By Laith Joneidi
AMMAN (AA) - The U.S. administration's so-called “Deal of the Century”, a backchannel Israel-Palestine peace plan, has become a main topic of conversation in Jordan, amid expectations that the deal’s terms will finally be unveiled next month.
On Sunday, the U.S. announced plans to hold a major conference in Bahrain on June 25, where Trump administration officials plan to unveil the plan’s economic aspects.
According to the White House, next month’s scheduled conference is aimed at attracting investment to the region within the context of the proposed peace plan.
Critics, however, believe the "Deal of the Century" will call on the Palestinians to make a number of major concessions to Israel.
Based on recent leaks in the Israeli media, these include recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital and abandoning the right of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and villages in historical Palestine.
“I really don't know if any of this talk about the ‘Deal of the Century’ is true or false,” Bahaa Radwan, a 30-year-old Jordanian citizen, told Anadolu Agency.
“But everyone’s been talking about it this Ramadan,” he said.
“Jordanians should not allow any schemes to threaten their security and stability,” Omar al-Hammoud, a 36-year-old Jordanian teacher, told Anadolu Agency.
“But the Jordanian people are aware of what’s going on,” he said. “They are following developments very closely.”
Jordanian King Abdullah II, for his part, has repeatedly voiced his refusal to bow to pressure to change his longstanding position on Palestine and Jerusalem.
Razan, a Jordanian university student who preferred not give her last name, believes Jordan will not be affected by the U.S. peace plan -- especially after the Jordanian public expressed its support for the king's stance.
“They aren’t so stupid as to sacrifice the most important point of stability in the region -- Jordan,” she said.
Yahya al-Saud, chairman of the Palestine Committee in Jordan’s parliament, has dubbed the U.S. peace plan “The Slap of the Century”.
“The terms of the deal have already been implemented,” he told Anadolu Agency, citing the Trump administration’s recent decisions to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, along with Israel’s claim to the occupied Syrian Golan Heights.
“Isn't all this part of the ‘Deal of Century’?” he asked. “The announcement [of the deal’s terms later this month] is simply meant to distract attention from America’s continued service to the Zionist enemy.”
- Amman’s position
Badr al-Madi, a professor of political science at the University of Jordan, told Anadolu Agency that many Jordanians have questions regarding Amman’s official position on the U.S. peace plan.
“Given the burdens borne by Jordan as a result of the Arab-Israeli conflict, Jordanians want to know what the government’s stance on the plan is,” he said.
“Israel and the U.S. have failed to respect Jordan’s role and have ignored the Hashemite Kingdom’s custodianship of Muslim and Christian holy sites in Palestine,” he asserted.
The professor added: “Jordan has borne the brunt of displaced people and refugees… despite our difficult circumstances and limited capabilities.”
“Yet,” al-Madi said, “there has been no attempt to alleviate the economic difficulties with which Jordan is dealing.”
“What’s certain is that Ramadan has whet Jordanians’ appetite to discuss the ‘Deal of the Century’ and its implications for Jordan, Palestine and the wider region in general,” he added.
*Writing by Mahmoud Barakat