How the 'Jordan Option' will affect Israel
The "Jordan Option," as articulated by Mudar Zahran, the secretary general of the Jordan Opposition Coalition, and me, anticipates that King Abdullah will abdicate, willingly or otherwise, and that Mudar Zahran will take over Jordan as its leader.
This option was first disclosed to the public shortly after the inauguration of President Trump in The Ultimate Alternate Israel-Palestine Solution. What is unique about this iteration of the Option was that it called for King Abdullah to abdicate and for Mudar Zahran to become Jordan's leader. Save for that, the Jordan Option had been proposed on and off since 1980.
Mudar Zahran (via Wikimedia Commons).
A year ago, I asked, "Will Trump's Deal of the Century Solve the Middle East's Problems?" The article refines the original plan and references Trump's Deal of the Century.
A few months later, I wrote "The Jordan Option: The Only Game in Town":
The Jordan Option, as proposed by Mudar Zahran, leader of the Jordanian Opposition Coalition, and me, recognizes that nothing acceptable to Israel can be achieved by negotiating with King Abdullah or Mahmoud Abbas. This option is very much in line with Trump's Deal of the Century, which considers Jordan to be the Palestinian state east of the Jordan River and Israel, the Jewish state west of the river.
Nothing will happen with the Deal of the Century until Zahran becomes the leader of Jordan. In fact, the Deal of the Century is the Jordan Option.
Zahran is very open as to what his intentions are once in power.
- He wants to work with Israel rather than be in confrontation with Israel.
- Jordan will grant citizenship to all Palestinians wherever they may live.
- Jordan will have an open-door policy for the return of all Palestinians.
- Jordan will replace UNRWA as the provider of services to all Palestinian refugees, of which 2 million live west of the Jordan River.
- Jordan will invite the said two million refugees to emigrate to Jordan to receive the said services, which include social security, health care, and education.
- The peace treaty between Jordan and Israel will be reaffirmed, as will the Jordan River as the international boundary.
- The Palestinian textbooks will be rewritten by a joint task force of Jews and Arabs to reflect in the main the Jewish narrative with appropriate nods to the Arab perspective. These new textbooks will be studied by all Palestinians in Jordan and Israel.
This new reality will affect Israel in the following way:
- The Palestinians living west of the River will no longer be stateless. They will be Jordanian citizens living in Israel as foreign residents.
- Thus, Israel will be able to extend its sovereignty over the entire area without the need to grant citizenship to the Palestinians living west of the river. The reason this is so is because when you annex land or claim sovereignty over it, there is no law that obligates you to grant citizenship to citizens of foreign countries who may live there.
- These Jordanian-Palestinians will be entitled to live in Areas A and B as foreign residents with full autonomy, just as they do now.
- Over the next few years, Jordan will replace the P.A. as the administrator of these areas, and the P.A. will wither away.
- These foreign residents will be incentivized to emigrate to Jordan with funds provided by the Gulf States and the U.S., as announced in the Bahrain Workshop.
- The Oslo Accords will be subsumed in the Jordan-Israel Peace Treaty.
- Hebron, which is an Area A, will be absorbed into Israel and will no longer be an autonomous area.
- Gaza will be treated as an autonomous area A. Hamas will be outlawed, and Jordan will administer it, as it will be doing for all Area A.
- There will be no need for a peace process thereafter.
- The Palestinian state will be Jordan and not some new creation west of the Jordan River.
Thus, the Jordan Option if implemented will be the biggest game-changer in the Middle East since the Six-Day War.