Friday, June 01, 2007

A Jordanian West Bank?

The Christian Science Monitor reports that the idea of Jordanian control in the West Bank is making a comeback:
"Call it retro geopolitics, or history repeating itself, but the idea of the Palestinian territories – at least the West Bank – rejoining the Hashemite Kingdom to form some kind of confederation seems to be gaining traction on both sides of the Jordan River.

"The concept has been raised quietly before but was deemed taboo, in part because Palestinian leaders feared it could squelch their larger aspirations for an independent state.

"But given the deteriorating security in the Palestinian territories amid an ongoing power struggle between Fatah and Hamas, some Palestinians are again looking east to Jordan – a country whose majority population is of Palestinian descent. Jordan's King Abdullah II – concerned about a full collapse of the Palestinian Authority as well as unilateral Israeli moves in the West Bank – is increasingly involved in bringing opinion-shapers and would-be peacemakers together to reconsider the idea.

"When the king invited some 200 Palestinians, Israelis, and Jordanians to Aqaba earlier this month, the confederation idea was part a big part of the buzz, says Samih Shabib, a lecturer in political science at Bir Zeit University here."

Despite the problems the article mentions, this is a far more plausible "binational state" that forcing the Israelis and Palestinians together. A lot of Palestinians even have Jordanian passports.

(Crossposted to American Footprints)

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