BigMo’s Blog

Politics and Economics in Israel

Jordan is Palestine!

The Palestinians have stated repeatedly that they want a state within the 1967 borders, the “Green Line.” Whenever I hear someone say “I want,” I’m reminded of something my uncle is fond of saying: “People in hell want ice water!” Which is a rather blunt way of saying just because you want something, doesn’t mean you are entitled to it. The Green Line is nothing but the armistice border from Israel’s War of Independence. At the time, even the UN recognized as only a temporary border, subject to future changes.

If an Israeli government was so suicidal as to agree to the Palestinians’ unfounded demand, certainly within a few years the Palestinians would be demanding a new border, one based on the UN’s 1947 Partition Plan (which they foolishly rejected). From that point, it is just one small step to the 1922 borders of the British Mandate of Palestine. If you have any doubt, take a look at the “coat of arms” the Palestine Liberation Organization – the forerunner of the Palestinian Authority – sported for many years: A Kalashnikov rifle superimposed on a map showing both Israel and Jordan as one country!

The British Mandate was a legal instrument for the administration of Palestine formally approved by the League of Nations in June 1922. The mandate formalized British rule in Palestine from 1917-1948. The preamble of the mandate declared:

“Whereas the Principal Allied Powers have also agreed that the Mandatory should be responsible for putting into effect the declaration originally made on November 2nd, 1917, by the Government of His Britannic Majesty, and adopted by the said Powers, in favor of the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, it being clearly understood that nothing should be done which might prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country.”

After WWI, the British and French squabbled for several years about how to divide the spoils of war. The British, to their credit, tried to live up to the multiple (and sometimes conflicting promises) they made in the Middle East. On the other hand, the French were interested in adding to their colonial empire. War broke out between France and the self-proclaimed Kingdom of Syria when the French moved to topple the nationalist government of Hashim al-Atassi under King Faisal.

At the Battle of Maysalun on 23 July 1920, the French easily defeated the nationalist government of Hashim al-Atassi and expelled King Faisal from Syria. They took refuge in areas controlled by Britain. Fearing that the Arab nationalists would launch a guerilla war against the French occupation, the British held a conference in Cairo, Egypt in March 1921.

The two most significant decisions of the conference were to offer territories to the sons of Sharif Husssein ibn Ali of the Hedjaz. Emir Faisal ibn Hussein (who became Faisal I of Iraq) received the throne of Iraq. His brother, Abdullah ibn Hussein (who became Abdullah I of Jordan), received what was called the emirate of Transjordan (now Jordan). Transjordan was to be constituted as an Arab province of Palestine. Eighteen months later, the British government presented a memorandum to the League of Nations detailing its intended implementation of that clause, and this memorandum was approved on 23 September 1922.

From that point onwards, Britain administered the part west of the Jordan, 23% of the entire territory, as “Palestine”, and the part east of the Jordan, 77% of the entire territory, as “Transjordan.” Technically they remained one mandate, but most official documents referred to them as if they were two separate mandates – one Arab, one Jewish. Transfer of authority to an Arab government took place gradually in Transjordan, until it became independent as the Hashemite Kingdom of Transjordan in 1946.

After further discussions between Churchill and Abdullah in Jerusalem, it was mutually agreed that Transjordan was accepted into the mandatory area with the proviso that it would not form part of the Jewish national home to be established west of the River Jordan. In other words, the future King of Jordan, after receiving 77% of the British Mandate of Palestine, recognized that the other 23% – Israel – extended from the Jordan River west to the Mediterranean Sea! Jordan is the Palestinian homeland, and the “Hashemite Kingdom” a political tinker-toy imposed by British colonialism.

March 9, 2010 - Posted by | Middle East

1 Comment »

  1. Hey Mo!


    send me your phone number.

    Comment by Gavin | March 9, 2010 | Reply

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