AMMAN: Jordanian and Palestinian officials, experts and activists are united in their opposition to a confederation that precedes the end of Israeli occupation and the creation of a Palestinian state.
Palestinian and Jordanian official speakers have rejected the idea circulating in the Israeli media following a discussion President Abbas had with Israeli peace activists.
In the discussion, Abbas told the Israelis that Trump Administration mediators offered the idea of a confederation with Jordan but that Abbas rejected the idea unless it also includes the state of Israel.
Ziad Abu Zayyad, international spokesman for Fatah in Jerusalem, told Arab News that the confederation discussion is premature.
“A Palestinian state must be established with security, borders and a capital before talking about any kind of confederation since it is needed to be able to achieve such a thing.”
Mahdi ABdulHadi, head of the PASIA think tank in Jerusalem, also called the US and Israeli discussion about Jordan “a new version of their obsession” and suggested that this “trial balloon should be left alone because it will soon run out of air.”
Najeeb Qadoumi, a senior Fatah leader in Jordan and a member of the Palestine National Council living in Jordan, told Arab News that this is an old topic and Abbas has tried to avoid dealing with. Qadoumi noted that a confereration is a union between “two independent states and must be approved after their independence by means of a referendum.”
Qadoumi said that if the goal is to be a confederation “like the EU where countries like France and Germany are sovereign that there is no problem as long as all of the West Bank including East Jerusalem and Gaza are included.”
Hamadeh Faraneh, who has the distinction of having been a Jordanian member of Parliament and a member of the Palestine National Council legislative councils, told Arab News that the confederation issue was a political trick that president Abbas was able to cleverly circumvent.
“Everyone knows that Jordanians reject confederation because it attempts to make Jordan become a replacement of the PLO and because it will be the beginning of a process that aims at kicking Palestinians from their home and country.”
Faraneh told Arab News that “any unity at this time while occupation has not ended and Palestinians have not enjoyed true independence is totally unacceptable.”
Faraneh said that president Abbas is aware of this and that is why he escaped this issue by adding Israel.
“Palestinians are the only common denominator that is present in all three regions in Israel, Palestine and Jordan,” he said.
Former Jordanian member of parliament Ghazi Musharbash told Arab News that the Americans and Israelis really want a Jordanian federation without Gaza.
“This is why the late King Hussein and King Abdullah II are consistently on the record as opposing the idea and have repeatedly said that they are only willing to discuss the idea once Palestinians are genuinely independent.”
Musharbash notes that while everyone talks about confederation to soften the blow, what the Americans and Israelis mean is a federation and this “is totally impossible.”