The idea of creating a Palestinian Arab state where none has ever existed before in history has become quite a popular idea.
But it’s hardly a new idea.
In fact, one was already created about the same time the modern state of Israel was reborn.
It was called Transjordan, created May 25, 1946, when the British ceded the territory to their colony. But it took until 1948 before the British removed all legal restrictions on the new nation’s sovereignty – the same year Israel won its independence. Israel’s statehood was approved by the United Nations in 1947, and it became a member of the U.N. in 1949. By contrast, Jordan’s membership was not approved until 1955.
But why do I call it a “Palestinian state”? Because that was the justification for its nation-status. The entire landmass of Jordan represents the original partition plan of the region known as Palestine minus the Jewish state. It was intended to be the nation of the Arab Palestinians, while the rest would be the nation of the Jewish Palestinians, which would become known as Israel.
Here’s what King Abdullah, the first leader of Jordan, said in 1948: “Palestine and Jordan are one.”
In 1981, King Hussein of Jordan put it this way: “Palestine is Jordan and Jordan is Palestine; there is only one land, with one history and one and the same fate.”
Abdul Hamid Sharif, prime minister of Jordan declared, in 1980, “The Palestinians and Jordanians do not belong to different nationalities. They hold the same Jordanian passports, are Arabs and have the same Jordanian culture.”
So that raises the question: Why do we need another Palestinian state carved out of the neighboring nation of Israel?
It’s worth noting that Jordan has more land than Israel and fewer people. So the real question is how many times does the one and only Jewish state in the world, one with 3,500 years of history to its credit, and half the world’s entire Jewish population, have to be divided? If Jordan’s not currently the Palestinian state it was intended to be, why not make it one?
One answer you will get to that question is this: Because it would mean some Arab Palestinians would have to move to be a part of this new nation-state.
But that is true no matter where you set the borders. Some people are going to have to move. Right now there are Palestinian Arabs who are stateless, very close to Jordan. They are currently living autonomously within the borders of Israel and using Jordanian passports. Why not just incorporate them into Jordan? Why does no one even suggest such an idea when that was, indeed, the original idea behind the partition of the region of Palestine? And why must Jews be the only people required to move upon creation of an Arab Palestinian state?
There are Jews living today among Arab Palestinians in lands claimed by the PA. Would the PA allow those Jews to stay in a Palestinian state? The answer is an unequivocal no. They require the land to be ethnically cleansed of all Jews. I often wonder why there is so much enthusiasm for creating another Arab Palestinian state in which no Jews are allowed to live. There already is one called Jordan. Isn’t one enough?
By the way, there was no national movement for a second Arab Palestinian homeland before the 1967 Arab-Israeli war that led to Israel capturing Judea and Samaria, both historically Jewish lands often referred to as the West Bank, that were previously under the control of Jordan.
But, immediately following the Six-Day War, as it was known, Israeli leaders offered to return the West Bank, the Sinai Peninsula, the Gaza Strip and the Golan Heights to the nations that previously claimed them in exchange for peace. They were turned down flat. At the Khartoum Summit following the war, the Arab League provided its answer to the generous offer in the form of three No’s: “No peace with Israel, No recognition of Israel, No negotiations with Israel.”
They determined instead to follow a path of never-ending conflict.
Since then, cooler heads have occasionally prevailed:
- Jordan signed a peace treaty with Israel but showed no interest in incorporating any more Palestinians into its citizenry or in getting back the lands Israel won in 1967.
- Egypt signed a peace treaty and accepted the Sinai in return, but turned down accepting the Gaza Strip where so many Palestinian Arabs live. It’s worth noting that Egyptian President Anwar Sadat was assassinated by his own people for making the deal.
Since then, three times Israel has offered the Palestinian Authority its complete independence on as much as 94 percent of the land it demands in exchange for peace. And three times, the PA has turned down such proposals.
Why are the Palestinian Arabs unwilling to compromise even 6 percent on the land they demand for their new state? Because, politically, they cannot accept a state of their own that by definition must be at peace with Israel. Once Palestinian Arabs agree to peace with Israel, they will be political pariahs among their people – maybe even dead political pariahs. They have so inculcated their own people with Jew-hatred through their official media and schools that the solution they claim to seek is no longer a viable one.
And why do Arab Palestinians insist on the ancient Jewish city and eternal capital of Jerusalem in their land demands? Because they know no Jewish state can ever agree to cut up its own capital city. What nation would – especially one so small amidst a regional sea of hatred?
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