Jordan is 77% of former Palestine - Israel, the West Bank (Judea and Samaria) and Gaza comprise 23%.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Arabs start to tell the truth

This video is compulsory viewing for those who genuinely seek to see an end to the 130 years old Jewish-Arab conflict.

Hear what the Arabs are now starting to say.

Following is an abbreviated transcript of what is said on the video.

"Why do Palestinians really want an Arab state inside the Land of Israel ?

Why do they want to turn Judea and Samaria (west bank) into an Arab/Palestinian state when they already have a palestinian state in Jordan?

Palestinian official, Abbas Zaki, a member of Fatah's centeral comittee, told Al-Jazeera on September 23, 2011:
"Don't Tell the World We Want to Wipe Out Israel ...President [Abbas] understands, we understand, and everybody knows that the greater goal cannot be accomplished in one go. If Israel withdraws from Jerusalem, evacuates the 650,000 settlers, and dismantles the wall - what will become of Israel? It will come to an end.""If we say that we want to wipe Israel out....C'mon, it's too difficult. I! t's not [acceptable] policy to say so. Don't say these things to the world. Keep it to yourself."
Way back on March 31, 1977, the Dutch newspaper Trouw published an interview with Palestine Liberation Organization executive committee member Zahir Muhsein. Here's what he said: 
"The Palestinian people does not exist. The creation of a Palestinian state is only a means for continuing our struggle against the state of Israel for our Arab unity. In reality today there is no difference between Jordanians, Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese. Only for political and tactical reasons do we speak today about the existence of a Palestinian people."
Walid Shoebat, a former PLO terrorist :
"Why is it that on June 4th 1967 I was a Jordanian and overnight I became a Palestinian?  
"We considered ourselves Jordanian until the Jews returned to Jerusalem. Then all of the sudden we were Palestinians -- they removed the star from the Jordanian flag and all at once we had a Palestinian flag."
On 26 December 1981, King Hussein declared in an interview with the Arab newspaper "A - Nahar Al - Arabi" that

          "The truth is that Jordan is Palestine and Palestine is Jordan."

Monday, June 9, 2014

A Palestinian State - Not A Priority

[Published 23 May 2014]

By Yoram Ettinger

The Palestinian issue has benefited from the Arab/Muslim talk, but — due to the Palestinian record of intra-Arab subversion — has never been supported by the Arab/Muslim walk. Arab/Muslim policy makers have never considered the Palestinian issue a strategic interest, but rather a tactical instrument to advance intra-Arab or Muslim interests and to annihilate the Jewish state.
Irrespective of this, Palestine has been a geographic, not a national, concept, as evidenced by the lack of distinct, cohesive national character of its Arab inhabitants. This lack of cohesion has been intensified by the violent internal fragmentation along various lines: cultural (such as Bedouin vs. rural vs. urban sectors), geographic (e.g. mountain vs. coastal Arabs, southern vs. northern, Hebron vs. Bethlehem, Nablus vs. Ramallah, Nablus vs. Hebron), ethnic, ideological, political (pro- or anti-Jordan), historical and tribal identity. Such turbulent fragmentation was fueled by the multitude of Arab or Muslim migration waves from Bosnia, Algeria, Libya, Egypt, Jordan, the Arabian Peninsula, Syria and Lebanon.
The establishment of a Palestinian state was not on the agenda of the non-Arab Muslim Ottoman Empire, which ruled the area from 1517 through 1917. The Ottomans linked the area, defined by most Arabs as a region within Southern Syria or the Levant, to the Damascus and Beirut provinces.
The British Empire, which dominated the Middle East from 1917 until the end of World War II, did not contemplate a Palestinian Arab state, while establishing a series of Arab countries throughout the Middle East. Moreover, the 1917 Balfour Declaration dedicated Palestine, including Jordan, to the Jewish homeland. The 1920 San Remo Resolution, formulated by the principal Allied Powers, formalized the Balfour Declaration-based British Mandate for Palestine, which was ratified on Aug. 12, 1922, by the League of Nations, eventually transferring 77 percent of Palestine (Jordan) to the Arabs. The U.S. House and Senate approved it unanimously on June 30, 1922. In 1945, the Mandate for Palestine was integrated into the U.N. Charter via Article 80, which precludes alterations, and is still legally binding.
Jordan and Egypt occupied Judea and Samaria and Gaza from 1949 through 1967, but did not ponder the establishment of a Palestinian state; nor did the Arab League.
According to Dr. Yuval Arnon-Ohanna of Ariel University, who headed the Palestinian Desk at the Mossad Research Division, the secretary-general of the Arab League, Azzam Pasha, stated in September 1947 that the core problem was not a Palestinian state or Jewish expansionism. The only priority was the duty to uproot the Jewish presence from Palestine, which was defined by Muslims as “Waqf” — an area divinely endowed to Islam and not to the “infidel.”
The elimination of Jews was the top priority of the grand mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin al-Husseini, the founder and president of the (Palestinian) Arab Higher Committee and a collaborator with Nazi Germany. In September 1941, he submitted a memo to Adolf Hitler on “the resolution of the Jewish problem in the Middle East in the same manner it is resolved in Europe,” planning the construction of Auschwitz-like crematoriums in the Dothan Valley, adjacent to Nablus in Samaria. In fact, Mahmoud Abbas recently expressed his admiration for al-Husseini as a hero and martyr. Abbas appointed the current grand mufti of Jerusalem, who continues al-Husseini’s anti-Jewish hate education.
The limited role of the Palestinian issue was highlighted during the 1948 War of Independence. Jordan launched the war to eliminate the Jewish state, expand to the Mediterranean and advance the goal to dominate Greater Syria. Egypt and Saudi Arabia entered the war despite their inadequate military infrastructure, in order to abort Jordan’s imperialistic strategy. Iraq joined the war, aiming to control the oil pipeline from Iraq to Haifa. Syria assumed that the destruction of the Jewish state would facilitate the reassertion of Greater Syria. On Sept. 20, 1948, the Arab League recognized the Arab government of the whole of Palestine, but ignored it, declaring it null and void in 1951-1952, causing the U.N. to refuse Palestinian participation in the General Assembly proceedings.
None of the Arab countries fought on behalf of, or due to, Palestinian Arab aspirations. They did not share with the Palestinian Arabs the spoils of war. Iraq occupied Samaria and transferred it to Jordan, which occupied Judea. In April 1950, Jordan annexed Judea and Samaria to the east bank of the Jordan River, naming it the West Bank. Egypt occupied Gaza and, just like Jordan, did not allow Palestinian nationalistic activities. None of the ensuing Arab-Israeli wars (1956, 1967, 1969-70 and 1973) were Palestinian-driven.
Furthermore, the Israel-Palestinian/PLO wars of 1982 (in Lebanon), 1987-1991 (the First Intifada) and 2000-2004 (the Second Intifada) and Israel’s wars with Hamas in 2009 and 2012 (in Gaza) did not engage the Arab states militarily or financially.
During the October 1994 Israel-Jordan peace signing ceremony, top Jordanian military leaders told their Israeli counterparts that “a Palestinian state west of the Jordan River would doom the Hashemite kingdom east of the river.”
The Arab League and the U.N. did not raise the issue of a Palestinian state in Judea, Samaria and Gaza until 1967, when the issue was raised as a means to undermine the survival of the Jewish state.
In fact, the Palestinian issue has never been a chief axis of U.S.-Israel relations. While the two administrations have never agreed on the Palestinian issue, their strategic cooperation has surged dramatically due to joint interests, mutual threats and shared values, which significantly transcend the Palestinian issue and the Arab-Israeli conflict.
However, ignoring reality, Western policy makers consider the Palestinian issue the crown jewel of Arab policy-making, the core cause of Middle Eastern developments and the crux of the Arab-Israeli conflict. An erroneous underlying, Palestinian-driven assumption has produced an erroneous policy, radicalizing Arab and Palestinian expectations, fueling terrorism and inherent Middle Eastern instability, distancing the parties from peace and bringing them closer to war, and undermining Western national security and vital economic interests.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Islamic extremism on rise in Jordan

Members of Islamist Syrian rebel group Jabhat al-Nusra man a checkpoint on the border crossing between Syria and Jordan, which they claim to have taken control of, in Daraa, Dec. 26, 2013. (photo by REUTERS/Ammar Khassawneh)

Islamic extremism on rise in Jordan

Fire is under the ashes, and the wind is nearby. This is how Jordanian politicians describe the situation in their country these days.
Summary⎙ Print The Islamists in Jordan are growing stronger, which is linked to the war in Syria.
Author Jean AzizPosted May 18, 2014
Translator(s)Rani Geha
A number of Jordanian politicians are touring neighboring countries to explain to their officials what is going on in Jordan, and to explore the international perspective over what is “being prepared” for Jordan.
A delegation from the Jordanian Council on Foreign Relations visited Lebanon late last week. The delegation’s members looked worried, and a prominent Jordanian politician and council member explained to Al-Monitor the risk indicators on the Jordanian scene.
He said three indicators should be especially considered. 
  • First is the spread of arms in the country. The price of a Kalashnikov rifle has become an international indicator about the level of militia arming in third world countries, and its price is now less than $500 in Jordan. Two years ago, a Kalashnikov was rare and cost no less than $2,000. The drastic drop in price indicates that the rifle is abundant and the market could be flooded. He said that the weapons are mostly coming through the Syrian border.
  • The second risk indicator on the Jordanian scene is the Sunni fundamentalists. Reports by various media outlets of the April 17 airstrike by Jordanian fighters on a Syrian opposition convoy transporting weapons to Jordan have become almost daily news for Jordanians. The council member said that, in Amman, there is talk about regular convoys that cross the border to Jordan from near Daraa in Syria, and those convoys are loaded with large quantities of weapons of all types. But who is behind these operations? According to him it is the Sunni Islamist fundamentalists, in particular groups affiliated with al-Qaeda or that aspire to be. 
The Jordanian Islamist groups are heading toward more militancy, extremism and fundamentalism, until they reach the stage of armed jihadism, the politician said. The politician gave this example: The recent events in Maan were a clear warning and an alarm bell that rang in the ears of all Jordanians and of everyone concerned with the situation in Jordan. Starting on April 23, the Jordanian province in the south has seen a complete security breakdown and serious armed unrest. The events began with the killing of a fundamentalist by the state’s security forces as they were trying to arrest him. Matters suddenly evolved into armed confrontations and a kind of civil disobedience.
The council member explained the importance of the Maan events. He said the Maan region is the largest Jordanian province and is located in the south of the country on the border with Saudi Arabia. It has the road historically used by Muslim pilgrims headed to Mecca. This is what made the province an Islamist stronghold throughout the history of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. Even when the Muslim Brotherhood was a tiny minority in the country, the group was still able to have one of its members elected as a Maan deputy. However, after the recent Arab developments and the growing strength of extremist groups, it became apparent that Maan’s Islamists are no longer with the Muslim Brotherhood, but have become mostly Salafist jihadists, according to him.
During Muslim holidays, the people are categorized according to how many worshippers listen to mosque preachers with known political affiliations. The Muslim Brotherhood came in third place, the pro-government preachers came in second and Salafist-jihadist preachers came in first, as they attracted the most worshippers in this area of 80,000 people.
Most of the people in the area acted against the Jordanian authorities in the last week of April. They closed roads and attacked government buildings and centers, both civilian and military. The city almost became an independent statelet within Jordan. What’s more, it seemed that a number of neighboring regions were ready to do the same. Most importantly, the leaders of the jihadist movement in Maan came out publicly and told the media what could be understood as the movement's adopting the disturbances, and also leading them. This dangerous reality is happening amid an abundance of arms, according to the Kalashnikov indicator. In addition, there is a heavy presence of displaced Syrians in Jordan. All that is worrying Jordanian politicians that something serious is being prepared for their country.
  • The third risk indicator, the Jordanian politician explained, is the Islamists trying to find a “suitable soil” for sectarian strife and factionalism within Jordan. This is unprecedented in the state’s history. He gave a clear example: On May 1, a Salafist party invited Saudi Sheikh Mohammad al-Arifi, who is well known for his fundamentalist extremism, to deliver a lecture at the University of Jordan in Amman. It should be noted that the sheikh is known to have issued extremist fatwas in the past. After the lecture, the organizers arranged to distribute to the media the news that a Christian Jordanian girl, from the area of Ajloun in the ​​north of the country, came forward, after Arifi’s sermon, to declare that she had converted to Islam and was now a Muslim. Hours later, a news report claimed that the girl’s parents killed her in her hometown as punishment for leaving her religion.
The two news reports were enough to turn the atmosphere in Jordan into something similar to what we see in areas of Egypt with both Islamists and Copts, when, for instance, following a girl's conversion to Islam or Christianity dozens are killed without any questions raised or clarifications made. In the case of Jordan, it should be noted that no one confirmed whether the news reports were true. In fact, subsequently it was argued that the reports were false. But it was enough to reveal the sectarian incitement initiated by Islamists in Jordan.
The Jordanian politician ended the interview with Al-Monitor by saying, “It’s ironic that a Jordanian government minister discussed all this in a meeting with a number of Jordanian civil society activists. He even told them that he had preliminary information indicating that parties in a 'major Gulf state adjacent to Jordan' are responsible for everything that’s happening in Amman.”
His words leaked and the news spread quickly, which led to a silent diplomatic crisis between the two neighbors. The crisis ended when that same minister took the initiative to hold a luncheon, to which more than 1,000 people were invited, in honor of the state's ambassador the minister had accused. The accusation was refuted. But there is still fire under the ashes in Jordan. When will the wind reach it? The Jordanian politician said, “The timing is settled. It’s when the internal war starts among the armed Islamist wings in Daraa, Syria. That will be the signal of it moving to Jordan.”

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Monday, May 5, 2014

Security deteriorates in south Jordan city

Al Monitor

Published 2 May 2014Jordan,Maanunrest,

Security deteriorates in south Jordan city

The Jordanian political sphere is wrong to think what is happening in the southern city of Maan is normal. It is even more wrong to believe that the old methods used to address the crises of this marginalized and poor province have yielded results and strategic solutions. Had these solutions proven effective, the city would not have become in the past few days a ghost city filled with military vehicles, fear and anticipation.
Summary⎙ Print The security situation in Maan, Jordan is deteriorating as officials turn a blind eye to serious threats that might affect the Hashemite Kingdom.
Author Moussa BarhoumehPosted May 2, 2014
Translator(s)Steffi Chakti
If the official neglect of this crisis continues, Maan could become the spark that ignites the explosive barrels found in many cities and provinces in Jordan. For a while, this country has been living according to the belief that the unrest and daily killing in neighboring countries renders the sacrifice of reform an acceptable, tolerable and agreed upon issue by different political parties.
This belief can benefit from the state of fear spreading among Jordanians, and can feed on the country's stability (relative to its neighbors). Despite its relevance, this does not mean that disturbing security issues related to reform packages, the openness toward various movements, the drifting away from the mindset of the exclusion of the other and the implementation of a genuine plan that does not aim at creating media buzz should be disregarded. This plan should tackle the issue of development in the less fortunate provinces, mainly Maan.
Financial and administrative corruption is compromising not only the credibility of the government but also that of the rule itself. This issue should be tackled by the means of innovative, transparent and convincing tools. Walid al-Kurdi, the husband of the king’s aunt, for example, was involved in corruption cases without being subject to prosecution that proves satisfactory to the public opinion. The latter has doubts that the regime is trying to sweep the embarrassing issue under the rug.
As a result of these complicated problems, the old-new disobedience in Maan, which is located on the border with Saudi Arabia, was born. Every house contains arms, and sometimes, groups adopting jihadist rhetoric own relatively heavy arms. This is the case with Mohammad al-Shalabi al-Makna, dubbed Abu Sayyaf, who is one of this group’s influential figures in Jordan. 
Maan has not been able to integrate itself into the state. Impressions are piling up that this province is above the law, something proven by the latest developments, wherein the headquarters of intelligence and military intelligence were set ablaze. Meanwhile, a strike convened by activists and adopted by society’s institutions has had deep significance. Obviously, the state does not consider the latter issue and instead employs useless, absurd and short-sighted measures, considering Maan a mere security issue and failing to think outside the box to find solutions that are influential on the ground.
Such solutions should bridge the gap between state and society and dispel concerns among people who are fed up with the government's promises to develop this distressed city. The inhabitants struggle with the highest levels of unemployment and poverty among all 12 provinces, even though the government announced it allocated $100 million of its last budget to implement development projects this year in the city.
During the protests in Maan, angry slogans were chanted, such as “down with the regime.” However, this does not mean that these slogans express an urgent social and political desire among people. Yet, the use of this slogan expresses the feeling that the father, in the psychological sense of the word, is competing with his son and is not showing enough care. 

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Sunday, April 6, 2014

Palestine – Kerry Can’t Keep Kidding Himself

[Published 6 April 2014]

J Wire

David Singer

US Secretary of State John Kerry’s unshakeable belief that he could succeed in facilitating what had eluded former American Secretaries of State for the last 20 years – the creation of a 22nd Arab State in the West Bank and Gaza for the first time ever in recorded history – has been shattered following Israel cancelling the release of 26 prisoners convicted of terrorist attacks prior to the 1993 Oslo Accords.
Israel’s action followed the PLO lodging applications to join 15 UN international agencies in breach of its commitments not to do so whilst negotiations between Israel and the PLO were being conducted.
Kerry now needs to immediately focus his attention on Jordan – the last Arab State to have occupied the West Bank between 1948 -1967 and which – together with Israel – comprise the two successor States to the Mandate for Palestine 1920-1948.
Redrawing Jordan’s international boundary with Israel to restore the status quo existing before the outbreak of the 1967 Six Day War – as far as is now possible given the changed circumstances on the ground – provides a realistically achievable alternative to the doomed Israel-PLO negotiations.
Lorenzo Kamel – a historian at Bologna University and a visiting fellow at Harvard’s Center for ­Middle Eastern Studies – has published an error-riddled article attempting to distance Jordan from becoming involved in any such negotiations – which Kerry should unequivocally reject.
Kamel’s following misleading claims have been corrected by my bold responses:
1.  “Whenever there is a concrete effort to push forward the peace process, talk about “a substitute homeland” for the Palestinians re-emerges. Most of those supporting this scheme claim that well before the partition suggested by the UN General Assembly in 1947, the Zionist movement suffered a mutilation of territory following the unilateral British decision in 1922 to separate Transjordan from the rest of the land subject to the Mandate for Palestine…
…” Transjordan was thus part of the Mandate for Palestine with the proviso that Britain might administer it separately and for a period which at best may be considered scarcely relevant.”
Transjordan remained subject to the Mandate for Palestine from 1920 until 1946.
It was only the provisions of the Mandate relating to the reconstitution of the Jewish National Home in Palestine that were “postponed or withheld” in Transjordan under article 25 of the Mandate –  as this Note presented by the Secretary General to the League of Nations clearly stated:
“In the application of the Mandate to Transjordan, the action which, in Palestine, is taken by the Administration of the latter country will be taken by the Administration of Transjordan under the general supervision of the Mandatory.
His Majesty’s Government accept full responsibility as Mandatory for Transjordan, and undertake that such provision as may be made for the administration of that territory in accordance with Article 25 of the Mandate shall be in no way inconsistent with those provisions of the Mandate which are not by this resolution declared inapplicable.”
The seeds for an independent Jew-free Arab State in 78% of Palestine had thus been planted by Great Britain in 1922.
Transjordan achieved its eventual independence on May 25, 1946 – whilst the remaining 22% of Palestine continued to be subject to the Mandate until 1948.
2. “Transjordan, unlike Palestine, was never occupied by British troops and during the mandatory period there was no “overlapping”, either at a legal or practical level, between the two areas.”
The Arab Legion was formed in Transjordan in 1923 and financed by Britain and commanded by British officers under Captain Frederick Peake.
Transjordan was always included in the annual Report for the Mandate for Palestine presented to the League of Nations Permanent Mandates Commission. “
3.  A citizen of Transjordan was required to ask for official permission before being admitted to Palestine.”
Immigration from Transjordan was not illegal, and was not recorded as immigration at all until 1938
4. “The awareness that Palestine was distinct from Syria and Lebanon is said to have always been present in the Arab and Muslim consciousness.”
An early nineteenth-century Egyptian historian, ‘Abd ar-Rahman al-Jabarti, referred to the inhabitants of El Arish in the Sinai Peninsula as Syrians. Palestine was called Southern Syria first in French, then in other languages, including Arabic. …
…Indeed, from the moment Prince Faysal set up a government in Damascus in October 1918, he stressed that Palestine was a part of Syria. At the Paris Peace Conference, where the British, French and Americans sorted out their interests after the war, Faysal called Palestine his “right hand” and promised to work for it as he would for Syria and Iraq. “I assure you, according to the wishes of its people, Palestine will be a part of Syria.” Three months later, Faysal wrote General Edmund Allenby that Palestine “is an inseperable [sic] part of Syria.” 
5. “Zionism certainly accelerated the general development of the region and the process of self-identification of the local majority, but never did the land beyond the Jordan have a religious, social or cultural value comparable to the land between the river and the Mediterranean Sea.
Kamel’s claim is refuted by article 2 of the PLO Charter which states that “Palestine with the boundaries it had during the British Mandate is an indivisible territorial unit.”
Negotiations between Jordan and Israel have now become the only answer to avoiding renewed conflict and violence between Jews and Arabs.
Kerry is kidding himself if he thinks otherwise.

History shines light on the true borders of Palestine

[Published 2 April 2014]

The Nation

Lorenzo Kamel

[This article contains many untrue and misleading statements which I have forcefully rebutted in my article "Palestine - Kerry Can't keep Kidding Himself.]

“Israel opposes the establishment of an additional Palestinian state in the Gaza district and in the area between Israel and Jordan.” 

These words were included in the “peace initiative” presented in May 1989 by Israel’s Labour-Likud national unity government. Twenty-five years later, the “Jordan option” is back and being increasingly mentioned in the media.

These claims are problematic.

The Mandate for Palestine had direct, complete and explicit jurisdiction over the area that, in 1922, became the Emirate of Transjordan for eight months: from July 1920, when King Faisal was thrown out of Damascus, to March 12, 1921, the day of the Conference of Cairo which, in Winston Churchill’s words, sanctioned “the policy to be adopted with regard to Trans Jordania”.

Whenever there is a concrete effort to push forward the peace process, talk about “a substitute homeland” for the Palestinians re-emerges. 

Most of those supporting this scheme claim that well before the partition suggested by the UN General Assembly in 1947, the Zionist movement suffered a mutilation of territory following the unilateral British decision in 1922 to separate Transjordan from the rest of the land subject to the Mandate for Palestine. They argued that the Palestinians already had a sovereign state – Jordan – and that, therefore, Israel, even by incorporating today’s West Bank and Gaza Strip, would comprise only 22 per cent of the whole “historic Palestine”.

It was a “partially legal” time lapse even from the juridical perspective imposed by European powers, given that the Mandate for Palestine was formally assigned to London by the League of Nations on July 24, 1922, becoming operative in September 1923. 

Transjordan was thus part of the Mandate for Palestine with the proviso that Britain might administer it separately and for a period which at best may be considered scarcely relevant.

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