Best Line of Defense: The Case for Israeli Sovereignty in the Jordan Valley

JINSA’s new paper explains how U.S. national security interests would be well served if Israel enshrined its permanent control of the Jordan Valley by acting now to extend its sovereignty there. This will boost the security of Israel, as well as Jordan, two pivotal American allies in the region.

As the United States seeks to reduce its presence in an increasingly chaotic Middle East, Israel has stepped up its efforts to hold back the growing disorder, in the process protecting not just itself but regional partners like Jordan and Gulf Arab states.

To play this role effectively, however, Israel must remain secure. The Jordan Valley serves as a defensive buffer protecting Israel against attacks from the east, including from Iran and its proxies. The Valley also protects the West Bank from terrorist infiltration, and Jordan from potential instability or hostility originating from the West Bank or elsewhere.

Yet, previously Israel has faced pressure to relinquish control over the Jordan Valley. Thus, the Trump Administration’s support for Israeli sovereignty in the Jordan Valley could be a rare chance for Israel to assure its security and that of its tacit Arab allies, too.

There will certainly be costs associated with incorporating the Jordan Valley into Israel proper. But when it comes to the specific issue of the Jordan Valley, we believe that, given the benefits to enshrining permanent Israeli control, these regrettable costs are likely to prove manageable and short-term.

In this unique moment, the United States should support Israel’s extension of sovereignty to the Jordan Valley, which Israel must permanently and physically control to defend itself while advancing U.S. security interests.

Click here to read the report.

JINSA Staff & Contributors

Michael Makovsky, PhD
President & CEO

Gen Charles “Chuck” Wald, USAF (ret.)
Distinguished Fellow/Senior Advisor, Gemunder Center for Defense & Strategy;Former Deputy Commander of U.S. European Command

Sander Gerber
Distinguished Fellow, Gemunder Center for Defense & Strategy

Steven Rosen
Senior Fellow, Gemunder Center for Defense & Strategy

Charles B. Perkins
Director for U.S.-Israel Security Policy

Abraham Katsman
Fellow, Gemunder Center for Defense & Strategy


IDF MG (ret.) Yaakov Amidror
Distinguished Fellow, Gemunder Center for Defense & Strategy

IDF MG (ret.) Yaacov Ayish
Senior Vice President for Israeli Affairs