Articles > > The Worst Timing

Articles - Addostour - Date: 2020-01-27
By: Oraib Al Rantawi

Leaks that Jordan is adopting a new approach that will reverse the 1988 disengagement decision [renouncing its claim to the West Bank] should not be taken seriously, as it is not in Jordan's interest to do so and the timing could not be worse.
It is perhaps for that very reason that the foreign minister adamantly emphasized to a group of journalists and writers yesterday that no such thing has ever been discussed in decision-making circles, and that in his three years in office he has no recollection of anything of the sort occurring to anyone.
It is no secret to anyone that Jordan is deeply distressed by the rumors and leaks about the 'deal of the century'. Jordan cannot keep pace with the Trump administration and Netanyahu's government, nor does it have the tools and cards that would enable it to foil the deal. To find a middle ground between rejection and resignation, Jordan can adopt a stance of resistance; it has no intention of recognizing the deal's outcome, nor will it consider waging battles it knows in advance that it will lose.
Reconsidering its decision to disengage at the administrative and organizational levels at this time in particular, days after the deal's [impending] disclosure, would mean only one thing: It would extend a lifeline to Israel to rid itself of the excess Palestinian [West Bank] population without any large-scale withdrawals from the occupied West Bank.
Why would Jordan make such a gamble? Why would it volunteer to provide the greatest service to the far-right government and its populist right-wing administration for free? Why would it gamble on endangering its civil peace, security, and stability and putting it at risk by taking on a predetermined role that would far exceed the municipal administration of isolated West Bank cantons and disparate enclaves? Why would it risk threatening its friendly relations with the PA just to satisfy and manage a callow youth [peace plan architect Kushner] and his administration?
The leaks have attracted tremendous attention in official and popular circles, as a decision of this sort affects the lives of millions of citizens and brethren and is, above all, loaded with the deepest and most dangerous implications. Even those who argued against disengagement at the time seem to be exceptionally on board with it and its substance today, and I suspect that a vast majority of Jordanians and Palestinians alike view it with approval.
I believe those who approach the matter without due scrutiny should reassess and proceed with greater caution in raising such sensitive and important issues lest it cause public uproar and create a climate of suspicion and distrust.
Jordan, just like Palestine, stands at a dangerous crossroads, and attention to the home front is a matter of utmost priority that takes precedence over all other items on the agenda.
Jordanian domestic policy should be used to strengthen our national immune system and support our foreign policy approaches, especially since we are on the verge of a heated phase in our relations with Israel and its supporters.