Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Deconstructing the Jordan option

Osamah Khalil, The Electronic Intifada, Aug 13, 2007

Buttons with Jordanian King Abdullah's picture are for sale along with Jordanian, Palestinian and other flags in a shop in Amman, Jordan, July 2007. (Matthew Cassel)

Last month the Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported that the US and Israel were considering a revival of the "Jordan option." In spite of the fervent denials emanating from Amman, the report caused a rash of speculation and concern among Palestinians. Many fear that if implemented it would mark the end of hopes for an independent Palestinian state. Resurrecting the Jordan option, in which the West Bank and possibly Gaza would be united in a political and economic confederation with Jordan, demonstrates not just the poverty of ideas in Washington and Israel, but their desperation as well. Perhaps the allies believe that by trapping the Palestinians between the "rock" of Israel's apartheid wall and the "hard place" of Jordan's vaunted Arab Legion and dreaded Mukhabarat intelligence service, they will extinguish Palestinian nationalism. However, they and whichever Arab leaders agree to such a policy are sadly mistaken. If history is any guide, the Hashemite regime has more to fear from such a confederation than the Palestinians.

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