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About the ‘Energy for water’ agreement: Implications and risks

November 29, 2021 at 8:39 pm

People chant slogans as hundreds of demonstrators gather in Jordan’s capital Amman on November 26, 2021 for a protest against the “solar power for water deal” signed between Jordan and Israel [Mohamad Salaheddin/Anadolu Agency]

Isn’t it weird that all the normalisation deals, or the alliance news with the Zionist entity, only come out from the former party, while the Arab side insists on secrecy until the last moment?!

Does this not indicate the nature of those agreements that collide with the collective consciousness of our peoples and our nation?

Does this not confirm that the Arab parties that are involved in these agreements are still aware that they are crossing popular red lines, and are getting involved in projects that people cannot be convinced of, in any case?

In fact, we remember this: we will always remember when the Jordanian Minister of Information went out on Monday morning, 22 November, to announce to one of the local radio stations that there is no Jordanian-Emirati-Israeli tripartite project related to energy and water and that everything that is happening is just research.

A few hours later, just as the Zionist sources had confirmed, the three parties were signing the “Declaration of Intent” for the project that had been talked about, in the same detail as the sources revealed.

Much has been said about the project that we are talking about, which still faces dismissive reactions on the Jordanian side, and it has been noted that everyone who talked about it, has repeatedly linked the project to the Jordanian officials’ bragging about their success to overcome the “Deal of the Century”, which we talked about in the previous article that Mahmoud Abbas’s Authority was also included. Some argued that the new agreement was the implementation of the deal.

READ: Jordanians protest ‘water for energy’ deal with Israel

What we want to say here and focus on – although we have already done – is that this new step, together with the accelerated normalisation series which has entered the coalition phase, is a prelude to what is worse than the “Deal of the Century” and we mean not its merits, but the whole issue in terms of gravity and portability.

We say this because the “Deal of the Century” was a blatant insult (it means signing a solution without Jerusalem or sovereignty, and with a miserable and dismembered living space that does not exceed half of the West Bank). No one would have dared to pass it. It was hoped that the uprising would explode, despite Abbas’s will.

Just as it happened after the Camp David summit in the summer of 2000, which came immediately after the “Al-Aqsa Intifada”, when it became clear to everyone that what the invaders are offering to the Palestinian leadership cannot be accepted by anyone, no matter how lowly he is.

We also remember “the revolutionary of Abbas” in response to the deal, which soon faded after Trump lost the elections, although the path of his successor (Biden) is more dangerous, as we will explain.

The path in which the tripartite agreement represents one of its most important manifestations, along with other agreements that are accelerating, is the path of a “regional solution,” which Netanyahu and others call “economic peace.”

It can be summed up in opening wide the doors of Arab normalisation, while improving the position of the Authority in the West Bank (economically, in particular), without a political solution; without negotiation (Bennett explicitly tells them that there is no Palestinian state, and settlements will continue).

What we observe in daily talks within Zionist circles about providing support to the Authority for fear of its collapse is part of this path, to the extent that the leaders of the occupation are mobilising support for it in American and European circles.

“Regional Solution,” or “Economic Peace,” does not require a signature that no one would dare, but rather a soft abolishment of the issue, by turning the temporary into permanent, it can be passed by brilliant titles, like those we are hearing now. We remember here that the “Arab Initiative” has put forward normalisation after the solution (a State with the 1967 borders, including East Jerusalem), but this path is completely reversed by the Initiative, as it offers normalisation without a solution.

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When this happens, and the temporary becomes permanent, “settlement” will be a reality in Jordan, but the worst is that a gradual displacement will take place for the population of the West Bank in the context of open borders and bilateral relations. The next proposal would be like what businessman, Hassan Ismaik, wrote in “Foreign Policy”, that is, linking Palestinian demographics to Jordan, without territorial sovereignty, named “federal” or “confederate,” and this is the “Alternative Homeland” project.

This will not pass, God willing, as the Palestinian issue will remain alive, backed by its resistance. The Jordanian people will stand by it, and will reject the conspiracy without hesitation, but we are talking about those who facilitate the passage of that conspiracy, and they sell it with miserable slogans that do not convince anyone.

Our saying “it will not pass” stems from our confidence in the resistance, and in both the Palestinian and Jordanian peoples, but this does not mean inaction. Rather, paleaction must be taken to thwart that conspiracy. Beginning with the delegitimisation of Abbas, who rejects this dangerous path in words but implements it on the ground, and does not end with Jordanian popular activities, that imposes thwarting the aforementioned agreement, and putting an end to identification with the Zionist demands, which should include all Arab arenas, foremost among them is the Egyptian arena, which is extremely important in this path as well.

This article first appeared in Arabic in Arabi21 on 28 November 2021

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.