Confederation Plan?

We may finally have seen a glimpse of what part of the much-awaited Trump peace plan will be.  In media reports based upon a meeting between Pres. Mahmud Abbas of the PA and a group of mostly left-wing Israelis, he stated that Pres. Trump had offered him a peace plan based on confederation of the PA with Jordan.

What is the difference between a  federation and a confederation?  The answer is that a federation is a union of non-sovereign states, when the central government is the single sovereign power.  A confederation is a union of sovereign states that continue to exercise sovereign rights.  An example of a federal state is the USA and an example of a confederation is the EU.

Such a  plan is far from new and many have previously suggested a confederation of the PA and Jordan.  But, this plan has some problems, because the PA is not sovereign, it is not a recognized sovereign state.  Also, it does not necessarily include Gaza which is under Hamas rule.  There is no good reason why Jordan, a reasonably successful state, would want to be federated with the PA or any Palestinian entity.  First, because there are a majority of western Palestinians in Jordan and the addition of the PA might change the balance too far, and second King Abdullah would not want to be allied to Gaza, because Hamas is an Islamist terrorist organization that would definitely attempt to overthrow him.

Abbas stated that he could  not accept this plan, unless the PA were also confederated with Israel.  He thinks Israel would never agree to this, so in effect he scuttles the plan.  Instead of a two-state solution that has been the sacred cow of much of the liberal/leftist sentiment in the world, a confederation of Israel, the PA (including Gaza) and Jordan might be considered a suitable alternative.  But, much needs to be changed before any such plan could be implemented.

For example, both Fatah in the PA and Hamas in Gaza would initially have to give up their futile struggle to destroy Israel and come to terms with its existence as a Jewish state.  That seems a long shot at this point.  Second, Israel would have to give up its sacred right to a unitary Jewish State with some conciliation to the Palestinians and the Jordanians.  Also, King Abdullah would have to be convinced that this was in his interests.  For the US to convince all of them to accept these changes and bring about such a triple confederation seems currently unattainable.

 

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