re NOT A JOKE!!! - Comment - Israel News | Haaretz Daily Newspaper
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    • Chafeeka
    • 03.04.10 | 09:15 (IDT)

    Arab assertions that Palestine and Jordan are one region. These go back to 1921 and remain politically potent even today. The Palestine Liberation Organization has often declared Jordan a part of Palestine, and occasionally lays formal claim to it. The eighth conference of the Palestine National Council (PNC), meeting in February-March 1971, resolved that "what links Jordan to Palestine is a national bond and a national unity formed, since time immemorial, by history and culture. The establishment of one political entity in Transjordan and another in Palestine is illegal." The draft program of tenth PNC conference (in April 1972) was even more forthright: "The need for struggle to overthrow the agent regime in Jordan, which is a front line of defense for the Zionist state and organically linked to Israel, has become no less urgent than the need for struggle against Zionist occupation." That Palestinians make up 60 percent of the east bank population and play a major role in all aspects of life there "implies that the two peoples be brought together into a Jordanian-Palestinian national liberation front." Individual spokesmen have made even more specific claims. The PLO's first chief, Ahmad ash-Shuqayri argued that Jordan's 1950 annexation of the West Bank was actually an annexation of the east bank to Palestine. For him, Palestine "stretched from the Mediterranean Sea in the west to the Syrian-Iraqi desert." In 1966, a PLO representative to Lebanon declared Jordan "an integral part of Palestine, exactly like Israel." Jordanians also stress the connection between the two regions. Both of Jordan's two major rulers, 'Abdallah (who ruled from 1921 to 1951) and Husayn (1953 to the present), have been outspoken on this issue. As early as 1926, 'Abdallah asserted that "Palestine is one unit. The division between Palestine and Transjordan is artificial and wasteful," a view he later repeated many times. The establishment of Israel in 1948 hardly affected Hashemite claims to Palestine. The Jordanian prime minister declared in August 1959: "We here in Jordan, led by our great king [Husayn] are the government of Palestine, the army of Palestine, and we are the refugees." The king himself stated in 1965 that "the two peoples have integrated; Palestine has become Jordan, and Jordan Palestine." He also declared that "those organizations which seek to differentiate between Palestinians and Jordanians are traitors who help Zionism in its aim of splitting the Arab camp.... We have only one army, one political organization, and one popular recruiting system in this country." Losing the West Bank in 1967 also made little difference for Jordanian claims. Prime Minister Zayd ar-Rifa'i told an interviewer in 1975: Jordan is Palestine. They have never been ruled as two separate states except during the British Mandate. Before 1918 the two banks of the Jordan River were a single state. When they returned to being a single state after 1948, it was a matter of building on the earlier unity. Their families are one, as are their welfare, affiliation, and culture. King al-Husayn asserted again in 1981 that "Jordan is Palestine and Palestine is Jordan."

    from the article: Palestinian PM to Haaretz: We will have a state next year
    First published 01:07 02.04.10 | Last updated 11:44 02.04.10
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