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The Hashemite Kingdom of Palestine

While the Israeli media and government were following the unremarkable trip of President Biden, they missed the latest Saudi proposal to solve the Israeli-Arab conflict, presented by Ali Shihabi, a close confident of Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, in the Saudi Royal Family-owned news outlet “Alarabiya News” last June 8:

https://english.alarabiya.net/in-translation/2022/06/08/The-Hashemite-Kingdom-of-Palestine

Quoting Ali Shihabi: “The Palestinian problem can only be solved today if it is redefined. The most logical vehicle for this redefinition and hence for the solution to the Palestine problem is the kingdom of Jordan. Over the last seventy-five years, Jordan has developed into a relatively well-governed state, although the impact of regional political turmoil has caused it to fail economically and become heavily reliant on foreign aid for its survival. It is this Jordanian governance infrastructure that needs to be captured and put to productive use in integrating the millions of Palestinians and Jordanians into a modern, reasonably well-functioning state that would, in an era of real peace and economic integration with Jordan’s neighbors, have a much higher chance of growth and prosperity.

This proposed enlarged kingdom would include present-day Jordan, Gaza, and the West Bank (areas populated by Palestinians attached in a contiguous manner and physically connected to Jordan, i.e., not broken up into islands). Israeli arguments as to the need to retain the Jordan Valley become moot since the valley will now be controlled by a Jordanian government with a reliable record of maintaining peace with Israel. The convenient argument that Israel has no “peace partner” will now also be eliminated.

Jerusalem, despite the fact that neither Arabs nor Muslims have a hope of dislodging Israel from it, is, given its symbolism, a key bargaining chip in Palestinian hands. The formal relinquishment of any claims to Jerusalem (with an appropriate arrangement for the holy places) can be an important concession used to secure the foregoing terms. The Palestinians, after all, are the only party who can do this and, hence, completely legitimize Israel in the eyes of the region and the world.”

The Saudi proposal should be at the center of Israel’s coming November elections. And should be accepted with both hands.

About the Author
Jaime Kardontchik has a PhD in Physics from the Technion, Israel Institute of Technology. He lives in the Silicon Valley, California.
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