A delegation from the Jordanian Council on Foreign Relations visited Lebanon from March 9-11. The delegation, comprising representatives of a number of leftist, secular and nationalist parties in Jordan, visited Lebanese officials, before heading to Damascus where they met with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The delegation then returned to Beirut to voice its concerns and raise the alarm: Jordan, as an independent state, is facing an imminent risk. The displacement of Palestinians from the occupied Palestinian territories has indeed begun and is auguring an impending change in the region’s map. What information and facts have led them to raise the alarm?"Practically"? They have been full citizens since 1949! Yet they are still considered to be second-class citizens even though they have lived in Jordan since it was renamed Jordan.
Al-Monitor met with the members of the Jordanian delegation, among whom were representatives of political parties, former members of parliament, retired officers, academics and unionists. According to them, Jordanian identity may be threatened by a "Jordan option" that may already be in process. The country’s population is 6.5 million people. According to official figures, while the inhabitants are Jordanians, 43% of them are of Palestinian origin. This phenomenon is the result of the historical intertwining between the Emirate of Transjordan and neighboring historical Palestine. Since this first started, half of the population of Palestine developed a different identity and national cause as the result of the loss of their territories and homeland. Yet, they practically became citizens of the Jordanian state.
After the establishment of the Jordanian state, and notably after the Arab-Israeli wars that took place from 1948 to 1967, the displacement of Palestinians in Jordan continued, until Jordan was hosting around half a million Palestinians who are not included in the statistic of 43%, as mentioned above. This means they were not official Jordanian citizens and were placed in camps built on Jordanian territory.This is flat-out wrong. The Palestinians who decided they didn't want to live under Jewish rule in 1967 were already Jordanian citizens, except for tens of thousands - not close to half a million - Gazans who were not given citizenship. Jerash camp is the most well-known and it only has 24,000 people.
They noted that all information and facts indicate that the process of transforming Jordan into an alternative homeland for Palestinians has started. They believe that the principle of Israel as a Jewish state is now being carried out at the expense of Jordan as a state. The members of the delegation affirmed that Jordanian official statistics showed that a regular displacement from the occupied Palestinian territories to Jordan has been registered over the past few years, at a rate of 70,000 displaced Palestinian per year, due to economic hardships and the attempts of Palestinians to find jobs and make a living. According to the members of the delegation, there is a far worse and more dangerous scenario, which is the systematic and clandestine Israeli-Jordanian plan to move all Arab citizens of Israel — who number 1.4 million Palestinians — into Jordan in the coming years.I don't know about the 70,000 Palestinians moving to Jordan a year. Even if it is true, saying that this is part of an Israeli conspiracy is lunacy.
But even crazier is the idea that Israel and Jordan are colluding to move Israeli Arabs into Jordan. Yet Jordanian "representatives of political parties, former members of parliament, retired officers, academics and unionists" are making this bizarre claim.
What is their proof of this conspiracy?
In this context, the representatives of the Jordanian parties revealed what they deemed dangerous indications of the implementation of this plan. The first indication is the new measure ratified by the Jordanian government a week ago, allowing those who live in Jordan and do not have the Jordanian nationality to be granted temporary passports for five years. According to the delegation, this measure underlines a silent and gradual process of nationalizing and settling Palestinians in Jordan. The second indication is adopting new measures facilitating the process of Jordanian women married to non-Jordanians granting the Jordanian nationality to their children knowing that this measure, which has a humanitarian aspect, means granting nationality to a large number of Palestinians. The third indication is the talks about passing new laws for municipal and parliamentary elections, which are observing the possibility of granting non-Jordanian residents and those who have temporary passports certain electoral rights. This means that they would have new civil and political rights, which would eventually turn them into official citizens.Jordan has stripped citizenship from thousands of Palestinian Jordanians in recent years. There is zero chance that they will offer citizenship to additional Palestinians.
The delegation is also lying about the proposed law for Jordanian women married to Palestinian Arab men. The law would provide limited rights to their children, but not citizenship.
The hate that "native" Jordanians have of Palestinians is built into Jordanian society. It is real apartheid, as Palestinian Arabs make up the majority of Jordan's citizens according to many estimates.
But since there are very few Jordanians who are campaigning for Palestinian rights - and the ones that do are threatened by the king himself - no one talks about this.