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Monday, June 8, 2015

Clarfield & Mansur: There can be no peace in Jordan until the world appreciates the country’s true ethnography

...Who are the Jordanians? Until the second decade of the 20th century there had never been a Jordanian people, ethnic group or tribe by that name, or a group of diasporic exiles who thought of themselves as “Jordanian.” Jordan is a 20th-century British invention, dreamed up in the 1920s, for the peoples living in what Britain illegally hived off from the League of Nations Mandate for Palestine in 1923. Until 1946 its British administrators called it just that — Eastern Palestine.

No one reads the League of Nations Mandate for Palestine document anymore. But according to international law, it is still valid. It is the legal basis for the creation of the Jewish state of Israel. Its provisions still stand, because all of the legal pronouncements of the League were subsequently recognized as binding, when the United Nations was created after the Second World War.

In 1923 the British arbitrarily violated the Mandate, morally and legally, by creating the “Emirate of Jordan” in Eastern Palestine. The British announced that this was a “temporary” measure, which they quietly and quickly made “permanent.” Jews were no longer allowed to live there.

The name, the “Hashemite” Kingdom of Jordan, makes reference to the fact that its ruling tribe, the Hashemis, were imported by the British from outside of Jordan in the Hejaz (what is now western Saudi Arabia). The Hashemis rule Jordan today as the Saudis do Arabia, claiming the name of the country by right of tribal conquest and occupation, but in their case with the connivance of the British, who unilaterally lopped off 70 per cent of mandated Palestine, and gave it to them as their compensation for their tribal revolt against the Turks during the First World War.

In order to give this new national fiction of Jordan some instant legitimacy, the British creatively mistranslated Arabic titles like “emir” (in those days it meant an often non-hereditary, elected Bedouin tribal leader) and “sharif,” and called these men “kings,” giving them a kind of faux-royal aura. In fact, the Hashemis were and continue to be a usurping Bedouin tribal elite in Eastern Palestine....

1 comment:

mrzee said...

This is all old news and no one cares. The world wants a palestinian state. Not peace, but a palestinian state, which will make peace even harder to achieve.