Some 19 percent of Jewish Israelis prefer to see a Palestinian state in Jordan
rather than in the West Bank, but only 7% really think it could happen,
according to a Maagar Mochot poll commissioned by Professors for a Stronger
“There are alternatives; we are not sitting with a gun to our
heads,” said former National Union MK Arye Eldad, as he addressed a daylong
conference on Sunday that debated all aspects of the question of two states for
two peoples on two banks of the Jordan River.
There are more options than
the standard equation of “Either we will have a Palestinian state in Judea and
Samaria, or we will have a bi-national state,” Eldad said.
It is also
possible to have a Palestinian state in Jordan, he explained. Jordan’s King
Abdullah II would not agree to this plan, he said.
But, he said,
eventually King Abdullah’s Hashemite Kingdom will fall prey to the Arab Spring,
which has caused the ouster of other regional leaders.
“We need to have a
plan in the drawer for that moment,” he said.
Otherwise, the situation
could end badly for Israel, he said.
“We have to prepare for this
scenario because it is realistic,” he said.
At present, the idea of a
Palestinian state in Jordan does not seem feasible, but if the Hashemite Kingdom
falls in the future, it will receive wide support, Eldad said.
Zahran, a Jordanian- Palestinian political activist who lives in London, said he
believed that King Abdullah II’s reign would soon end.
Based on the
Maagar Mochot poll, however, only a minority of those questioned supported a
two-state solution in which Palestine was on the east side of the Jordan
Out of those polled, 41% of Jewish Israelis preferred the status
quo and 51% said they believed that the situation would stay the same. Only 11%
said they preferred a two-state solution in the West Bank based on land swaps,
and only 21% said they believed this would happen. Some 29% said they did not
have a solution.
Maagar Mochot conducted the telephone poll on August 18
and 19 among 504 Jewish Israelis over the age of 18. It has a 4.5 margin of
According to the poll, 53% of Likud Beytenu supporters said they
preferred the status quo, 1% wanted a two-state solution in the West Bank and
30% supported Jordan as a Palestinian state.
Among Shas and UTJ party
supporters, 67% preferred the status quo, 3% wanted a two-state solution in the
West Bank and 21% wanted Jordan to be a Palestinian state.
Among the Yesh
Atid, Hatnua and Kadima parties, 33% preferred the status quo, 14% wanted a
two-state solution in the West Bank and 8% believed that Palestine should be in
Out of those polled from the Labor and Meretz parties, only 7%
preferred the status quo, 52% supported a two-state solution in the West Bank and
none of them wanted to see Jordan become a Palestinian state.
Not all the
speakers at the conference believed that Jordan should become a Palestinian
Former deputy foreign minister Danny Ayalon, however, warned that
a scenario in which the Hashemite Kingdom would fall was dangerous for
Stability in Jordan is critical for Israeli and American
interests, Ayalon said. Jordan acts as a buffer zone between Israel and Iraq and
Iran, he said.
MK Tzipi Hotovely (Likud) said she believed the whole
issue was a question for the future. What needs to happen now, she said, is for
Israel to annex Area C of the West Bank.
This won’t pose a demographic
threat because only a minority of Palestinians live there.
It won’t lead
to a bi-national state; it will simply increase the size of Israel as a Jewish
state, Hotovely said.
Israelis, she said, want Jewish settlements in
Judea and Samaria. Israel won’t evacuate them as it did during the 2005
At one time, she said, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu
believed that a Palestinian state posed an existential threat to
“I assure you Netanyahu goes with a heavy heart and unwilling
steps when forced into talks with the Palestinians by the US,” she said.