Two States for Two Peoples on Two Sides of the Jordan River

August 27, 2013 by Michael Kuttner
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A seminar in Jerusalem has covered all aspects of Two States for Two Peoples on Two Sides of the Jordan River…writes Michael Kuttner.


Michael Kuttner with Nudar Zahran

Michael Kuttner with Nudar Zahran

Organised by Professors for a Strong Israel it attracted a capacity crowd which filled the auditorium of the Menachem Begin Center to overflowing.

Illustrating the frustration that many Israelis currently feel over the only alternative being offered, namely two States for two Peoples in the heartland of Israel which would involve downsizing our already tiny State and create impossible security nightmares, those attending this day long conference, welcomed the wide ranging options and views offered by a multitude of speakers.

Experts making presentations covered such diverse topics as:


Legal aspects of Jewish Rights

Jordan’s demography and possible ramifications

Migrations, population exchanges, reunification

Jordan’s water and energy problems

The region’s energy resources

Economic issues – does Israel have a contingency plan?

Israel as the State of the Jews – imperatives for survival

The existential demographic threat within the 1967 lines

The Arab spring and the prospects for peace


A keynote address was given by Prof. Arieh Eldad who as a former Knesset member has been active for many years in promoting the theme of this seminar.

Also featured were Danny Ayalon, former Deputy Foreign Minister and Tzipi Hotovely, a deputy minister in the current Government.

The highlight of the day was without doubt an address by Mudar Zahran, a Palestinian Arab publicist & lecturer whose family originally lived in East Jerusalem but who fled after hearing Egyptian radio broadcasts warning them that the Jews were going to massacre them all. The family went to Jordan where Mudar and his siblings grew up. It not take long for his parents to realise that they had been lied to by their own compatriots and that as modern thinking people there was no future staying in Jordan. Relocating to London, Mudar was educated there. For a time was a researcher at the Australian Embassy in Amman. Given his political views he has now relocated to the UK.

He soon came to the realisation that the Palestinian Arabs had been sold down the river by their own people, that they were being kept in perpetual misery and victim hood by the Hashemite Kingdom which denies them full civil rights and most importantly that the steady diet of hatred against Israel and Jews was producing generations of Palestinian Arabs who would never grasp the concept of peaceful coexistence. Moreover, and this was a point he emphasized several times, the Monarchy was leading Jordan to disaster and that instead of investing in the health, welfare and social advancement of their people, those in power were instead impoverishing them. He made the startling prediction that within a year the monarchy would be overthrown and that this prospect presented a challenge to Israel and the west. Unless he and his fellow supporters who yearn for democracy, full human rights and most importantly peace with Israel, which he believes can provide the necessary technological assistance that the country needs, are able to ensure that the fundamentalists do not take over, disaster will ensue

His contempt for the current Palestinian Arab Authority leadership was evident and he earned fervent applause by stating that the Jews had every legal, historical and moral right to their homeland which includes Judea and Samaria. In effect he was giving his wholehearted support to the theme of the seminar.

Interviewing him for J-Wire it was clear that not only was he prepared to state these views publicly but that he and others were working actively to achieving them. Many people describe him as a future Jordanian Prime Minister. He made it clear that unfortunately the media and western leaders prefer to dwell in a dreamland and do not want to face the inevitable chaos which is looming on the horizon as far as Jordan and the Palestinian Arabs are concerned. Unlike the Islamists who are flush with funds and are well organized he and his supporters are bereft of money and ignored by the international community. He expressed the hope that Israel will at least be alert to the potential landmines ahead and that action will be taken to avert yet another Arab spring meltdown. Given the current “love affair” with the Hashemite monarch I have grave doubts that this message will resonate in the halls of the Knesset.

My concluding question was whether, given his somewhat non politically correct views, he was not afraid for his life. Obviously he cannot live in Jordan (although he can and does visit Israel) and these days London is not exactly a safe haven for those who criticize Islamic terrorists and their warped objectives.

His answer was simple and stark at the same time.

“There have been many martyrs for the cause over the last 65 years. Unfortunately they have all been for the wrong cause. I am prepared to be a martyr if it means dying for the cause of peace and coexistence between Jews and Moslems, Israelis and Arabs”

Encountering this brave advocate of peace made a deep impression on all present.

Michael Kuttner is a Jewish New Zealander who for many years was actively involved with various communal organisations connected to Judaism and Israel. He now lives in Israel and is J-Wire’s correspondent in Israel.


One Response to “Two States for Two Peoples on Two Sides of the Jordan River”
  1. David says:

    Mudar Zahran’s desire to see the overthrow of the Hahemite rulers in Jordan and predicting its overthrow within one year should send alarm bells ringing around the world.

    Tthe Hashemites have done more for the Palestinian Arabs than any other Arab leader or Arab country

    After all they have managed to retain 78% of Palestine as an exclusively Palestinian Arab domain for the last 91 years. They have done this at great risk and personal danger to themselves. They should in my view retain power in an expanded Jordan but in the end it is the will of the people who will determine the outcome.

    The Palestinian Arabs have made some very bad choices in those 91 years. I hope they would not fall into the same trap again. Reunification of the two banks of the Jordan River under Hashemite rule as existed between 1950-1967 – so far as circumstances on the ground now permit – will in large part lead to a return to the status quo as existed at the outbreak of the Six Day War. What happens after that is outside anyone’s control.

    The Hashemites have extended refuge and citizenship to millions of Palestinian Arabs from the remaining 22% of Palestine and from Kuwait when 300000 were tossed out. Compare Jordan’s treatment of these emigrees to the treatment of their fellow Palestinian Arabs in Lebanon and Syria.

    No doubt there is discrimination and an attempt to strip some citizenship rights. Again compare this to what is happening in other Arab countries

    Palestinian journalist Khalid Amayreh is spot on when he states:

    “… the Jordanian and Palestinian peoples are the two most homogeneous and closest Arab peoples, given their ethnic, cultural and religious commonality. We are actually one people, as Arab clans on both sides of the River Jordan have one common ancestry.

    This indisputable fact should debunk all the myths about any proclaimed intrinsic distinctiveness, let alone contradictions, between Jordanians and Palestinians.

    It should also demolish all parochial ideologies such as territorial nationalism, namely exaggerated Palestinian and Jordanian nationalisms, ideologies that grow out of fanatical tribalism which Islam condemns as acts of Jahilyya or ignorance.”

    Amayreh further states:

    “Palestinians should welcome and encourage any Jordanian orientation to cancel or reconsider, even if gradually, the unwise Jordanian decision of 1989 to dismantle the administrative and legal ties with the West Bank. The Re-institution of these ties should strengthen the Palestinians’ ability to survive and thwart Zionist efforts to empty our homeland of its real people.

    In the final analysis, the people of Jordan and the People of Palestine can’t and will not have separate fates. According to the Islamic prophecy, the liberation of Palestine from the hands of Zionist Jews, will come from the east, namely from Jordan.

    Our fate, our kismet is that we are one people. We must not escape this ineluctable fate.”

    An attempt to overthrow the Hashemites in 1970 was a disaster.

    Trying to repeat that failed attempt in the next 12 months could be even more disastrous.

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