Trump’s PLO shutdown paves way for Jordan-West Bank reunification.

President Trump’s decision to close the PLO mission in Washington, cancel the visas of the Palestinian Ambassador and his family and order their bank accounts be closed – mark the PLO’s final humiliation for condemning Trump’s proposed peace plan before its contents have even been published.

Strangely however the United States still maintains that direct negotiations between Israel and the PLO are the only way forward.

The PLO will be fortified by this latest statement—mistakenly believing it:

  • remains in the box seat to stymie any peace plan Trump wheels out,
  • can blunt Trump’s reputation as a highly-successful deal maker and
  • reinforces the PLO’s right to continue as sole spokesman for the Palestinian Arabs although Hamas governs Gaza and Jordan exercises sovereignty in 78% of former Palestine.

Direct Israel-PLO negotiations on Trump’s peace proposals are a pipedream.

Jordan remains the key to resolving – with Israel – Trump’s plans involving the future of the West Bank for the following reasons:

  • Transjordan occupied the West Bank from 1948 to 1967.
  • Transjordan and the West Bank were unified in 1950, the new entity was renamed “Jordan” and Jordanian citizenship was extended to the West Bank Arab population.
  • Jordan continued to retain legal and administrative control and extend citizenship between 1967 and 1988 until King Hussein announced Jordan’s termination of its role in the West Bank in the PLO’s favour for the following reasons:

“Lately, it has transpired that there is a general Palestinian and Arab orientation which believes in the need to highlight the Palestinian identity in full in all efforts and activities that are related to the Palestine question and its developments. It has also become clear that there is a general conviction that maintaining the legal and administrative links with the West Bank, and the ensuing Jordanian interaction with our Palestinian brothers under occupation through Jordanian institutions in the occupied territories, contradicts this orientation. It is also viewed that these links hamper the Palestinian struggle to gain international support for the Palestinian cause of a people struggling against foreign occupation.

In view of this line of thought, which is certainly inspired by genuine Palestinian will, and Arab determination to support the Palestinian cause, it becomes our duty to be part of this direction, and to respond to its requirements…”

  • Jordan’s retirement from the West Bank moved Abu Iyad—PLO-leader Yassar Arafat’s deputy—to declare on 15 December 1989:

“I say that on the day immediately following the establishment of the Palestinian State, we will begin unity with Jordan. I am not concerned what kind of unity this may be, because we are one people and have the same history. You cannot make a distinction between a Jordanian and a Palestinian. It is true that we encourage unity between Arab peoples, but the relation between Jordan and Palestine in particular is clearly distinctive; all those who tried in the past and are still trying to create divisions between the Jordanian and Palestinian people have failed. We indeed constitute one people… when the Palestinian state and unity is established … The Jordanian will be a Palestinian and the Palestinian a Jordanian”

Reunification of the West Bank with Jordan never required the creation of a second Palestinian Arab State in the West Bank – in addition to Jordan.

Reunification of a large part of the West Bank with Jordan is now once again tantalisingly within Jordan’s grasp following Trump’s spectacular undermining of the PLO after it defiantly refused to negotiate on Trump’s still-unannounced peace plan.

Trump will not be pandering to the PLO and repeating the same mistakes made by former American Presidents.


First published at Canada Free Press
Author’s note: The cartoon – commissioned exclusively for this article—is by Yaakov Kirschen aka “Dry Bones”- one of Israel’s foremost political and social commentators –  whose cartoons have graced the columns of Israeli and international media publications for decades. His cartoons can be viewed at Drybonesblog
David Singer is an Australian Lawyer, a Foundation Member of the International Analyst Network and Convenor of Jordan is Palestine International.


Check Also

Into The Fray: “Palestine” – Two countervailing hypotheses

Do the Palestinian-Arabs genuinely wish to establish a state for themselves?  Or do they really …


  1. “Reunification of a large part of the ‘West Bank’ with Jordan is now once again tantalisingly within Jordan’s grasp…?” What tosh.

    The illegal annexation of Samaria and Judea by Jordan following its invasion of the nascent State of Israel was both illegal and unrecognised.

    To suggest that Jordan is close to reasserting sovereignty of what it came to call “The West Bank” in 1948 is an insult to every Israeli who fought and died in the genocidal war perpetuated against her by a belligerent Jordanian foe.

    Likewise, it is an affront to every Israeli who fought and died in the defensive Six Day War of 1967 against Jordan.

    In 1922, much against the spirit of the San Remo Declarations, Perfidious Albion subtracted 78% of the territory allotted for Jewish settlement and gave it to its creature king to form a separate Arab- Hashemite state east of the Jordan River which it, Britain armed to the teeth and trained its military whilst later denying entry to HaEretz Yisrael to all Jews fleeing the Holocaust.

    Time for Jordan to be content with what has already been stolen from the Jewish State, time for Jordan to cede 78% of its territory and give it to the PLO perhaps?

    • We have had a long discussion on this subject of Jordan-Israel negotiations before and you have argued against those negotiations being held..

      You again reaffirm that view with this statement:

      “Time for Jordan to be content with what has already been stolen from the Jewish State, time for Jordan to cede 78% of its territory and give it to the PLO perhaps?”

      So for the benefit of readers who have not followed our previous lengthy discussion I repeat what I said then:

      “Your view that there should be no negotiations between Jordan and Israel only guarantees the continuance of the 100 years old Jewish-Arab conflict. My view that there should be negotiations between Israel and Jordan offers some hope that – if successfully concluded – that long-running conflict might finally be ended.

      I think this a fair summation of our positions.

      Do you agree?

      Just a “Yes” or “No” will suffice.”

      Your answer to this question would be appreciated.

      • No, I do not agree that that is anything like a fair summation of our respective positions, David.

        You believe Jordan has legal claim to territory west of the Jordan River.

        I do not.

        Unlike you, I do not refuse to answer simple questions, David.

        How about you answer two questions/points instead of continually evading the issues raised? For instance:

        1) The nineteen year illegal and internationally unrecognised annexation of Samaria and Judea by a belligerent Jordan in 1948 did not entitle Jordan to claim sovereignty over any territory west of the River Jordan. Therefore Jordan has no legal basis to resurrect any unfounded claim to any part of Samaria and Judea today.

        2) Your suggestion that when Israel signed the 1994 Israel-Jordan Peace Treaty with Jordan, instead of setting the borders between the two countries at the River Jordan, it allowed Jordan to exercise yet again its fraudulent claim to sovereignty in Samaria and Judea. That suggestion is patently absurd.

        These are the issues that divide us thus far, shall we discuss?

        • Sorry John – but the issue that divides us is whether there should be negotiations between Jordan and Israel to resolve the allocation of sovereignty in Judea and Samaria.

          I am not interested in discussing what positions might be taken by Israel and Jordan once those negotiations get under way.

          • The Jordanian aggression against Israel in 1948 was a crime under international law.

            Likewise the aggression by Jordan against Israel in 1967 was a crime under international law.

            It follows that the annexation by Jordan of Samaria and Judea was illegal, indeed it was not recognised by the international community.

            Therefore, the question of whether such crimes already codified under international law could possibly form the basis of a renewed claim by Jordan to those same territories is more than pertinent to the discussion you refuse to have.

            Furthermore, as regards Israel and Jordan, that same question means here is nothing to discuss.