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Palestine - accentuate the positive eliminate the negative

By David Singer - posted Thursday, 11 July 2013

Jordan's Minister of Culture Barakat Awajan recently received Palestinian Minister of Culture Anwar Abu Aisha in Amman and reportedly took the opportunity to highlight these fundamental facts:

Jordan and Palestine are joined by one culture and connected by blood, geography and sacred ties.

As the wreckage of the two-state solution continues to pile up - Awajan was reminding the PLO that alternatives exist to the creation of a second Arab State in former Palestine - in addition to Jordan.


Lest one think this most recent Jordanian affirmation of common identity and heritage is not shared by the Palestinians - a similar statement was expressed by the late PLO leader Yasser Arafat to Der Spiegel in 1986:

Jordanians and Palestinians are indeed one people. No one can divide us. We have the same fate.


Arafat and Ajawan are only two of many Palestinian and Jordanian power brokers who have made similar statements in the intervening years.

Their shared common identity has developed as a result of personal and business relationships formed by them whilst living on either side of the Jordan River in an area that had been under Ottoman rule for 400 years - until it became a single territorial unit in 1920 within which the Jewish National Home was to be reconstituted pursuant to the League of Nations Mandate for Palestine.

This territorial entity remained unified until 1946 when 78% of that territory was granted its independence by Great Britain to become known as the Hashemite Kingdom of Transjordan - whilst the remaining 22% remained under Great Britain's control as Mandatory until handed back to the United Nations in May 1948 with the goal of the Jewish Home unachieved.

The Arab populations on both sides of the River were reunited again in 1948 following Transjordan's invasion and occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem in the 1948 War of Independence - when all Jews living there were forcibly expelled.


On 1 December 1948 the Palestinian National Conference in Jericho decided to place the West Bank under the sovereignty of Transjordan - which in 1949 then changed its name to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.

On 11 April 1950 elections were held for a new Jordanian Parliament in which the West Bank Arabs were equally represented.

On 24 April 1950 the Parliament unanimously passed the following resolution.

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About the Author

David Singer is an Australian Lawyer, a Foundation Member of the International Analyst Network and Convenor of Jordan is Palestine International - an organisation calling for sovereignty of the West Bank and Gaza to be allocated between Israel and Jordan as the two successor States to the Mandate for Palestine. Previous articles written by him can be found at

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