I have always read/heard with wonderment from different sources of how a co federal state between Jordan and Palestine is a threat to Jordan national security. I can’t recall anyone bringing it up or stating the benefits of such confederation, but I have always read articles quoting Jordanian authority voices which deny any plan for a confederation and claiming people suggesting it to be traitors who conspire against both the Jordanian and Palestinian people.
It seems that there is an unanimous agreement between Jordanian intellectuals, columns writers and government authorities against the idea where it seems like one of the red lines that even thinking of writing about does scare me, not just from the expected rage and attacks from the readers of this blog, but also in terms of the level of freedom of speech we are allowed to have in Jordan.
The major flag raised in rejecting the idea is losing any hope of an independent Palestinian state which we have been fighting to achieve for more than 50 years now. While the independent Palestinian state is a dream to every Arab – including me – I don’t think that having one under the current conditions and only in the West bank and Ghaza would help Palestinians living in those territories. If Palestine can’t manage to help its people to survive and nourish, then why have it?
The second major flag at the Jordanian side is the flood of people who would be carrying the Jordanian nationality. Jordanian tribal system helps in protecting the power of the Jordanian tribes who originally inhabited this country. The arrival of many Palestinian refugees in the past and their acquiring of the Jordanian nationality have created a sense of competitiveness between Jordanians from Palestinian origins and those Jordanians with Jordanian origins. Once being the dominant majority and main player in forming the political/economical and social scene in Jordan, Jordanians with Jordanian origin found themselves competing on their own land and natural resources with those new comers.
With the threat of another millions of Palestinians potential carrying of the Jordanian nationality, those with Jordanian origins which were once a majority would find themselves a minority.
Although I am aware of the complications of the tribal system in Jordan and the power struggle to ensure the safety of each party rights, I believe that Jordan is moving on to be a modern country, a country with associations and law where each individual holding the same passport with the J0rdanian nationality should be – and in fact is treated – in the same way, with equality in obligations and rights.
The toll of poverty in the West bank and Ghaza is another concern that should be addressed if a serious talk about confederation ever took place. We have achieved a lot in this country in the past couple of years where it is risky to jeopardize the momentum of our economic growth by acquiring new under developed areas. Maybe with the help of the world wide funding schema and support in rebuilding those areas, it can help improving the lives of both parties on the east and west sides of the bank.
I am not saying that a confederation would be a magic solution to the entire problem, but I am appalled of how everyone rushes in dismissing the idea without even studding its potentials, if there is a benefit for both parties, then why not?