The Surprise in the Summit

By Mohammad Aburumman

تم نشره في Mon 27 March / Mar 2017. 01:00 AM
  • Mohammad Aburumman

Obviously, according to Secretary General of the Arab League, Ahmed Abul Gheit, there is a new Arab Initiative for Peace brewing, and the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is planning to address it at the Summit in Amman.

Despite repeated official and Palestinian confirmation, backed by diplomatic reassurances on there being no new Initiative, nor any amendment to previous propositions on the Palestinian Cause, it seems the Arab Summit this year has quite a surprise in store.

So, what is it?

Just two days ago, Abul Gheit reiterated to Saudi newspaper, Al Watan, that there is a new Initiative, and explained that “in light of Israel’s stubbornness and the escalated expansion of occupational settlement activity, particularly since international support for the Two-State has greatly receded, the Palestinian Authority has now to propose a number of new mechanisms and approaches to address the cause, and how to arrive at the independent Palestinian state!”

Interestingly, Abul Gheit’s statements sound like there is a wide-angled shift in the new approach underway.

However, when examining his statements closely, it does not seem to vary much from the official Palestinian statement to AlGhad yesterday.

Apparently, there is a bunch of new Arab tactics underway, to reaffirm the establishment of the unarmed and multi-religion Palestinian State by the 1967 borderline, with international forces on the ground.

These statements, on another level, reflect serious Arab thought to avoid any collision with US President Donald Trump, who is seriously considering revitalising peaceful negotiations, and sent an envoy to the Summit. Arabs are saying they are ready and are willing to negotiate, but it is the other party who has a problem!

This is the Arab Message behind the revitalisation of the Peace Initiative. Accordingly, the Summit’s conclusive statement should be clear in regards to the basics, particularly the Two-State Solution and Jerusalem as capital. On the other hand, the Judaisation of the State will not be acknowledged, nor will the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu’s proposition of an autonomous Palestinian authority under the one-state.

Obviously, it is crucial for Jordan to be clear, for the Initiative itself not to me misinterpreted or manipulated under the pretext of a political or mechanical tactic. We must be smart not to fall once more into the block of ready accusations.

Already rumour is spreading among Arab politicians and diplomats that there is underway amendment to certain articles in regards to the Palestinian Right to Return and Compensation, and that the new articles are currently being reformulated.

While it is clear that Jordan has nothing to do with this, according to Palestinian and Arab officials, we will definitely be sucked into this whirl hole and we will certainly be implicated, if we are not vigilant enough!

This Arab concession to appeal to Trump’s favour; lightening up on the Palestinian Cause in return for prop ups on the Iranian frontier, is extremely dangerous. It will hurt both Jordan and Palestine in the first place.

Naturally, these issues are not absent from the minds of Jordanian officials. But it is extremely important to reiterate the inarguable pillars of the Arab Initiative even in the Arab League’s lowest moment, especially in the presence of a US administration in office, eager to please Israel.

Talk about relocating the US Embassy to occupied Jerusalem has resurged, which only proves the dangerous implications of the current disintegration.  It is expected by some Arab politicians to take place within the next two months!

For now, it is crucial that Jordan conveys a clear message via this Summit to the US administration.

However, it may be even more important for Jordan to convey this message clearly to the Arab public opinion, to avoid carrying the weight of the deteriorating Arab System and their failures!

This article is an edited translation of the Arabic version published by AlGhad.