Are Israel’s Arab neighbors serious about peace between Israel and the Palestinians, or are they living in a fantasy world in which the Jewish state will one day magically disappear?
If an article recently published in the Jordanian government daily Al-Rai is any indication, the Arab world may still be harboring delusions that the State of Israel will one day vanish, leaving a Palestinian nation in its wake.
The article in question, titled “An Alternative Deal,” was penned by Salah Jarrar, who previously served as Jordan’s minister of culture and vice president of the University of Jordan. In the piece, Jarrar argues against US President Donald Trump’s as-yet unveiled Israel-Palestinian peace plan, advocating instead for expulsion of the Jews from their ancestral homeland.
The details of Jarrar’s plan were translated in an expose by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) and reflect a frighteningly out of touch perspective in light of his nation’s official policy of peace with its declared ally, Israel.
Jarrar proposes that all Jews who arrived to Israel after 1917 must return to their countries of origin, “without taking anything with them,” while Palestinian “refugees” will return to Israel, with the US and Britain compensating them.
According to Jarrar, “The entire world is currently occupied with the so-called ‘Deal of the Century,’ invented by Donald Trump and his diplomatic, economic and security teams. … Whatever its nature, content and goals, the Deal of the Century is a natural outcome of the current state of the Arabs, which is characterized by division, internal wars, insane conflicts, neglect, and a failure to confront the challenges, foreign ambitions and plots, and the Zionist occupation of Arab lands,” MEMRI reported.
Jarrar added, “Amid this dangerous reality… we must end our silence and idleness and declare, first of all, that we categorically oppose all the Zionist and American plans and that we will be the ones to choose the deal we want as a solution [to the conflict].”
While Jarrar’s “plan” is fantastical at best, it may also provide a reality check with regard to the regressive attitudes toward Mideast peace that persist in certain pockets of the Arab world.