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Jordan could look ‘very favourably’ on ‘one-state democratic solution,’ says PM

Jordan's Prime Minister Omar Al-Razzaz [Facebook]
Jordan's Prime Minister Omar Razzaz, 11 October 2019 [Omar Razzaz/Facebook]

Jordan could view a one-state solution that provides equal rights to both Palestinians and Israelis “very favourably”, Prime Minster Omar Razzaz has told the Guardian. “You close the door to the two-state solution, I could very well look at this positively, if we’re clearly opening the door to a one-state democratic solution,” Razzaz told the British newspaper during an interview in Amman.

The Jordanian official’s remarks signal a surprising softening of attitude towards a one-state solution, but he was quick to point out that the view is not shared across the border. “Nobody in Israel is talking about [a one-state solution], and so we cannot just sugar-coat what they’re doing. Who’s talking about the one-state solution in Israel? They’re talking about apartheid in every single sense.”

Razzaz challenged anybody from Israel to say yes, let’s end the two-state solution, it’s not viable. “But let’s work together on a one-state democratic solution. That, I think, we will look at very favourably. But closing one and wishful thinking about the other is just self-deception.”

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During the interview, Razzaz also raised concerns that Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu’s plan to annex 30 per cent of the West Bank, including areas of the strategic Jordan Valley, could destabilise the region. He told the Guardian that unilateral annexation, under the current two-state solution laid out in Trump’s so-called “Deal of the Century”, would be tantamount to “ushering in a new apartheid state.”

Prime Minister Razzaz also voiced concerns that the implementation of the two-state solution as currently envisioned could lead to calls for Jordan to absorb Palestinians from the West Bank into its own Palestinian population. This solution, the Guardian reported, has been popular with right-wing Israelis and is gradually becoming a normalised view among the rest of the population.

“Jordan will not absorb transfers of Palestinians”, Razzaz warned. “Jordan will not become ‘the’ Palestine, as the Israeli extreme right wishes. And Jordan will not give up its custodianship over [Muslim and Christian religious sites in] Jerusalem. These three are clear for us.”

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In recent months, Jordan’s King Abdullah II has also warned that relations between the Hashemite Kingdom and Israel, first normalised by the 1994 peace treaty, have hit a low point.

The Jordanian monarch warned last month that Israel’s annexation plans, which were postponed earlier this month, could lead to a “massive conflict” between the neighbours and “[undermine] the prospects of achieving peace and stability in the region.” World leaders, including British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, have also condemned Israel’s annexation plans.

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