In the grand theatre of the Middle East, narratives often don the cloak of reality, eclipsing the truth and nurturing a distorted representation of geopolitics. The enduring Arab-Israeli conflict, a relentless saga of confrontation, stands as a stark testament to this phenomenon. A plethora of misrepresentations besieges this conflict, conspicuously ignoring a pivotal actor on this stage: Jordan. The modern narrative, embroiled in a relentless quest for a two-state solution, overlooks an undeniable reality: Jordan, in its essence, mirrors a Palestinian state.
The vestiges of the British Mandate birthed not only the State of Israel but the Emirate of Transjordan. The latter, a territory carved out from the mandate of Palestine, set the stage for the drama that ensued. Under the aegis of the Hashemite monarchy, Jordan emerged as a sovereign entity, albeit with a significant Palestinian populace in its fold. The ensuing years witnessed a complex dance of geopolitics that saw Jordan annexing the West Bank post the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, only to lose it to Israel in the efflux of 1967, a stark testament to the intertwined destinies of Jordan, Palestine, and Israel.
The demographic tableau of Jordan reveals a telling narrative. A substantial majority of its populace shares Palestinian roots, a reality often shrouded in the fog of geopolitics. This demographic scenario is not a mere coincidence, but a reflection of historical migrations, enforced by exigencies of conflict and political upheavals. The borders between Jordan and Palestine have long been porous for Palestinians, enabling a shared cultural and social continuum that underscores the interconnectedness of these two entities. The numbers are telling; the Palestinian populace in Jordan is not a mere fragment but a significant majority, with estimates ranging from a conservative 50% to a more realistic 70% or higher. This demographic reality transcends mere statistics; it delineates a shared heritage, a common cultural tapestry that binds the people across the Jordan River.
The narrative takes a more intriguing turn with the ascension of Queen Rania of Jordan, a figure of Palestinian descent, embodying the intertwined destinies of Jordan and Palestine. The Queen, born in Kuwait to Palestinian parents from Tulkarm and Bethlehem, epitomizes the Palestinian diaspora’s journey. Her position as the Queen of Jordan and her Palestinian lineage is emblematic of the shared heritage that binds the socio-political fabric of Jordan and Palestine.
“The truth is that Jordan is Palestine and Palestine in Jordan” –King Hussein I of Jordan
Historical amnesia often serves the narrative of the victor, or in this case, the more vocal. The massacre of Palestinians during the Black September conflict is a historical truth that Jordan has managed to elude in the international arena. The irony is sharp; while Israel continually faces the brunt for its supposed transgressions, Jordan’s actions against Palestinians have slipped into the abyss of forgotten history. This dichotomy of accountability paints a skewed picture of the Middle East narrative, perpetuating a cycle of misrepresentations that fuel the conflict further.
The realm of possibilities opens up a provocative argument: Is Jordan, in all but name, a Palestinian state? The demographic composition, the shared cultural tapestry, and the historical entanglements provide a compelling case. The political establishment in Jordan, under the guise of a Hashemite monarchy, seems to have hoodwinked the global narrative, absolving itself of any responsibility towards the Palestinian cause, a stark contrast to the onus continually placed upon Israel.
The narrative of Israel as the oppressor and Palestinians as the victims has been the dominating discourse, a gross oversimplification of a convoluted historical and political reality. The genocidal rhetoric and actions emanating from certain factions within the Palestinian leadership towards Israel underscore a narrative far removed from the victim-oppressor dichotomy. The accountability enforced upon Israel starkly contrasts with the laissez-faire attitude adopted towards Jordan.
“Jordanians and Palestinians are considered by the PLO as One People” –Farouk Kaddoumi, Chariman of the PLO
The clamor for a two-state solution resonates across the diplomatic corridors, yet the feasibility of such a resolution lies in recognizing the already existing Palestinian state: Jordan. The world, in its myopic vision, has failed to hold Jordan accountable for its historical misadventures and its intrinsic role in the Palestinian saga.
The geopolitical chessboard of the Middle East holds within it the seeds of resolution, awaiting a discerning gaze to unveil them. The historical, demographic, and cultural tapestry binding Jordan and Palestine is an unyielding reality, an avenue towards a viable two-state solution. As the world vehemently advocates for accountability and justice in the Arab-Israeli conflict, it’s about time Jordan is held to the same scrutiny as Israel.
A Palestinian-Jordanian state in which the Palestinian people can finally be free from the River to Mesopotamia, alongside the Jewish state where Jews can finally know Peace. Two states, for two peoples, no longer locked in battle by a divided path, but bound together by a shared and flourishing future.
The formula for resolution doesn’t necessitate a reinvention of the wheel but a recognition of the existing geopolitical realities. A bilateral unified Palestinian-Jordanian state not only aligns with historical and demographic realities but also provides a pragmatic pathway towards ending the decades-long conflict. The onus now lies upon the global community to shatter the shackles of conventional narratives and embrace a solution rooted in the annals of history.