By Y. AMISHAV *
The popular uprisings, hailed as the “Arab Spring” in many Arab states, were directed against despotic leaders and adamantly called for regime change. These despots, who invariably represented a minority, either ethnic, tribal, religious, or the privileged army juntas, ruled for decades, by brutal force. Their unmitigated ruthlessness and kleptocracy kept the vast majority of the population in a state of fear and subjection, hunger and rage.
The current uprisings followed the traditional pattern of regime change in the Moslem world: an army coup deposes a ruler, who is then deposed by a “popular” uprising organized by the Islamists, Salafists or Moslem Brotherhoods, and assorted other “hoods”, claiming to restore “Pure Islam”, that is Sharia. Ben Ali in Tunisia, Mubarak in Egypt and Kaddafi in Libya were deposed in this manner and are being invariably replaced by the Islamists.
The Assad regime in Syria, which has been in power for 42 years is a typical case. It represents the Alawite minority which comprises a mere 10% of the population, and commands all the top military and governmental positions. The Assad regime is one of the most brutal and repressive in the Arab world, and is on its last lag.
And yet, nowhere is the rule of a minority over the majority more blatant than in Jordan. It has caused uncounted world-wide repercussions and strife. It can be said that Hashemite rule in Jordan has been the root cause of the main Islamic, and world- wide, terrorist plague of the last fifty years.
In Jordan, the Hashemites, with the sole support of the Bedouin tribes who constitute less than 30% of the population, rule over the majority who call themselves “Palestinians”. The Bedouins occupy all military and governmental positions of power. The Palestinian majority is discriminated against in every walk of life. Their civil rights are withdrawn at will and they are treated as second-class citizens in their own country.
Even though there is nowhere in the annals of recorded history any mention of a Jordanian or Palestinian Nation or People, let us assume for all practical purposes, that all those who call themselves “Palestinians” are a distinct people, with a distinct language, religion, culture, history and origins. Yet throughout history, those who today call themselves “Jordanians” or “Palestinians” were merely “Arabs”, “Syrian” Arabs. Since 1948, according to their own claims, the “Jordanians” and the “Palestinians” are one and the same people. Moreover, the Palestinians in Jordan and those in Judea and Samaria, as well as those living in Israel with Israeli citizenship, whether Bedouins or Israeli Arabs, also according to their own claims, are also one and the same people. Therefore they can be entitled to one state only, not two or three. Fortunately that Palestinian state already exists and has existed since 1920, in Jordan.
The main obstacle to the Palestinians claims to self-determination in their existing state has been the Hashemite minority rule, which denies them their rights.
To this day, the Hashemites rule with the aid of the Bedouin tribes over the 70% of the total population, whom they call “Palestinians”. The fact that the Hashemites prevent the Palestinian majority from exercising its right to self-determination in their existing state is the root cause of the Palestinian “homelessness” myth which has engulfed the Middle East into an era of terror.
In fact, Hashemite rule in trans-Jordan has been the primary cause of “What Went Wrong” in the Middle East since the dismantlement of the Ottoman Empire in 1918.
During “Black September” 1970, the Palestinians led by Arafat, attempted to take over Jordan; the US demanded that Israel defend the Hashemites. Imagine that Israel had not saved the Hashemites and the Palestinians had taken over—there would be no Palestinian problem today. However, Israel’s intervention allowed King Hussein to massacre some 20,000 Palestinians and expel many hundreds of thousands to Lebanon.
The fact that Hashemite rule prevents the Palestinians from exercising their right to self determination in the state in which they are a 70% majority is the major cause and the pretext of the Palestinian Problem and Islamist Terror. They have transformed Islam into its virulent mode, by providing it with the pretext of the unifying myth of the “Homeless Palestinians” and “Israeli Occupation”.
In 1988 King Hussein revoked the Jordanian citizenship of the Palestinians living in Judea and Samaria, without a single word of reproach from the Human Rights Brigades. Imagine the response if Israel were to revoke Israeli citizenship of the Palestinians living in her midst. Palestinians who enjoy the most democratic freedoms and the highest standard of living in the Middle-East and yet vociferously demand and militate for the demise of the Jewish State and often take part in terrorist attacks against Jewish citizens, their neighbors.
Given that the majority of the population in Jordan is Palestinian and that the majority of those who call themselves Palestinians live in Jordan, Jordan is and has been the de facto Arab Palestinian state since 1920.
Moreover, Jordan is paid handsomely by the US and the UN for taking in ABOUT 200,000 refugees from Iraq, mainly Christians who fled the “war for democracy” instigated by the USA in Iraq. In addition, Jordan is home to one million “guest workers” from countries in the Indian sub continent, such as Bangladesh. The workers, under conditions bordering on slavery, do most of the menial work and work in textile factories that Israel has transferred to Jordan as good-will gestures. And yet former Jordanian Palestinian citizens retain no right of return to their homeland in Jordan.
The Bedouins in Jordan are pressuring Abdullah to expel the Palestinians. He has been firing them left right and center, revoking their Jordanian citizenship in the attempt to make them “refugees”, after living in Jordan for generations.
Despite the “talks” he hosts from time to time between the Israelis and the Palestinians, Abdullah is terrified of a Palestinian state in Judea and Samaria, which would serve as a springboard for the Palestinians to overthrow him. He protests almost daily against the “Jordanian Option” proposals as a solution to the Palestinian quagmire. He lobbies behind the scenes against the PA’s unilateral declaration of a Palestinian state.
Everyone in the world, the Arabs, the US Administration, the Europeans, know and have always known, that Judea and Samaria, an area of 5.200 sq.km. can not be a viable state and therefore it is not a viable solution. It is only viable as a springboard for Israel’s destruction. This is very clear to everyone as well. And everyone is turning a blind eye to the only viable solution, which is the end of Hashemite rule and the right of self-determination of the Palestinian majority in Jordan. And moreover everyone demands that Israel defend the Hashemite basket-case rule. By saving the Hashemite Dynasty, Israel is taking on sole responsibility for the Palestinians’ “ homelessness” and is acting as an accomplice in its own demise.
There is no justification whatsoever for keeping the Hashemites as a ruling monarchy. We must recognize “de Jure” the existing Palestinian state in Jordan, and that this is the only place where the 14-16 million people who call themselves Palestinians can finally aspire to self-determination.
In order to solve seemingly intractable conflicts, it is time to implement a policy of separation of the protagonists and the reunification of peoples in an orderly manner, rather than letting them fight it out by murder and mayhem, as is the case today in Iraq and so many other Islamic states. In 1948 India and Pakistan exchanged populations involving 100 million people; Turkey and Greece exchanged 500,000 people. After the war, two million Germans living in the former Soviet bloc were repatriated to Germany; a Nobel prize was conferred on the diplomat who organized the transfers.
The only viable, just, logical solution to the Palestinian problem is to establish a Marshall Plan for the reunification of all those who call themselves “Palestinians” in their existing state of Jordan. Jordan’s area is 97,000 sq. km., 4.5 times the area of the State of Israel. Judea and Samaria together measure 5200 sq. km. This tiny piece of land could never constitute a viable state for the 13-14 million Palestinians—the majority would still remain homeless.
The enormous amounts of US, and the rest of the world’s tax money which is spent on perpetuating the Arabs’ hatred and violence and their vociferous calls for the destruction of the State of Israel, must instead be spent on establishing a Marshall Plan for the reunification and rehabilitating of all those who call themselves Palestinians…… in their existing homeland in Jordan.
If you will it, it will become a reality.
* Y. Amishav, Jerusalem based economist and political analyst”. Amishav made a;iyah from Frqan ce a few decadesw ago and was involved with the UN and Diplomatic Corps, as well as in business and high-tech.
MECODEMS – Middle –East Economic Community Of Democratic States