.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Jordan's Interior Minister defends discrimination against PalArabs

A few weeks ago I mentioned an issue that has been percolating in Jordan that has received no attention in the Western media - the increasing discrimination that Jordanians of Palestinian origin have been receiving from Jordan, as the citizenship rights of many have been stripped away and their remaining rights whittled down.

The issue has been picked up by London-based Dar al-Hayat (in Arabic only, of course.) They published an interview with Jordan's Interior Minister Nayef. The minister tries at first to deflect the question, blaming everything on Israel:
Is it true that you are withdrawing of nationality from the Jordanians of Palestinian origin?

This is a campaign of lies by... external and internal forces meant to tarnish the image of Jordan.

But is it true?

- We need to emphasize the need for the Palestinian land and not to waste the chance to uphold the allowance of "family reunions" carried by the [Israeli] occupation authorities, and that we should be thanked for standing up against Israeli ambitions of unloading of the Palestinian land of its people.

Do you mean that the ones on the Israeli right that propose the idea of «Jordan is Palestine»?


Yes. There are the secret Israeli proposals with undeclared aims to impose a solution to the issue of Palestinian refugees at the expense of Jordan...
But the interviewer is not cowed into accepting this deflection. He goes on to ask specific questions about Jordanian law in disenfranchising Jordanian Palestinians, where the minister stonewalls and insists that there has been no change in policy. One example is about the cases where Jordanians Palestinians who have never been on the West Bank have had their travel documents reduced from 5-year to 2-year renewals:
Some of the [5 year] yellow cards were turned to [2-year] green cards from owners who insist that Jordan is the only home they have ever known.

- We insist on the necessity of renewal of permits for "reunions", as acting otherwise would mean the achievement of the objectives of Israel in the Palestinian territories, drained from their owners. I do not think that any Arab accepts that the Palestinians lose their right to their land voluntarily, because it is contrary to the holding of Palestinian and Arab right of return.
In other words, Palestinian Arabs who happily live in Jordan are not pressuring Israel to create a Palestinian Arab state on the West Bank, and therefore not doing their jobs. He's just helping them do what they are meant to do. Jordan's hatred of Palestinian Arabs is highlighted in this exchange:
Why does Jordan refuse to grant citizenship to children of Jordanian women [and West Bank Palestinian Arab men]?

- We cannot because the current law does not allow it. There is a security and political dimension to this issue, there are 37 Palestinians married to Jordanians, and this means the naturalization of more than 200 Palestinians, and we cannot do it because it serves the goals of the Israelis [as they would live in Jordan], especially at this time.
The minister makes it crystal clear that official Arab policy is to ensure Palestinian Arab statelessness and misery, always in the guise of doing what's best for Palestinian Arabs themselves. (He also says that the PA has no problem with any of this.)

Of course, any other Arab can become a citizen of Jordan and other Arab countries, by law. The laws only exclude Palestinian Arabs.

And they are keeping them stateless for their own good, of course.

Such philanthropy and selflessness exhibited by the generous Arab patrons of the Palestinian Arab cause, willing to spare no effort in ensuring that they remain miserable for decades to come!