How the Jordan Option will impact 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.
Dr. Mudar Zahran is open as to what his intentions are once in power.
- He wants to cooperate with Israel rather than confront Israel.
- Jordan will uphold its own Citizenship Act of 1952, which grants everyone who has lived in Palestine while under Hashemite rule, and his descendants, automatic citizenship.
- Jordan will allow all Palestinians, living elsewhere, to emigrate to Jordan.
- Jordan will replace UNRWA as the provider of services to all Palestinian refugees, of whom 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 be reaffirmed as the international boundary.
- Palestinian textbooks will be rewritten by a joint task force 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.
- Jordan will join the Abraham Accords.
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 that when you annex land or claim sovereignty over land, 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 Area A and B as delineated by the Oslo Accords, 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.
- All Palestinians will be incentivized to emigrate to Jordan with funds provided by Israel, 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.
- Gaza will be designated as another Area A. Hamas will be outlawed, and Jordan will administer it.
The notion that both sides had more to gain by cooperating than confronting is what gave the Abraham Accords impetus and inspiration. The same notion is at the root of the Jordan Option.
Such a notion drove the short-lived Feisal/Weizmann Agreement of 1919. The essence of this agreement was that Palestine, as it then was, was to be divided into two states, one for the Arabs and one for the Jews. Chaim Weizmann, on behalf of the Jews, agreed to help develop the Arab state, and King Feisal agreed to welcome Jewish settlement in the Jewish state and favored friendly cooperative relations.
King Feisal (public domain picture).
The Jordan Option, when implemented, will prove to be the biggest game-changer since the Six-Day War.
To explore the Jordan Option in depth, I have set up a Zoom conference to be held on May 15, 2022 at 7:00 P.M. Israel time, noon Eastern Daylight Time
Go here to register: JORDAN: PAST, PRESENT AND FUTURE. The Jordan Option Revisited.