Jordan’s Prime Minister, Marouf al- Bakhit, has now added one new myth to the countless many concerning Palestine that have been invented by Arab propagandists.
Speaking at a recent seminar marking the 61st anniversary of Jordan’s independence, the Prime Minister asserted that everyone should realise that:
"this small country [Jordan] was not accidentally born nor was the outcome of deals,conferences or conspiracies.”
Jordan’s history is well documented and totally contradicts the Prime Minister‘s amazing assertion.
It was accidentally born in 1921 - as the emirate of Transjordan. It then comprised 77% of the area designated by Britain and France as “Palestine” after the First World War - the land in which the Jewish National Home was intended to be reconstituted almost 2000 years after the Jews had lost their biblical and ancestral homeland to foreign invaders and occupiers.
This noble plan was suddenly “postponed or withheld” in relation to Transjordan, when Britain changed tack and proceeded to transform Transjordan into an “Arab province or adjunct of Palestine”, as Winston Churchill described it at the time. However it still remained part of Palestine until independence was granted by Britain in 1946 but the Jews were prohibited from settling there.
What was postponed or withheld became permanent after 1946.
The Jews were then left to reconstitute their homeland in just 23% of the area originally allotted to them - a miniscule 28000 square kilometres. The Arabs had ended up with the other 92000 square kilometres of Palestine as an exclusively Arab State but this did not and never has satisfied the Arabs. Some wanted and still demand a greater share and others want the lot.
Jordan was indeed the outcome of deals, conferences and conspiracies - a pay off by the British, following the Cairo Conference, to Emir Abdullah, second son of Sharif Hussein of Mecca - to stop Abdullah and his armed band of followers transiting through Transjordan on their way to Damascus to help his brother Feisal in a struggle against the French who had taken control of Syria in the break up of the Ottoman Empire.
Former US President Jimmy Carter best summed up Jordan’s history in Time on 11 October 1982 when he said:
“As a nation, it is a contrivance, arbitrarily devised by a few strokes of the pen.”
One could equally apply Carter’s statement to Syria (independent only since 1946), Iraq (1932), Saudi Arabia (1932) and Lebanon (1943) - all nations created from the vast tracts of the Ottoman Empire allocated to the Arabs by the British and the French simultaneously with the allocation of Palestine to the Jews at the end of World War 1.
Deals, conferences and conspiracies certainly abounded at the time of Jordan’s birth and still exist today when it comes to Jordan and the role it has to play in resolving the Arab -Israel conflict.
The Jordanian Prime Minister ’s statement appears to be trying to distance Jordan from the current woes of the West Bank and Gaza - just 5% of former Palestine and 15 times smaller than the large chunk of former Palestine that Jordan now occupies.
Denying Jordan’s Palestinian parentage and lineage draws a line in the sand. It sends a message to both Hamas and Fatah to not be tempted to try attacking and wresting control of Jordan from its current rulers, as the idea of a separate State in the West Bank and Gaza now slowly fades into the sunset of history.
King Abdullah of Jordan is well aware of this nightmare scenario.
Yasser Arafat tried to do it in 1970 to Abdullah’s father King Hussein from inside Jordan and failed dismally leaving thousands dead in the process.
Now Jordan could face such a threat externally if the chaos, lawlessness, murder and mayhem occurring in Gaza spreads to the West Bank as Messrs Haniyeh and Abbas find themselves engaging in an undeclared war with Israel that they cannot possibly win.
Firing Kassam rockets into Jordan from the West Bank and making terrorist incursions into Jordan could well mirror what is happening in Israel if steps are not taken to prevent jihadist groups taking root in the West Bank.
Preserving the territorial integrity of Jordan and the safety and welfare of its citizens, all of whom are Arabs of Palestinian descent from either eastern or western Palestine, has been King Abdullah’s and his family’s sacred duty since that day back in 1921 when his great-grandfather was induced to remain in Transjordan under British patronage and protection.
Because of their efforts Jordan has been preserved as an exclusively Arab state in 77% of historic Palestine.
61 years of Arab rejectionism since Jordan’s independence in 1946 wasted in attempting to conquer all or part of the remaining 23% have brought the Arab population nothing but misery and suffering.
King Abdullah understands that both Israel and Jordan now have common enemies that are seeking their downfall.
He told Acting Israeli President Dalia Itzik just that only recently.
King Abdullah now appears to be setting the stage for a return to the Arab occupied areas of the West Bank, which Jordan last occupied from 1948 to 1967, as a necessary counter to stop any threat to his country and the relative peace and tranquillity it has enjoyed since it signed a peace treaty with Israel in 1994.
Jordan’s Prime Minister does not have to re-write history to justify the continuing rule of Jordan under its current leadership and the role it must play - as the successor state in 77% of historic Palestine - in resolving who will ultimately be allocated sovereignty in the West Bank.