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two questions

Reader comment on item: Annexing the West Bank Would Hurt Israel

Submitted by David L. (United States), May 20, 2020 at 15:54

In the possibly vain hope that this comment thread is sufficiently active that Dr. Pipes might still answer remarks posted herein, I have two questions.

First is concerning the widely expressed concern, which is clearly motivating the cautionary maneuvers of "APM" Gantz and FM Ashkenazi, that annexation would destabilize Jordan. Clearly Jordan is the most aggressive of all international opponents of the plan today, if you read between the lines of the headlines. I do not dismiss the possibility that the monarchy will one day fall, or that a secondary effect of the implementation of Israeli sovereignty will be to hasten the day this happens. Although I think Jordan is signalling its understanding that the peace treaty is too important to its own strategic interests, to consider the abrogation thereof. (The King notably has not repeated his September warning of "ending" the agreement, and has demurred whenever asked). The most obvious strategic interest in it for Jordan, is the fact that the treaty formally relinquishes their claim to the West Bank. An abject rejection of the treaty as a result of Israel asserting a territorial claim, would have the implicit if not explicit result of retracting the Jordanian "divorce" from the Palestinians, whether they like it or not.

And so the question is this. While acknowledging the stabilizing effect of the Hashemite monarchy, and security coordination between Israel and the Kingdom, would Israel not stand to gain by recasting the conflict with the Palestinians as a border dispute with the substantially vaster sovereign in the East? Would this not discredit the argument, promulgated on the Left, that of the two parties to the dispute, Israel is the "greedy" Goliath, fighting a land-starved statelet? I don't suggest population transfer or any such horrors, and I also do not believe that the instability of the monarchy is a foregone conclusion.

But to the extent that the conflict with the Palestinians as currently articulated, presents Israel with two existential dilemmas, is not the argument that the appeasement of the Jordanian government must be pursued at all costs, a classic realization of a sunk cost fallacy? Is not the behavior of the Jordanian government insofar as lobbying aggressively for European sanctions against Israel, a proof of the point that they are more untrustworthy allies than assumed-- indeed that perhaps they are being indulged as friends while they pursue enmity? And to the extent that the Palestinian conflict, and its exacerbation by European dictates, is THE existential challenge to Israel, is it not appropriate to take stock of Jordan's behavior, and whether they have become a strategic burden?

My apologies for having miscounted by declaring that I had "two questions." I consider all the above to be one question, phrased in multiple sentences. My other question is this. If President Trump supports Israel's declaration rather than reacting with fury, to what extent does this alter the author's calculation?

Submitting....

Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

Daniel Pipes replies:

  1. The main Jordanian government concern is unrest within Jordan.
  2. There will be no such recasting of the conflict.
  3. It's not appeasing the Jordanian government; it's smart international relations. See my point (5) in the addendum.
  4. If Trump approves, that reduces by one the many drawbacks of annexation.

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Reader comments (25) on this item

Title Commenter Date Thread
Proselytism [110 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
Reynald de ChatillonJun 4, 2020 02:06259112
1Raynald: The Jewish uprising of 115-117 AD [203 words]dhimmi no moreJun 5, 2020 07:24259112
Judea and Samaria by any other [31 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
AVJun 2, 2020 00:30259094
I disagree! [62 words]RachelMay 31, 2020 10:53259079
2Always keep in mind Ben-Gurion's old maxim [43 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
G MarcusMay 24, 2020 14:28259037
Anti-Semites will always complain [397 words]There is NO Santa ClausMay 28, 2020 09:35259037
1Financial Inducement for Palestinians [156 words]Reynald de ChatillonMay 22, 2020 01:38259000
two questions [483 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
David L.May 20, 2020 15:54258988
Challenges to Israeli Sovereignty - No Lack of Challengers [289 words]M ToveyMay 21, 2020 20:12258988
1Apartheid State? [77 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
Edward HalperMay 12, 2020 16:19258914
1Israel Reunited [103 words]Andy MMay 10, 2020 03:40258889
1Did John Kerry write this? [357 words]ZeevMay 10, 2020 03:00258888
Looking out for [35 words]RealityCheckMay 10, 2020 00:22258886
2Israel needs the Jordan Valley for its security [106 words]Jeffrey SheffMay 9, 2020 23:07258885
1Disagree [76 words]Ariel claudeMay 9, 2020 20:16258883
1Wise Advice. [185 words]S. BermanMay 8, 2020 23:19258876
3"Annexation Now" is an indispensable step in the Israel Victory Plan that you advocated all along [48 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
G MarcusMay 8, 2020 16:55258872
1Annexation of parts of West Bank and Jordan Valley is a real and decisive step toward Israel's Victory. [27 words]Vadim AnshelevichMay 7, 2020 21:45258862
1Trump will not erupt in fury if Israel works together with him in annexing parts of the west bank [132 words]JimmyMay 7, 2020 21:05258861
1Annexation maybe, but a larger point remains [223 words]ThomasMay 7, 2020 20:43258860
2Have To Disagree, Mr. Pipes [90 words]Gary SackMay 7, 2020 16:03258855
3Remember the spies - G-d Bless Caleb and Joshua [581 words]Kenneth MathewsMay 7, 2020 15:42258854
1Pontificating Middle East Peace for Israel in Cloaking Terms [401 words]M ToveyMay 7, 2020 14:32258852
Exacerbating Rhetoric Not Unexpected - Expect Catastrophic Results [157 words]M ToveyMay 15, 2020 16:17258852
9Great points, but here's a devil's advocacy [350 words]DaveMay 7, 2020 12:01258848

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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