Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Selling you the bridge

In Egypt there are organized land mafias whereby two persons sell each other a plot of land belonging to an absent third party; sort of like me selling you a bridge. With a loosely-knit legal system, bribery of local officials and cooperation of local Bedouins, this scheme actually works.

Doesn't this appear to you as strikingly similar to the peace agreement which Jordan signed with Israel? Long before Egypt signed its peace treaty with Israel, we heard stories of Jordan's co-operation with Israel, "collusion across the Jordan", and many other tales of the sort. So in essence, the King of Jordan took the opportunity of the commencement of Israel's Oslo agreements with the Palestinians to sign his country's formal peace treaty with Israel, where, at least symbolically, he would gain control over the West Bank and then proceed to concede it to the PLO.

Don't get me wrong; I am glad that Jordan made its peace with Israel, and I wish to see the day when the rest of the Arab-Israeli conflict would come to a peaceful end. But the humor of this whole affair just struck me right now, that's all.

Am I way off the mark with this allusion that I make?

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