Saturday, January 18, 2014
Netanyahu and king Abdallah are coordinating versus- Ramallah-Israeli Left coordination
King Abdallah of Jordan received this weekend Israeli Prime Minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, in Amman and after the meeting Prime Mister Netanyahu described the meeting as excellent.
King Abdallah rarely meets with Prime Minister Netanyahu and this event means that something important bothers his mind- and it is clear that it is Kerry's "framework agreement" for final peace between Israel and the Palestinians.
There are three main issues that Jordan had stake in that's are: to keep its position as the custodian of Aqsa Mosque in east Jerusalem, to keep the quiet along Jordan Valley and to have its share in the compensations for absorbing the Palestinian refugees that are mostly in Jordan. In all these three issues Jordanian interests are conflicting with the Palestinians. While in Jerusalem the real Jordanian position that the Palestinian capital will be IN Jerusalem, the Palestinian position is that east Jerusalem is the capital of Palestine. In other words—they are the custodians of al-Aqsa. As far as Jordan Valley is concerned they want to kick IDF out – replacing it with USA or NATO forces with the Palestinian themselves touching the borders. Jordan is against it—but cannot talk. They think that the "machine works- why to fix it?". An echo to this position could have been found in Prime Minister Netanyahu when he met with the foreign press in Israel immediately after seeing the king. As for the refugees—the PLO can never accept any Jordan representation of the refugees- even they are now Jordanian citizens because this put an end to the PLO's sacred role as the sole representative of the Palestinians—especially the refugees. The PLO is basically an organization of the refugees. So, in these three cases it is "to be or not to be" issue for Jordan and the PLO.
The trauma that is haunting was the Oslo agreements in which Israel recognized the PLO as the party that is negotiated with on all these issues and Jordan was cut out. This triggered Jordan to make its peace with Israel securing the recognition of Israel in its custodianship on al-Aqsa. The PLO under Arafat did not recognize it and immediately after the PLO entered the Palestinian territories began to harass the Jordanian official of the Waqf administration. In later stages the PLO and Jordan came to an understanding that it is better to both not to quarrel in front of the Israeli watching eyes and they decided to freeze the mutual demands until final settlement – which they feel— might be now.
What bothers Jordan mostly in this situation that the old Left-Muqata'a open channels may affect Netanyahu decisions on lack of competitive channels. They are aware of the strong lobby of the Geneva initiative that is linked to PLO secretary general, Yasser Abd Rabbo, new Labor Party leader, Boji Hertzog, open channel to Abu Mazen himself and old Kadima personnel to Saeb Areiqat. So, Jordan that is obsessed with avoiding another Oslo scenario invited Prime Minister to immune him against any influence of the Ramallah-Israeli Left on him and food him with competitive insights of those that are percolated in the Muqata'a-Left encounters.
Another aspect that is now bothering Jordan mind is whether to speak out its positions with the Israeli backing, or keep diving in silence in order not to provoke an open Jordanian-Palestinian showdown. It depends on the evaluation to what extent Kerry's plan is effective and forthcoming. In our opinion – it is not, so Jordan will continue to conceal its true positions, and now we are only in a "predatory stage" to meet future Kerry's paper possible dangers for Jordan.
Sum up: Jordan and the Palestinians are in sharp conflict over Kerry's possible framework agreement but they prefer to hide the conflict until the "moment of truth" that might come now. Jordan follows with concern the vivid and ardent contacts between the Muqata'a and Israeli left and asked the meeting in order to feed Prime Minister Netanyahu with insights versus the Israeli Left pro-Palestinian notions.