From the July/August Moment magazine
July 17, 2008
by Meyrav Wurmser
The Jordanian option—seeking to resolve the Palestinian problem through a federation or confederation with Jordan—is the most viable genuine answer. It is a question of time. On one side, Israel cannot continue to live with the Palestinian problem. On the other, Jordan fears that the Palestinian state will destroy it. In private, Jordanian officials maintain that Jordan would be better off controlling the problem by taking over the West Bank instead of being destroyed itself. Thus, it is logical that within a few years, Israel will need to turn the clock back to before 1994, and come to terms with Jordan on how to resolve this problem between them.
That leaves Gaza as an outstanding problem. As Egypt enters an unstable phase of succession, it cannot afford to have Hamas hook up with its own Muslim Brotherhood. Perhaps a temporary ceasefire, or at least some understanding on border control between Egypt and Hamas would help Egypt (to Israel’s detriment), but how long would it last? Israeli officials know Hamas wants to re-arm and continue to serve as an agent of Iran, which seeks to use the organization to advance its own dangerous regional ambitions.
In the meantime, Iran and Syria are setting up a new line of confrontation and challenge for Israel, Egypt, Jordan and the West. We are at a critical juncture. Iran and Syria have become not only an Israeli problem, but also a problem for Israel’s neighbors who, like Israel, may have to look to Jordan for answers.
Meyrav Wurmser was formerly a Senior Fellow with Hudson Institute.
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