Abbas in Rare Talks with Hamas
Jordan's Fate Crucial To Future Palestinian State
by Dan Ehrlich

Upheavals  have Taken All Bets off the Table
The growing social unrest in Jordan, along with the West Bank Palestinian Authority’s quest for an independent state may be developing into a  political thriller. Word has is that Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas is having a rare meeting with his de-facto Gaza enemies, the Hamas leadership, to cool the atmosphere with Israel and keep peace hopes alive.

But is  Abbas being honest about his desire for a simple independent state and peace with Israel or do he and his possible successors have more imperial designs on the region in sort of a modified “Texas formula?”

The current revolts enveloping the Middle East has accentuated something evident for some time in this tribal region…the founding tribes or ruling cliques in some states are no longer the predominant populations. Iraq and Bahrain are cases in point.

Another one is Jordan where the founding Hashemite people account for only 20 percent of the population. The majority, around 75 to 80 percent are Palestinian.

In Iraq we have seen the majority Shiites finally become the majority in their new government. And in Bahrain, the revolt is about the majority Shiites overthrowing the ancestral Emir, part of the Sunni minority.
A Divided State is not Very Workable in Long Run
All this hasn’t been lost of Abbas, who must realize how difficult it will be maintaining a small state divided between the West Bank and Gaza, especially if Gaza remains in Hamas hands and a hotbed of Wahhabist Muslim activity.

The Texas Formula was a deceptive rip-off that first endeared America to its Mexican neighbors. Americans were welcomed to settle in Texas by the new Mexican republic. For their hospitality, people such as Davey Crockett and Jim Bowie quickly rebelled against Mexico with the idea of setting up a fake Texas republic, which would then be ceded to the United States. A similar scenario took place in California.

So, Abbas may be thinking: First, get a basic deal from Israel, establish state and then wait for Jordan’s Royal family to be squeezed out by his fellow travelers there. As we now see Jordan is becoming increasingly unstable. Once that happens, he can merge his state with Jordan, as it was prior to 1967…yet without the Hashemites in charge.

This would be right in line with edicts from the PFLP and the DFLP, the two far left terrorist groups who, at a 1970 meeting of the Palestinian National Council, were responsible for prompting the acceptance of the proposal that Transjordan would be part of future Palestinian state.

If that ever comes to pass, Abbas can then give Gaza a pass…. If the Egyptians didn’t want it, why should he want all that trouble?
Coup Attempts not New to Jordan
Yet, Jordan’s King Abdullah must also have this in mind since the Palestinians once tried to unseat his father in the 1970 uprising, which resulted in thousands of casualties over a 10-month period and PLO leader Yasser Arafat being driven into Lebanon with thousands of his followers.

That act helped destroy prosperous Christian Arab based Lebanon, which was dragged into years of civil war and eventual Israeli invasion and occupation. This then proved disastrous for Israel because it helped spawn and grow the terrorist groups and uprisings that have plagued the area since that time.

It was also a bitter pill for Jordan. It’s expulsion of the PLO and its moderate stance regarding Israel held it in low esteem among the Arab League godfathers who got the UN to recognize the PLO as the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people. This denied Jordan's long-held claim to ownership of East Jerusalem and sovereignty over the Palestinian West Bank population.

But if truth be known, the last thing Jordan’s shrinking Hashemite ruling minority wants now is domain over nearly two million more Palestinians. This is especially true today with growing Palestinian unrest in Jordan and the rise of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood there, too.
Handwriting on Wall for Tribal Leadership
However, thanks to major demographic shifts, the handwriting seems to be on the wall for relatively small former Bedouin tribes ruling large multi tribal countries with restless populations. And you can bet Abbas is thinking about this right now.

He’s also probably worrying about the possibility of the Jordanian Royal Family being overthrown and a de-facto Palestinian state established there before his deal is made with Israel. Then what would he do? He couldn’t have two Palestinian states or three if you count Gaza.

The next move would be Israel’s. The Israelis could tell Abbas to take a hike because any deals to be made will be with Jordan’s new Palestinian leaders.

Or, there’s the scenario that has Israel coming to the aid of Jordan’s King…Israel owes Jordan big…and refusing to recognise any other Palestinian leadership than Abbas and the PLO, which would be an ultimate irony given the mutual antipathy these two had for each other during the Yasser Arafat decades.

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