Two fervent supporters of a two-state-solution who plan to join forces next month to call for the establishment of an independent Palestine look set to spark more hostility than praise from Israel's peace camp.
For Aryeh Eldad, a Knesset member for the ultra-hardline National Union party, Palestinian statehood has little to do with UN resolutions, 1967 borders and the status of East Jerusalem – a Palestinian state is ready and waiting, and it's called Jordan.
The idea that 'Jordan is Palestine' is, of course, not new and has long been espoused by the extreme right as a way for Jewish settlers to hold on to the West Bank. It even came close to becoming reality, when in 1970 Black September guerillas nearly succeeded in overthrowing the Jordanian government.
But when next month Eldad hosts a conference to call for an end to U.S.-sponsored peace talks with the Palestinians, he will enjoy added support from an unlikely backer: Firebrand Dutch politician Geert Wilders, whose anti-Muslim polemics in March shot his PVV party to election success in the Netherlands, where it is now the third largest parliamentary party and where he is currently on trial for inciting hatred against Muslims..
"Wilders supports the program and will present [to the conference] his view that establishing a Palestinian state on the Western bank of the River Jordan will pose an existential threat to Israel," Eldad said Sunday.
Wilders, whose policies include introducing Israeli-type 'administrative detention' or arrest without trial, banning the building of mosques and suspending immigration of non-Western foreigners to the Netherlands, has in the past angered the Jordanian government with his Jordan-is-Palestine rhetoric and claims that Jerusalem is the "main front protecting the West" from Islam.
"Jordan is Palestine," said Wilders in a widely-quoted campaign speech in June 2010. "Changing its name to Palestine will end the conflict in the Middle East and provide the Palestinians with an alternate homeland."
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