PROTESTERS IN Jordan hold Jordanian and Palestinian flags as they march in protest against Israel..
(photo credit: REUTERS)
More Palestinians prefer the establishment of a Jordanian-Palestinian confederation than a traditional two-state or one-state solution, a new public opinion poll has found.
An-Najah National University in Nablus randomly surveyed 1362 Palestinians from the West Bank and Gaza Strip between October 13-15 on a variety of issues relevant to Palestinian politics and society.
Forty-six percent of Palestinians surveyed – 52% from the West Bank and 36% from the Gaza Strip – said they would support the establishment of a Palestinian-Jordanian confederation on the basis of two states with strong institutional relations.
In contrast, 36% of Palestinians – 40% from the West Bank and 29.4% from Gaza – said they would support the establishment of a Palestinian state on the 1967 borders. Only 22% of Palestinians – 24% from the West Bank and 18% from Gaza – said they would back the creation of a Palestinian state on 1967 borders with some land swaps.
Moreover, only 18% of respondents – 19% from the West Bank and 16% from Gaza – said they would support a bi-national state for both Arabs and Jews.
Despite a plurality of Palestinians supporting a Jordanian-Palestinian confederation, Grant Rumley, a research fellow at the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies remains skeptical of its feasibility.
“Similar to the idea of a binational state, the Jordanian option too is not entirely feasible. Still, I think [the results of the poll] show the public disillusionment with the PLO and its platform of negotiations,” Rumley wrote in an email to The Jerusalem Post, adding, “With the peace process in its current state, many Palestinians view Oslo as a failure, and as such look at other options (such as a binational state or a Jordanian state) as favorable. So long as the status quo continues, I’d expect support for these other options to rise.”
Jordan made a historic decision in 1988 known as Fakk al-Irtibat, the disengagement from the West Bank, and officially announced that it no longer considered the West Bank as part of the Hashemite Kingdom.
Since then, Jordan and King Abdullah, the Jordanian monarch, have consistently supported a negotiated two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.However, some Jordanians including a former prime minister have voiced support for a Jordanian-Palestinian confederation following the establishment of a Palestinian state.
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas holds that Jordan is a close ally of the Palestinian leadership and has said that the Jordanians and Palestinians are “one people living in two states,” but Abbas has made no indication that he supports a confederation since assuming the presidency in 2005.