Mudar Zahran, the leader of the Palestinian community in Jordan, criticized US Secretary of State John Kerry’s peace plan as bad both for Israel and the Palestinian Authority. He stressed that the only one who benefits from it is the Jordanian monarchy.
Jordanian Palestinian dissident leader Mudar Zahran Photo Credit: Facebook
Mudar Zahran, a prominent Jordanian Palestinian opposition leader who has been mentioned as a possible alternative to the Hashemite monarchy and who supports creating a Palestinian state within Jordan, is opposed to Kerry’s peace proposal, insisting that the only one who truly benefits from it is the Jordanian monarchy.
“The deal dictates that Israel should hand over all of the West Bank to the Palestinian Authority and the Palestinians in exchange would recognize Israel as a Jewish state. Abbas already said he would never recognize Israel as a Jewish state,” Zahran stressed. Earlier this month, the Jerusalem Post reported that Abbas stated, “We won’t accept the Jewishness of Israel. We are asking for the 1967 borders.”
However, Zahran is skeptical that Abbas is serious about such statements: “Abbas could change his mind tomorrow for a better deal and he is most likely just blackmailing Israel.” Nevertheless, he noted that such a deal would be bad for Israel, because it would further the demographics against Israel’s favor and squeeze Israel onto a plot of land that is harder to defend. He also stressed that any agreement with the Palestinian Authority would be merely “verbal peace.” To illustrate this point, this month Fatah’s official facebook page threatened to “turn Tel Aviv into a ball of fire.” It was one of many such cases of incitement.
Nevertheless, “both Kerry and Obama are pressuring Netanyahu with their full weight, which means: this peace plan could happen. If this happens, Israel’s Jewish identity will be shattered and it would be subjected to even further demographic, geographic and military threats,” Zahran stressed. “This peace plan must be dealt with as the most alarming threat Israel is facing at the moment.”
From a Palestinian perspective, Zahran noted that Abbas is not so enthusiastic about Kerry’s Plan because “it will either get him killed or toppled by his own faction, the PLO.” In an era when the fires of the Arab Spring are igniting across the Middle East, it is a genuine fear, especially in light of the fact that Hamas won the last democratic elections that were held within the Palestinian Authority.
Yet, Al Quds Al Arabi recently reported that John Kerry’s peace proposal includes giving Jordan’s king $55 billion in exchange for settling Palestinian refugees that live across the Middle East in Jordan. They are presently deprived of basic human rights and citizenship in the countries where they are living. According to Zahran, the Jordanian “king’s media has been celebrating the $55 billion deal as it would mean the king will remain in power with American support. In fact, Ynews provided clear information that Jordan’s king proposed the peace plan to Obama in order to prevent Jordan from becoming Palestine.”
For this reason, Zahran vehemently opposes the deal: “Kerry’s peace plan is unrealistic. First of all, why would the world give Jordan’s current king $55 billon for settling his own citizens? There are 5.9 million Palestinians in Jordan. It’s their own country and it has been since day one, when it was the Eastern part of the British Mandate for Palestine.”
“This is as silly as giving Sweden’s king $55 billion for having Swedes in Sweden. The king does not represent us as Palestinians and we will never accept any deals that involve him. He is irrelevant.” Zahran concluded, “Also, with $55 billion the world could turn Jordan into another Dubai, and make the Palestinians majority in Jordan live happily. Why give it to the king who could also fall to the Arab Spring like any other Arab dictator and then he would leave and take the $55 billion with him.”