So long as we are on the topic of non-denial denials, how about Abdullah II's attempt to throw cold water on the idea of the West Bank being confederated with his kingdom of Jordan as part of a settlement of the conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Arabs. Our roving diplomatic correspondent, Eli Lake, reported last week that the Hashemite King was asking American diplomats to knock down the idea, which was the subject of a meeting earlier this month at the American Enterprise Institute.
Abdullah II is about as convincing on the topic as Mayor Bloomberg is in insisting he isn't interested in running for president. The peace treaty Israel signed in 1994 with Abdullah's predecessor as the Hashemite King, Hussein, had a proviso stating, "Israel respects the present special role of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan in Muslim Holy shrines in Jerusalem. When negotiations on the permanent status will take place, Israel will give high priority to the Jordanian historic role in these shrines."
The Jordanians, in other words, have been ready for a role in the West Bank for at least a dozen years, but they want the Palestinian Arabs to beg them to come back, and they want the Palestinian Arabs to negotiate the concessions to Israel. Only then will the Jordanian ride to the rescue. We wouldn't be surprised if that eventually happens, but it may take some time, for the events of recent weeks demonstrate nothing other than the Palestinian Arabs aren't yet prepared to live peacefully with each other, let alone Israelis or for that matter Jordanians.