American University
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Sub-Rosa Peace: The dynamics of Israeli-Jordanian functional cooperation, 1967-1988

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posted on 2023-09-06, 02:54 authored by Yehuda Lukacs

This study is devoted to examining Israeli-Jordanian relations from the end of the 1967 war to Jordan's political and administrative disengagement from the West Bank in July 1988. The underlying argument is that, despite the formal state of war between Israel and Jordan, the two countries have engaged in a policy of functional cooperation resulting from a perception of shared interests. This paradoxical type of relationship between adversaries is not uncommon in international politics. In this respect, this study provides an example of the discrepancy between announced policy and actual behavior. This study examines three hypotheses. The first states that Israeli-Jordanian relations can be best understood in terms of their interdependence and corresponding interests. These arise from the need to maintain quiet on the common border, mutual reliance on certain natural resources, and parallel interests in subordinating the Palestinian national movement. The second hypothesis is that Israeli-Jordanian interdependence led to a policy of functional cooperation which has developed after the 1967 war. This functional cooperation reflected the functionalist position within Israel on Israeli-Jordanian relations and on the future of the West Bank. However, other views were also expressed by rival schools of thought--the territorialist, annexationist, and reconciliationist. The functionalist position, which supported Jordanian involvement in the West Bank through the "open bridges" policy was implemented in terms of trade, the movement of people and capital across the bridges, and the coordinated efforts by Israel and Jordan to contain the P.L.O. in the West Bank. The third hypothesis is that functional cooperation between the two countries best explains why the status quo prevailed over the attempts to arrive at an Arab-Israeli settlement during the period under review. Israeli-Jordanian functional cooperation effectively forestalled resolution of the Arab-Israeli conflict because it met the immediate needs of both countries without having to end the formal state of war.







Ph.D. American University 1989.


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