Claim: Jordan could have kept Jerusalem





An Israeli diplomatic initiative almost prevented the liberation of Jerusalem's Old City during the Six-Day War, according to a leading historian. Michael Oren, author of the celebrated history "Six Days of War," said Wednesday that new details gleaned from a British archive suggested that Israel's 1967 offensive in Jerusalem almost never happened.

Oren said he had learned that, as Israeli forces were poised to go in, then Prime Minister Levi Eshkol made a secret peace overture to King Hussein of Jordan, which controlled Jerusalem and the West Bank. Eshkol's proposal, made via British intermediaries, was that Israel stay out of the Old City -- site of the Temple Mount and Western Wall -- if Jordan agree to an immediate cease-fire, expel Egyptian officers from its ranks, and enter peace talks. But Hussein had no response and Israel took a united Jerusalem.

"It is clear that Hussein could not have accepted Eshkol's offer because the Arab world would have risen up against him," Oren told Ma'ariv.

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George Robert Gaston - 6/21/2007

At some point Jordan may be considered the “winner” of the six-day war. During the conflict Jordan could not effectively employ its military because so much of it was providing internal security. This was due to the fact that some Palestinian factions kept trying to overthrow the government and kill King Hussein, as they did his father.

Take a look at what Hussein accomplished subsequent to the war.

In September 1969 the Jordanian Army removed the PLO; thus ending a long time internal security problem.

In 1988 Jordan renounced its claim to the West Bank. This left Israel to deal with the problem on its own. It was also intended to end the idea that Jordan is the Palestinian state. This left the country free to develop its own economy and to modernize its government.

All the time Israel is stuck with a long, expensive and bloody occupation that has cost them dearly in terms of world support.

I doubt that Jordan will be a willing partner in a solution in the West Bank.

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