Nancy Goodman
A maverick Jew living in the Wild West

To Queen Rania al-Abdullah, Jordan

Your Highness,

I read your recent interview on CBS’s Face the Nation, and I believe there are a few questions remaining I’d like to ask you.

What does it feel like to be in the family that robbed all Arabs under former Ottoman rule west of Iraq and onward to Jerusalem of their land entitlement, by calling that land Jordan instead of Palestine?

All the West Bank was Jordan at one point, and all of Jordan was the British Mandate of Palestine at some point. With a “tally-ho, enjoy your kingdom, Palestinians who?” British and Saudi Arabian kings not only erased the ethnicity of all Arab “Palestinians” in that region, but created “these” and “those” Palestinians. The right ones and the wrong ones. Even though most local Arabs in Jordan prior to refugees coming from Iraq and Syria would identify as Palestinian, your country is named after a river. Instead of two separate Arab and Jewish states in the spirit of the original British Mandate, Jordan created a thousand little Palestines from the 1920’s to near the new millennium by waging a series of wars they lost. You say Israel isn’t waging a war in a proper defensive-y way and killing too many Palestinian civilians, but you do nothing to invite all those Palestinians into their designated homeland, Jordan.

So, how does it feel to be a “right” Palestinian vs a “wrong” Palestinian?

It is good to know a Palestinian in Jordan can ascend to such a level as yours. But I guess it depends on what kind of Palestinian in Jordan you are. Local Palestinians don’t decide that, your royal kin with origins in Turkey and Saudi Arabia do. If you were the “wrong” kind of Palestinian, you might have been raised in a refugee camp in Jordan or the West Bank–designated a stateless refugee in your own country, next to your own people (being named after a river doesn’t change that), three generations in. Or worse, your family could have zig-ed instead of zag-ed when Jordan, Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, and Saudi Arabia waged war against Israel all those times and ended up in the Gaza Strip instead. Would you have met your prince after completing your international college education in Egypt if your parents had lived in Gaza City?

Nothing’s shocking about your standard, generic Arab-born anti-Israel script, but I am sorry nobody coached you for that interview to avoid saying “Obviously, it was instigated by October 7, but we are seeing a war that isn’t fought in a defensive way.” Because that’s a statement saying Israel is in a defensive stance.

It’s almost like you live in a royal bubble, unaware there are presumably live hostages in Gaza to protect, that Hamas infiltrates homes and hospitals, and bores tunnels deep underground where they launch rockets into Israel, 3000 on October 7 alone.

I’m curious what you think the solution should be.

Here’s a thought–how about you stop blaming Israel for problems you maliciously created, and Jordan proclaims itself for what it is–the designated homeland of all Palestinian Muslims. Demolish all the Palestinian refugee camps, and take all that UN and UNRWA money to create beautiful communities throughout your vast land for any Palestinian from the Gaza Strip and West Bank (or Lebanon, or Syria…) to reside, finally united with their brothers in Jordan, or maybe Jordan-Palestine, or maybe just Palestine, in peace forevermore.

Or, continue to sit on your throne of bones thanking Allah you were not born one of “those” Palestinians. And wait until you hear the angry chant “from the river to Iraq, Palestinians get it back” at your gilded door.

About the Author
A Chicagoland native, Nancy is a licensed counselor and writer living in her own private Idaho. There is something about the arid summers and making latkes in the potato state that connects Nancy to her Jewish roots. She believes Jehovah forgives Jews who don't attend services or keep kosher, if they stand for Israel.
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