Esor Ben-Sorek

Confederation conspiracy

No one yet knows the contents of the proposed “peace plan” that the American president, Donald Trump, has prepared together with his envoys Kushner and Greenblatt.

It may well have a whiff of a Confederation conspiracy that is blowing in the wind of the Middle East.

To review the past history of the Arab-Israeli conflict we must begin with the November 2, 1917 Balfour Declaration which proclaimed the right of the Jews to establish a homeland in Palestine. The Jews accepted it 100% and the Arabs rejected it 100%. No compromise. No sharing. No Balfour.

In 1918 at the end of World War I and the defeat of the Ottoman Empire, the League of Nations granted Great Britain a mandate in Palestine with a hope to mediate and reduce Arab-Jewish conflicts.

Let us skip to 1922. Winston Churchill looked at the map of Palestine and wondered how he could divide the territory in order to reward the Emir Abdullah of Trans-Jordan for services rendered during the war.

Ah…the romantic days of Lawrence of Arabia riding on his camel through the desert sands, an Arab keffiyah on his head.

Churchill ordered the mandatory authorities to give 77% of Palestinian land to Abdullah of Trans-Jordan, creating the now Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. The remaining 23% of Palestine was to be shared between the Jews and Arabs living there.

After the conflicts and riots of the murdering Arabs, the Jews declared their independence from Great Britain on 14 May 1948.   The Jewish State of Israel was born!

There had been talk years earlier of a confederation between Arab Palestine and the kingdom of Jordan but it never got off the ground.   Jordan objected to it.

When, in 1948, thousands of Arabs fled from their homes, now in Israel, many of them sought refuge in the Jordanian kingdom. As a result, the mainly Bedouin population loyal to the king were diminished in numbers by the Palestinians who now formed a majority in the kingdom.

During the reign of the late king Hussein, Palestinians attempted to assassinate the king and to create a revolt in the kingdom. Happily for the Jordanians, the Palestinian plot failed.  But the king never forgave his Palestinian subjects.

Turning now to September 2018, President Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestine Authority has proposed a tri-patriate confederation of Palestine, Jordan and Israel, with Palestine being a demilitarized state.

King Abdullah II of Jordan rejected the proposal out of hand without any consideration of it. He remembers only too well the earlier attempt to assassinate his father and to depose the king. Without Jordan’s agreement the confederation could not be implemented.  Israel, of course, like Jordan, rejected the idea of the proposed confederation conspiracy.

Abbas still believes that the idea originated in the Trump un-announced peace plan. But the idea itself, in spite of King Abdullah II’s refusal, is basically a sound one. After all, Jordan is the real Palestine.

The Arabs living in Israel and in the territory of Judea and Samaria (the West Bank) and the Arabs of Jordan are one people in blood, religion, language, history and culture. A confederation would not be a bad idea had not the past history of the Palestinian conspiracy darken any possibility of it.

Jordan will remain Jordanian. Israel will remain Jewish. And the Palestinians will remain stateless.

They can dream of days of the sultans and caliphs of the former Ottoman Empire and regret the days of Haj Amin al-Husseini, the treacherous pro-Nazi Grand Mufti of Jerusalem.

Had they not listened to his spewed hatred of the Jews and his wish to slaughter them, they might have been able to learn from the Jews and from Zionism that “if you will it, it is no dream” and they could have lived a life in peace and prosperity with the Jews.

President Trump… take notice. If you have a plan for a confederation, drop it now and forget about it.

I rejoice that the wise king of Jordan has turned your proposal down… now and forever.

About the Author
Esor Ben-Sorek is a retired professor of Hebrew, Biblical literature & history of Israel. Conversant in 8 languages: Hebrew, Yiddish, English, French, German, Spanish, Polish & Dutch. Very proud of being an Israeli citizen. A follower of Trumpeldor & Jabotinsky & Begin.