King Abdullah's continuing attempt to exclude Jordan from being part of any two-state solution remains the major obstacle to ending the 100 years old unresolved Arab-Jewish conflict.
The King's intransigent position came in this exchange with CNN's Fareed Zakaria this week:
Zakaria: Dore Gold, an influential adviser to Prime Minister Netanyahu, recently said, Jordan needs to start thinking of itself as the Palestinian state. In other words, there is a two-state solution, the Palestinian state is Jordan, I think the implication would be, of course, you have 60-70 percent Palestinians, you could absorb the Palestinians in the West Bank. This has been touted before, but here you have a fairly influential Israeli saying it. What is your reaction?
King: Well, again, that type of rhetoric is nothing new, and basically, those people have agendas that they want to do at the expense of others. Jordan is Jordan. We have a mixed society from different ethnic and religious backgrounds. I would maybe contest the percentage in the figures that you have mentioned, but it is our country. The Palestinians do not want to be in Jordan; they want their lands, they want their football team, they want their flag to fly above their houses."
King Abdullah ignored Jordan's chequered origins in asserting:
- "Jordan is Jordan",
- "it is our country" and
- "the Palestinians do not want to be in Jordan"
The following historic, geographic and demographic realities contradict King Abdullah's remarks:
Jordan – then called Transjordan - comprised 78% of the territory of former Palestine designated in the 1920-1948 Mandate for Palestine (British Mandate).
Transjordan only became an independent state in 1946
Abdullah's great-grandfather and Transjordan's first ruler - King Abdullah I - told a meeting of the Arab League in Cairo on 12 April 1948:
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