Actually, they aren’t.

Very little reporting about it.

Nobody calling anybody in the Jordanian government racist.

No Leftists comparing Jordanians to Nazis.

One big silence.

In the meantime, the Jordanians are stripping citizenship from their Palestinian citizens for no other reason than they are Palestinians.

One would hope to at least see an Avigdor Lieberman/Abdullah Hussein “twins” photo somewhere, but even that isn’t out there.

Apparently it’s okay when Jordan does it. Of course, “Palestine,” that is, the “Palestine” of Mandatory Palestine which was intended to become the home of the Jewish people by international consent, included Jordan back before 1922 and in fact until 1946. In other words, Jordan is now stripping “Palestinians” of citizenship in a country that took over “Palestine.”

Harsh stuff.

If somebody would actually care.

Remember this story next time somebody challenges the assertion that Israel is singled out unfairly for criticism.

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themiddle

22 Comments

  • This is such an awesome story on so many levels, it’s hard to know where to begin.

    The artificial and phony country of “Jordan” that was created out of thin air, and a lot of sand, by British imperialism strips people supposedly belonging to the non-existent “Palestinian” “nation” of citizenship in an “Arab” country whose king is half English.

    I love it.

  • “Our goal is to prevent Israel from emptying the Palestinian territories of their original inhabitants,” the minister explained, confirming that the kingdom had begun revoking the citizenship of Palestinians.

    “We should be thanked for taking this measure,” he said. “We are fulfilling our national duty because Israel wants to expel the Palestinians from their homeland.”

    Wow, just … wow.

  • “That decision, said Jordan’s Interior Minister Nayef al-Kadi, was taken at the request of the PLO and the Arab world to consolidate the status of the PLO as the sole and legitimate representative of the Palestinian people.”

    Yes, yes. They, themselves, actually want to remain “refugees.”

  • Let me first say that yes, I agree with you, Jordan is acting horribly and denying these people their universal human right to a nationality.

    If I may though, just for fun and to test out the argument, what if i played devils advocate. What if I said “it’s okay for Jordan to do this to these Palestinians because they are the decendants of people who came from what is now Israel or the West Bank. If Israel stripped citizenship from its Arabs, that would be differnt because those Arabs have ALWAYS lived in Israel, unlike the Palestinians in Jordan who are not from there.”

    Like I said, I really don’t mean this in an argumentative or combatitive way. I’m just interested to try out the argument. It’s purely academic.

  • I wonder if the Jordanians will make an exception for queen rania, who was born in tulkarm…

  • People have a universal human right to a nationality?

    Who knew?

    Anyway, it’s the “Jordanians” who are not from “Palestine”. The ruling Hashemite family and the rest of the ruling class are Bedouins who are originally from what is now Saudi Arabia. The Hamshemite family lost a struggle for dominance on the Arabian peninsula with the al-Saud family, who kicked the Hashemites out and promptly named the country after themselves. The Emir Faisal (of Lawrence of Arabia fame) was installed as King of Syria by the British who, in Winston Churchill’s words, wanted to “diddle the French out of Syria”, but the French kicked him out, so the Brits gave him Iraq, which has been promised to Abdullah (Faisal’s younger brother or cousin, I can’t remember which off the top of my head). Abdullah, left without a throne, was understandably miffed, so he promptly “invaded” Transjordan and so in 1921/22 the British created an emirate for him by imperial fiat out of eastern Palestine as defined by the Mandate and promptly made it illegal for Jews to live or purchase land there. This was the first partition of Palestine. After invading, occupying, and promptly annexing those parts of Eretz Israel (or “Western Palestine”, if you prefer) that had been intended for the Arabs under the 1947 partition plan, and either killing or driving out all of the Jews who had lived there, the Emir Abdullah changed the name of his “country” from the Emirate of Transjordan to the Kingdom of Jordan. The annexation was never recognized as legal by anyone except Britain and Pakistan. Even the other Arabs never accepted it.

    So if anybody doesn’t belong there since they’re not “native” to the area (whatever that might mean in a place like the Middle East that had been part of the Turkish empire for more than 500 years and where the Western idea of “nationality” was completely nonexistent) it’s the “Jordanians”, or at least those Jordanians who are originally from the Arabian Peninusla.

    Of course, the present King Abdullah could just go to Britain, which is where his mother is from, I believe, and where he was educated (Sandhurst, etc.). He speaks English far better than he speaks Arabic, from all accounts.

  • Charlie,

    Thanks for your entertaining question. Ephraim has already addressed the irony of the situation so allow me to respond to the premise of your question.

    Palestine, as it was known when the British received a mandate to create a home for the Jewish people (1922) was considered to be the territory encompassing today’s Gaza, Israel, Judea and Samaria (the West Bank) AND Jordan. The “Palestinians” ostensibly come from Jordan as well as areas west of the Jordan river. That’s the first point.

    The second point is that there was displacement of Arabs within Israel because of the ’48 War. Yet, the Arabs that remained within Israel’s territory have citizenship and equal legal rights to all Israelis. This displacement is not different than the displacement of Palestinians in ’48 or ’67 that caused some to move to Jordan.

    Third, the question of whether the Arab Israelis’ (nee Palestinians) citizenship may be stripped has caused an international outcry about “racism” which we are not seeing about Jordan’s actions of stripping Jordanian former West Bankers of Jordanian. Of course, Israel has not taken any actions and has only had one political party advocate this course of action and yet has been vilified internationally as if it has taken these measures, while Jordan which has taken concrete steps in revoking citizenships has not been vilified.

    Last, the implications of this Jordanian move are extraordinary in terms of the history of this conflict. Jordan has been the only Arab country willing to give Palestinians citizenship. The rest of the Palestinians have been prevented from becoming citizens of other Arab states which is why they are still called “refugees.” However, most Palestinians (and by most I mean probably over 90%) are not of the ’48 generation and are not actual refugees. The UN and international law only consider refugees those who are actually refugees, not their descendants. This is clear in the UNHCR protocols. Only UNRWA, which specifically handles the Palestinian issue, considers descendants of refugees to be refugees. Jordan, to its credit, was the only Arab country to address this critical problem for the Palestinians and they have now abrogated this simple right of settling down and becoming part of their new country granted to all refugees of the world save the Palestinians.

  • Ephraim and The Middle,

    Thank you both for your thoughtful answers.

    (More advocacy for the devil) I suppose the question turns on the issue of where the Palestinians in Jordan who have lost their citizenship actually come from. If they are 48 or 67 refugees, then perhaps Jordan can make the argument that there are grounds for stripping their citizenship because they were all forced to come to Jordan, they belong in what is today Israel proper or the West Bank.

    It seems that it is far from 90% of the people of Jordan who will be losing their citizenship in this case, only those who work for the PA or who have not served in the Jordanian Army (if I read the article correctly.) Basically, it seems that they are stripping the citizenship of those they deem to be disloyal, which is uncomfortably similar to what Israel Beitaynu suggested doing. So, I guess, back to the devils questionif it’s okay for Israel to suggest stripping the citizenship of those they find disloyal, why can’t Jordan?

    Oh, and Efraim, check out http://www.un.org/en/documents/udhr/index.shtml#a15 Article 15. What we are seeing in Jordan is a significant human rights violation, but I doubt the HRC will tack this issue onto their agenda either before or after their permanent criticism of Israel agenda item.

    Thank you both again for humoring my arguments!

  • No Charlie, the question does not turn on where the Palestinians whose citizenships are being revoked come from because they are Jordanians.

    If you really want to go that route, however, consider that their origin may be Palestinian, but as I noted earlier, since there was no such thing as a Palestinian from a national perspective in the history of the world, they belong as much to the Palestine of 1917 as any other Palestinians. That Palestine included today’s Jordan. Their citizenship is Jordanian and their presence there is just as relevant historically (if not more) as that of any Jordanian. In fact, they may have a greater claim because the Hashemites moved into this territory at the invitation of the British while the Arabs who were local to Ottoman Palestine may have been there already.

    It is not clear from the article why the Jordanians are stripping the citizenship or even who they are targeting. All that is clear is that they are doing it.

    Israel isn’t doing it to any Palestinian.

    But Israel has been vilified for having one party merely propose it while Jordan is getting a pass for actually doing it.

  • The only problem with your “Devil’s Advocate”argument, Charlie, is that only a fringe element in Israel has suggested stripping Israeli Arabs of their citizenship, while the legally constituted government of Jordan is actually doing it right now. There’s just a bit of a difference there.

    So, your argument should be the other way around: since Jordan is actually doing it, and nobody is complaining, why can’t Israel do it too? The fact that you seem to think that Jordan is only following Israel’s example shows the disingenuousness of your argument.

    The reasons Jordan is doing this are very simple: the Palestinians resident in Jordan have proven in the past that they are a 5th column and a mortal danger to the Hashemite state. Just read up on “Black September”. Briefly, the PLO attempted to overthrow the Hashemite dynasty and take over the country in September of 1970. This was only reasonable from the PLO’s point of view: everybody knew that Jordan was part of Palestine and that a large majority of the population was composed of local non-Hashemite Arabs, or “Palestinians” (I put that in quotes because there is not now, and has never been, any such thing as a “Palestinian” nationality or state). This attempted coup was actively aided and abetted by the Syrians who massed to invade Jordan under the pretext of aiding their “Palestinian brothers”. This was a shameless and cynical charade: Syria’s real intention was to conquer Jordan and annex it to “Greater Syria” (Syria has always considered that the land occupied today by Lebanon, Israel, Judea and Samaria, and Jordan all are part of “Greater Syria”). Israel massed its troops to prevent the Syrian move, allowing King Hussein and his Arab Legion to crush the PLO coup. They did so with unbridled ferocity and cruelty; some estimates put PLO casualties at around 10,000, making Israel’s Gaza “war crimes” seem like a walk in the park. PLO terrorists crossed the Jordan and surrendered to the Israelis, since they knew they would be murdered out of hand if Hussein’s Bedouin soldiers got their hands on them. It just shows you that when the chips are down Arabs know who will treat them in a civilized manner and who will not.

    The Hashemite dynasty is a foregin implant imposed upon the area by the British. They know they’re foreigners and that have never felt secure, since they know the “Palestinians” (who are often just cat’s paws for outside forces like Syria and now Iran) want to see them gone. So, for Abdullah, the fewer “Palestinians” in his kingdom the better he’ll sleep.

    Finally, of course it’s a violation of human rights. But no one gives a rat’s ass because its only Arabs shitting on other Arabs. Nobody really cares about Arab suffering; they only pretend to care when it can be made to look the Jews are the ones responsible. Arabs oppressing Arabs is a “dog bites man” story. It happens all the time, and its “their” problem. And what right do we (the West) have to intervene in “their” internal affairs?

  • thought this would be of interest. i found it in lexis-nexis, there’s no publicly available english version.

    Jordanian politicians comment on percentage of Palestinians, right of return
    879 words
    21 July 2009
    09:24
    BBC Monitoring Middle East
    BBCMEP
    English
    (c) 2009 The British Broadcasting Corporation. All Rights Reserved. No material may be reproduced except with the express permission of The British Broadcasting Corporation.

    Text of report by Qatari government-funded aljazeera.net website on 20 July
    [Report by Muhammad al-Najjar from Amman: “Debate Concerning the Number of Palestinians in Jordan”]

    The dispute over the percentage of Palestinians in Jordan raises a debate, which starts with disagreement over the figures and ends with the application of these percentages to political demands and questions about the view of Palestinians and whether they are citizens or refugees who are waiting to return to their country. The discussion begins from figures that say that Palestinians make up 70 per cent of the population, while other figures say that the percentage of Palestinians in Jordan does not exceed 10 per cent. Official figures say that the percentage of Palestinians in Jordan amounts to 42 per cent. According to a Jordanian politician who had occupied a senior position, the percentage of Palestinians in Jordan amounts to 65 per cent.
    The senior official, who preferred to remain anonymous, said that the government divides the Palestinians into three parts: refugees who were evicted from Palestine in 1948 and who acquired Jordanian citizenship according to the decision on the unity of the two banks [East Bank and West Bank], displaced persons who came after the occupation of the West Bank in 1967, and Palestinians who left the West Bank due to economic reasons.

    According to the former official, the Palestinian mass in Jordan has not obtained its political rights based on its percentage. Anyone who talks about its political rights is accused of “treason.” He noted the seriousness of what a Jordanian trend is promoting; namely, that the Kingdom is today facing a Palestinian demographic danger. This agrees with the Israeli view.

    One People
    Adnan Abu-Awdah, former chief of the Royal Court, told Al-Jazeera Net that the message with which this issue should be faced is that Jordanians and Palestinians “are one people for the sake of Palestinian right.” He added that “anyone who speaks about division and who wants contradiction to be between the two peoples, and not with the Israeli threat, is serving the alternative homeland and projects of resettlement.”

    Many people who are called “advocates of incomplete rights” are demanding that the Palestinians be given political rights and partnership in the state according to their percentage.
    Fahd al-Khitan, a writer and political analyst, says that there is political utilization of the percentages in circulation. He says that these percentages could be a source of strength for the Palestinian cause and could turn into a source of threat to Jordan. He told Al-Jazeera Net that employing the percentages of refugees and displaced persons within the context of demanding political rights based on their percentage causes a crisis inside Jordan. However, revealing their true percentages is important in the conflict with Israel within the context of achieving the right of return. He says that the percentage of Palestinians in Jordan and its future could cause a crisis in the future. He adds that developments in the peace process and the weak chances of the achievement of return for the Palestinians and the demands for giving them rights based on their percentage raise feelings of danger on the part of native Jordanians, especially if a peace plan is issued that ends the right of return and that Jordan would accept.
    Responsibility of the State

    Al-Khitan says that the state in Jordan bears a major responsibility towards the coming crisis. He says that Jordan could be faced soon with a situation that imposes resettlement on it. “At that time, the regime will find itself in the face of a society that is mobilized against the political rights of Jordanians of Palestinian origin.”

    According to Dr Muhammad al-Masri, head of the polling unit at the Centre for Strategic Studies in the University of Jordan, Israel has started saying that the percentage of Palestinians in Jordan amounted to 75 per cent in the wake of the 1967 war. The purpose of this is to strengthen the theory that “there is a Palestinian majority living in Jordan and ruled by an East Jordanian minority.”

    Al-Masri told Al-Jazeera Net that the division caused by the events of black September in 1970 between Jordanians and Palestinians turned the percentage of Palestinians into a secret figure. The state started stressing that the majority in the Kingdom is for East Jordanians. Al-Masri said that the problem lies in the fears and concerns held by each party towards the other. “The Jordanians fear that they would turn into a minority ruled by the Palestinians, who see that the future of their citizenship in Jordan is unclear.” Al-Masri urges the state to unite both sides against the imminent Israeli threat to both.

    A Jordanian politician of Palestinian origin calls for an approach based on the Palestinians accepting the political “quota” given to them at present, which does not exceed 20 per cent of representation in parliament, while leaving positions of the army, security, and major posts for citizens of East Jordan provided that the Palestinians are allowed to express their identity and engage in peaceful struggle to return home.
    Source: Aljazeera.net website, Doha, in Arabic 20 Jul 09

  • Thanks Xisnotx.

    It’s funny to watch this unfold because, as you know, for years many a right-wing Israeli and Israel supporters have said that Jordan is the Palestinian state.

    Apparently the reality of this idea is scaring the (few) non-Palestinian Jordanians.

  • Why are the zionists so concerned about that? becoz they want to rob the West Bank from the Palestinian people, like they robbed the rest of Palestine. By urging West Bankers to get Jordanian citizenship, making their lives miserable,they think they weill make the west bankers relocate to Jordan. Only Jordanian descents and 1948 refugee descents are Jordanian citizens, West bankers are Palestinians and will live no where but in Palestine. period

  • Uh, nobody robbed the Palestinians of anything. The Palestinians were at war with the Jews and lost.

    Now, if you want to justify the revocation of Jordanian citizenship from Palestinians, go right ahead. We’ll tell Avigdor Lieberman that Jordanians of Palestinian origin feel fine about elimination of citizenship from people. He’ll be happy to hear that you agree.

    Of course, if you really want the West Bankers to live in “Palestine,” you’re going to have to encourage them to compromise with Israel, because Israel isn’t going to become “Palestine.”

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