In an interview with Makor Rishon this weekend, Sheikh Ahmed Abu-Mashhur, head of the 140,000 strong HajAhalin tribe speaks out and discusses how he views a future peace, and what the Kingdom of Jordan is doing about it.
The Sheikh represents a sizable clan of 80,000 people in the Jerusalem area, with the other 60,000 in Jordan and other areas of Israel.
The Sheikh has some interesting things to say.
Those more familiar with the region are aware that the “Palestinians” are mostly a collection of different tribes and/or clans. Some are geographically concentrated in one area, others are more spread out.
Both Hamas and Fatah constantly find their attempts at absolute rule disrupted and limited by preexisting political/familial structures that don’t accept or want these criminals/terrorists ruling over them (such as in Rafah and Hebron to name two notable examples).
Jordan (with its 80% Palestinian majority) recognizes that a Palestinian Authority state is direct danger to the state of Jordan and the entire region. The Hashemite kingdom is very afraid of what will happen if the Palestinian Authority declares a state. The Sheikh says Jordan has lost all faith and trust in the PA and wants to create another alternative.
So the Jordanians are quietly taking active steps to explore changing the situation on the ground, in ways that are good for Jordan, good for Israel, and good for the Arab clans.
Abu-Mashhur says that Jordan is actively bypassing the Palestinian Authority as senior Jordanian government representatives and military officers are approaching the leaders of all the clans directly for talks.
They are exploring the idea of creating a Jordan-Israel confederation with Palestinians taking on Jordanian citizenship, while having political autonomy in Judea and Samaria through the clan structure, a more traditional solution.
Abu Mashhur continues the interview with some very definite opinions about Israel.
In his words, the biggest disaster the Israelis caused his people was not the “Occupation” but Israel bringing in the PLO from overseas and the Oslo accords.
He has a deep disrespect for the PA and its institutions.
Unlike the PA, he recognizes and accepts Israel as a Jewish state. He says that Allah commands that they live in peace with the Jewish people. Jews are the children of Yaakov, and they are the children of Yishmael. We’re all family, cousins.
He finishes his interview with this rather telling statement.
“I hope the future will be where we renew our direct ties with Jordan like we used to have, and we get rid of the Palestinian Authority.”
Not my words. The words of a Palestinian Arab leader representing 140,000 Palestinian constituents. And apparently also the desire of the King of Jordan.
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