells Biden & UN: No State between Israel & Jordan

June 27, 2022 by David Singer
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Saudi Arabia has sent US President Joe Biden and the United Nations (UN) a clear message to abandon the idea of creating a new Arab State between Israel and Jordan in an article published in Al-Arabiya News on 8 June headlined: The Hashemite Kingdom of Palestine.

Its author – Ali Shihabi – is not your ordinary run-of-the-mill journalist. He supports and has the ear of Crown Prince Mohamed Bin Salman (MBS) – the controversial next successor to the Saudi throne.

MBS is the driving force behind NEOM – a brand new US$500 billion megacity to be built on 26500km² in northern Saudi Arabia – an area larger than Israel – powered by 100% renewable energy. The project includes a bridge spanning the Red Sea – connecting NEOM to Africa. NEOM will be close to the borders of Jordan, Egypt and Israel.

Shihabi has been a member of NEOM’s Advisory Board since 2020.

MBS has not sought to publically distance himself from Shihabi’s article.

Shihabi lays the groundwork for his proposal:

“The basically insurmountable power imbalance between the Arabs and Israelis, let alone between the Palestinians and Israelis, argues for a radical rethinking of the approach to solving the Palestine problem.

Israel is a reality firmly implanted on the ground that has to be accepted, however grudgingly, by the region around it”

Shihabi then proposes his solution:

“The Palestinian problem can only be solved today if it is redefined. The issue in this day and age for people should be not so much the ownership of ancestral land but more the critical need to have a legal identity—a globally respected citizenship that allows a person to operate in the modern world. Labour in this day and age is mobile and having citizenship in a country that facilitates such mobility is critical to human development.

The most logical vehicle for this redefinition and hence for the solution to the Palestine problem is the kingdom of Jordan. Over the last seventy-five years, Jordan has developed into a relatively well-governed state, although the impact of regional political turmoil has caused it to fail economically and become heavily reliant on foreign aid for its survival. It is this Jordanian governance infrastructure that needs to be captured and put to productive use in integrating the millions of Palestinians and Jordanians into a modern, reasonably well-functioning state that would, in an era of real peace and economic integration with Jordan’s neighbors, have a much higher chance of growth and prosperity.

This proposed enlarged kingdom would include present-day Jordan, Gaza, and the West Bank (areas populated by Palestinians attached in a contiguous manner and physically connected to Jordan, i.e., not broken up into islands).

Shihabi dismisses Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) and Jordan claims to be separate entities:

“Jordanians and Palestinians are as similar as any people can be. They are Sunni Arabs from the same neighbourhood. Merging them will not create any long-term ethnic or sectarian fault lines.” 

Significantly Shihabi’s proposal does not call for Saudi Arabia to replace Jordan as Custodian of the Islamic Holy Sites in Jerusalem – a fear long-held by Jordan.

This Saudi concession should help embolden Jordan to begin negotiations with Israel on this Saudi Arabian initiative – which could see:

  • The 1994 Israel-Jordan Peace Treaty extended to 100% of the territory of former Palestine – instead of the 95% currently covered
  • The two-state solution contemplated by article 6 of the 1922 League of Nations Mandate for Palestine and article 80 of the 1945 UN Charter finally brought to fruition

Endorsement of this Saudi initiative by Biden and the UN will greatly advance the prospect of finally ending the 100 years-old unresolved Jewish-Arab conflict.

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.


15 Responses to “Saudi Arabia tells Biden & UN: No State between Israel & Jordan”
  1. Andria Spindel says:

    I hope he’s not serious about taking Judea and Samaria into the Jordan is Palestine plan. That is unthinkable and unnecessary. Jordan is large enough and with proper governance as suggested, they can accommodate those Arabs who wish to join; and Israel could extend residency to Arabs in the disputed territories who pass a vetting process.

    • David Singer says:

      He is serious about taking part of Judea and Samaria into the plan – at least 40% -where 95% of the Arab population live and no Jews live. No Jew or Arab would have to move from their present homes.

  2. Ben Gershon says:

    since the Saudi’s drove the Hashamites out of their kingdom .Is this the next step

    • DAVID SINGER says:

      Not if you go by the title of Shihabi’s article – The Hashemite State of Palestine – a clear sign that Saudi Arabia sees the Hashemites ruling the newly expanded state of Jordan.

      The PLO never claimed regional sovereignty over Judea and Samaria (West Bank) until Jordan lost it to Israel in the Six Day War. One could reasonably expect this situation to again be repeated.

      • Andria spindel says:

        Jordan is palestine. There is no need to give up part of Israel which was liberated in a defensive war.

        • DAVID SINGER says:

          Judea and Samaria are not currently “part of Israel”.
          There is a need to give up part of Judea and Samaria if you want to resolve the 100 years old Jewish-Arab conflict.
          It is a question of how much you give up and who you give it to that is critical.
          The obvious party for Israel to negotiate with on these issues is Jordan – for the following reasons:
          1. Israel and Jordan are the two successor States to the 1922 Mandate for Palestine exercising sovereignty already in 95% of the territory of the Mandate
          2. Israel and Jordan have enjoyed a signed peace treaty since 1994
          3. Israel and Jordan can deal with allocating sovereignty in the remaining 5% of the Mandate territory by redrawing the international boundary between their two existing States.

          Saudi Arabia is spot on with its call for the Hashemite Kingdom of Palestine to emerge from these negotiations.

          Calling for a third State between Israel and Jordan – as the UN has been urging for almost 25 years – has been a disaster and only prolonged and exacerbated the conflict. It is time for this proposed solution to be shredded and consigned to the dustbin of history.

          • Andria Spindel says:

            There should certainly not be another Muslim antisemitic state in the Middle East that bans Jews. Jordan is still anti-Israel, anti-Jewish, and has an army, and we know not a warm relationship with Israel, but a “cold” treaty. They constantly change their view, have encouraged unrest on the Temple Mount, revoked some agreements such as on the island of peace, and not spoken up about the importance of the Abraham Accords; majority of their citizens are “Palestinian” and unhappy with their Hashemite rulers.

            • DAVID SINGER says:

              Israel is seeking a solution to a conflict that has now lasted 100 years.

              To reach an agreement – one unfortunately has to make concessions.

              Israel welcomed the Trump Plan which called for a Palestinian State in Judea and Samaria..

              This Saudi solution denies a third state is necessary in the area

              It needs to be seriously addressed to avoid any repeats of the past abuses you have listed…

              • Andria Spindel says:

                I don’t see Jordan under the current regime as a safe bet for Israel. The King is increasingly saying hostile things against Israel, and it is not currently welcoming Palestinian Arabs. It maybe a better solution to avoid yet another Arab country but it is no less hostile than the PA, and it is armed. If Jordan is Palestine, which I agree is true, then what about offering money to Arabs to move there? That plan has also been proposed.

                • DAVID SINGER says:

                  The peace treaty between Jordan and Israel has been in force since 1994 – and has survived many events that could have seen it torn up. Yet it has survived and will continue to do so..

                  Jordan is certainly less hostile by light years to the PLO which pays money to its citizens who kill and maim Jews.

                  Offering money to West Bank Arabs to move to Jordan or elsewhere is a proposal that has been made and could be part of any negotiations between Israel and Jordan. However any such proposal should be on a purely voluntary basis. Forcing West Bank Arabs to move is not acceptable in my opinion.

        • david baden says:

          YES ,Jordan deserted it’s own citizens in 1967,and should be made to be responsible for them in Jordan itself which is a big and underdeveloped country.

          • DAVID SINGER says:

            Under any agreement with Israel – at least 95% of the Arab population living in Judea and Samaria would once again become Jordanian citizens – as occurred between 1950 and 1988.

            The beauty of the Saudi plan is that no one – Arab or Jew – would have to move from his present home in Judea and Samaria.

          • Andria Spindel says:

            Yes, Jordan should be responsible for its former citizens and should treat the Palestinian Arabs in Jordan much better than they do, but as with all the surrounding ARab countries,they don’t want them. It would however be the most logical solution, fund the exodus of those who hate Israel to go to Jordan.

            • DAVID SINGER says:


              If they don’t want to take the money – what would you do then.


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