Wednesday, June 17, 2020

  • Wednesday, June 17, 2020
  • Elder of Ziyon

The word “annexation” is being batted around – incorrectly – a lot lately, but people don’t like to speak about Jordan’s illegal annexation of the West bank in 1950.\

Jordan eagerly took over the West Bank in 1948 and it fully intended to make it all part of Jordan; in fact King Abdullah I made no secret since 1920 that he wanted to be the ruler of Greater Syria, which would include today’s Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, and Israel with Judea and Samaria.

Everyone knew that Abdullah wanted to expand the borders of Transjordan, and this was a major reason why the Arab League opposed his annexation of the West Bank.

When Abdullah made the annexation official, the entire world saw it as an annexation, and nearly everyone considered it illegal (Great Britain being the most notable exception, and the US was not opposed to it.) 



In the embarrassing AJC hosting of Jordanian ambassador to the US Dina Kawar, any questions about Ahlam Tamimi were not allowed to be asked. But a fairly good question was asked by someone who said he was from Bulgaria.

Q: As a frequent visitor and friend of Jordan I'd like to ask whether an effort was made between 1949 and 1967 when Jordan officially annexed the West Bank and Eastern Jerusalem for the creation of a Palestinian state which you describe as a goal of Jordan’s policy. If so, please help us understand the history and what happened; if not, why not?

This is a reasonable question – if Jordan wanted a Palestinian state so much, why didn’t it facilitate the creation of one when it controlled the West Bank?

Kawar’s bizarre answer was that Jordan never considered the annexation to be an annexation!

A: The word “annexation” is is not the word that we use.  What happened is that many of the notables in Palestine at the time requested from our family and from His Majesty to come and go into what was, what is, the West Bank and to sort of help maintain this area of the West Bank and East Jerusalem until the clarity comes to a Palestinian state.  It was never meant to be for Jordan to be there; it was always kept in mind and up to today for the West Bank and East Jerusalem.  This is also the case for the patronage that we have over East Jerusalem.

This is of course not even close to true. Jordan had no intention to keep the West Bank in limbo. Here is a 1964 stamp that shows that Jordan considered not only the West Bank but also Israel as part of Jordan itself!



The official Jordanian government website has a slightly different story about what happened, although it still avoids the word “annexation.”

As a result of the war, many Palestinian Arabs from the Jordanian-controlled areas found that union with Jordan was of vital importance to the preservation of Arab control over the “West Bank” territories which had not fallen to the Israelis. Consequently, in December 1948, a group of Palestinian leaders and notables from the West Bank convened a historic conference in Jericho, where they called for King Abdullah to take immediate steps to unite the two banks of the Jordan into a single state under his leadership.

On April 11, 1950, elections were held for a new Jordanian parliament in which the Palestinian Arabs of the West Bank were equally represented. Thirteen days later, Parliament unanimously approved a motion to unite the two banks of the Jordan River, constitutionally expanding the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan in order to safeguard what was left of the Arab territory of Palestine from further Zionist expansion.

They aren’t claiming that they are safeguarding the territory for a future Palestinian state as Kawar now says, only that they wanted to safeguard it from Israel to keep it in Arab hands. (Which makes their decision to attack Israel in 1967 that much more ironic.)

The remaining question is – did the Palestinians really prefer to become part of Jordan rather than have their own state? The December 1948 conference seems to have been attended by most of the major leaders in the West Bank including the mayors of Hebron, Bethlehem, and Ramallah and military governors of all districts. Any opposition to annexation from the West Bank was muted. (The mufti of Jerusalem was against this, but he was in Gaza.)

The Palestinians weren't interested in a state - only in weakening and ultimately ending Israel. Which is just as true today. 

The Foreign Relations of the United States document from the State Department in 1948 summarized the Jericho conference, and quoted the very first resolution as saying that the “Palestine Arabs” desired that Jordan annex the West Bank, using that word.


Of course, the 1964 PLO Charter explicitly excluded the West Bank (and Gaza) as parts of the allegedly desired Palestinian state, only claiming the areas that the Jews controlled - and proving that statehood was never the goal. Their rejection of every peace plan that would result in a state shows that nothing has changed. 

(h/t Arnold Roth)

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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 14 years and 30,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


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