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Monday, March 14, 2011

The real obstacle to peace

Mudar Zahran is a 'Palestinian' Jordanian who fled Jordan, and currently resides in England, where he has been granted asylum. A former political insider, he is very critical of the Hashemite regime in Jordan, both vis-à-vis its treatment of its majority 'Palestinian' population and in its belligerent attitude towards Israel. He is convinced that the Hashemites are an impediment to a resolution of the 'Palestinian' issue and hence to regional security. He backs everything I have ever said about Jordan on this blog. Here are some excerpts (Hat Tip: David H).
YM: What would you suggest vis-à-vis the Israeli-Palestinian issue? What should Jordan do?

MZ: Why is there a Palestinian issue now? Why do most Palestinians who live in Jordan have to feel like refugees and actually be asked to go back "home"? Jordan has been excluding its Palestinian majority from jobs, government positions and even from joining the police force and now practices serious apartheid policies against them in education, medical treatment, etc. The results are the Palestinians are constantly feeling as outsiders in their country thus bringing up the so-called right of return issue, which just complicates the peace process as it is not feasible or legally acceptable. Jordan has been blackmailing everyone with the right of return threat and even in 1993, according to Yacub Beri's book (in Arabic) My Mission as an Intelligence Officer, demanded 40 billion dollars in exchange for "hosting" the Palestinians.

Furthermore, Jordan should stop its ties and communications with Hamas. A senior Jordanian official, a military field marshal, went into Gaza just six weeks ago and met with Haniyeh. What does this say? Even more, the Jordanian king held talks with Hamas in 2008. This was orchestrated by his intelligence chief Muhammad Dahabi. When Muhammad Dahabi retired, he was quoted in a Lebanese newspaper as saying "Arab countries should revive resistance against Israel, and support Hamas and Hezbollah". This man was the chief coordinator for counter-terrorism efforts with US and Israel...what does this tell you?

YM: So you're saying that the King is encouraging Palestinian Jordanians to leave Jordan and move to the other side of the Jordan River in order to "flood" Israel. Do I understand correctly?

MZ: Yes. Deputy Prime Minister and Interior Minister Nayef al-Qadi defended an official policy of stripping Jordanians of Palestinian heritage of their citizenship, a policy that has resulted in the denaturalization of more than 2,700 so far according to a recent report by Human Rights Watch. In an interview with a London-based Arabic newspaper, Qadi said that "Jordan should be thanked for standing up against Israeli ambitions of clearing the Palestinian land of its people" which he described as "the secret Israeli aim to impose a solution of Palestinian refugees at the expense of Jordan."

YM: So where exactly is "Palestine"? Is it west of the Jordan River or is Jordan also Palestine?

MZ: What we should apply here is the law. The international law under the League of Nations identified Palestine as the area between the Mediterranean and the desert of Iraq. Maps say so and that is where all things started with international law. Jews were promised all of this under international law, and then the Arabs were given two thirds of it. Then the Hashemites occupied the land and changed its name and now they are claiming the Palestinians who moved there from Israel are not Jordanians. Let me put it this way. Peace can never be achieved without democratizing Jordan where the Palestinians can have full rights and their own government. Unless that happens there shall always be issues like the so called right of return. Now what is not Palestinian in Jordan? Amman is more Palestinian than Ramallah. The only un-Palestinian thing in Jordan is the king and his family, a group of 50 people.

YM: Let's assume tomorrow you or someone like you is running Jordan. What would you suggest regarding the Palestinians living in Judea and Samaria?

MZ: Jordanians are overtaxed to finance the king's lavish style. Thus the minute he leaves Jordan, the country will be better off economically which will enable Jordanians to enjoy a thriving economy. Presently the king of Jordan spends 40 percent of the budget on the army for an unknown reason. Once that changes and Jordan is reduced to an army of machine guns and humvees the economy will light up and then the Palestinians in Judea and Samaria would be given the chance to move to Jordan if they wish. Last year alone thirty thousand Palestinians moved to Jordan even though the Jordanian government does not allow them to do so.

YM: Truth is the region would probably have more stability if Israel had sovereignty from the Sea to the River and Jordan was to become Palestine. No?

MZ: I cannot comment on that yet I can tell you this much. A democratized Jordan where the Palestinian majority gets their rights and where money is spent on economy rather than a big army and where the Jordan River is a good fence - good fences make good neighbors - that alone can establish peace in the Middle East.
Also, some argue that a Palestinian state in Jordan or democracy in Jordan would bring Palestinians to power that would fight Israel. My answer is look at the group trained by General Dayton. That was clear proof that there are Palestinians willing to seriously fight terrorism. There is also evidence on the ground of Palestinians in power willing to promote cooperation with Israel. The old theory that the Palestinians, if empowered in Jordan, will just fight Israel...that theory is outdated. Also, what is safer, a Palestinian state in Judea and Samaria or in Jordan?
Read the whole thing.

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At 7:45 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

A Palestinian state in Jordan might be hostile towards Israel but it would remove the existential aspect of the conflict.

The Bedouin Hashemite monarchy was imposed on the country by the British. If the Palestinians took over Jordan, its true there would be no peace treaty but then again there's no real peace with Jordan anyway.

And a genuine two state solution based on a Palestinian state in Jordan would likely see a partition of historic Palestine between Arabs east of the Jordan River and the Jews who live to the west of it.

That's more likely to lead to a stable peace than an imposed solution with six million Jews sandwiched between three million Palestinian Arabs seething over having two halves of a divided country.

A Palestinian state in Yesha will only lead to another war. A Palestinian state in Jordan would wind down the conflict.

There is no reason why Israel should object to a proposition that would in the long run, benefit both peoples.

At 7:37 PM, Blogger Moshe Sharon said...

An Arab from Gaza and a self-confessed member of Hamas once asked me, “How can we have peace?” I though it was a strange question coming from a terrorist. When I asked him if he was ready to recognize Israel's right to exist, he answered, “There is no such country as 'Israel'; there is only Palestine, my country.” That's why negotiating peace with Hamas or any other Arab faction is a fool's errand. In this man’s mind, Israel’s right to exist is not an issue because there is no Israel; there is just a large, well-armed group of space-occupying Jewish squatters, who deserve death. Furthermore, every U.S. president keeps saying the same mantra, “They [Palestinian Authority] must recognize Israel’s right to exist.” Correction; they must first recognize that Israel exists. Actually, somebody forgot to tell all of the politicians that we Jews don’t need their permission to exist as a nation; G-d gave that to us at Mount Sinai.


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