Jordan Valley Now at Center of Talks – Joshua Mitnick
Control of the Jordan Valley has moved to the forefront of the current U.S.-sponsored peace talks initiated by Secretary of State John Kerry. Israel has made clear in the talks that it wants to retain control of the border region with Jordan, focusing on blocking militant infiltrations between Jordan and the West Bank.
Israeli officials and analysts said that just because the conventional threat to the country has diminished, doesn’t mean that the Jewish state doesn’t face a frightening strategic threat from the potential build-up in the West Bank of rocket armories like those amassed in Gaza and Lebanon. Moreover, Israel can’t be sure that the rising chaos in the Arab world won’t eventually destabilize Jordan’s monarchy and affect its military’s (so-far effective) control of the border region.
If that were to happen, Israel would face a smuggling threat on a border 50 times the size of the border between Gaza and Egypt, said former Israeli ambassador to the U.S. Michael Oren. “Were we to leave the border unguarded, there’s a possibility the West Bank would fill up with hundreds of thousands of rockets” near Israel’s economic heartland.
“We are told that they found the answer to all of our security problems…. We can place cameras, lasers, helicopters, and especially rely on international forces and the security guarantee of our friends,” wrote Economics Minister Naftali Bennett. “The world can give a guarantee, but it is unsolidified, flexible and always evaporates when we really need it. So, no thanks.” (New York Jewish Week)
Don’t miss this excellent 4 1/2 min. video (Ed.):
See also Why Israel Opposes International Forces in the Jordan Valley (Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)