The Jordan Times (Editorial)
March 11, 2011 - 1:00am

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made clear his country’s belligerent position when he confirmed that Israel will deploy troops along the Jordan River no matter what, even if there are successful peace negotiations and a Palestinian state comes into being.

Such a declaration is also meant to dash all hopes for peace, not only with the Palestinians but with its other neighbours as well.

The Israeli prime minister should know that such a stance would not be tolerated by the Palestinians, yet it keeps on putting one obstacle after another on the road to a settlement with the Palestinians.

It is not a new strategy, it is becoming a tiring leitmotif, but Israel does not seem the get tired of using it just to thwart any effort to arrive at peace with its neighbours.

Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas recently said that if there is no viable independent Palestinian state by September, all options are on the table for his people, including another uprising of his people.

The least the Israeli leader could do should be to refrain from making hostile, confrontational statements before a Palestinian state is even born.

Whatever security arrangements need to be made will only be made once agreement on a clearly delineated Palestinian state is in sight. In that case, Israel’s security will be secured without it needing to intimidate its neighbours with force.

The River Jordan is the natural borderline between Jordan and any projected Palestinian state. Israel will have no business being there, and whatever it envisages doing in agreement with the Palestinians will also have to be done in concert with Jordan.

If Israel were serious about reaching peace with the Palestinians and securing its safety, it should not resort to threats and intimidation. But it clearly is comfortable in the knowledge that it is master of the region - aided by its biggest ally, the US - and that gives it the arrogance to behave the way it does.

Hopefully that will come to an end soon.


American Task Force on Palestine - 1634 Eye St. NW, Suite 725, Washington DC 20006 - Telephone: 202-262-0017