Saturday, September 1, 2007

King Abdullah Criticizes His Father

Jordan's king didn't mention his father by name and may not have even been thinking he was criticizing his father, the late King Hussein, but he labeled as unacceptable a situation his father had been instrumental in perpetuating for many years.

As described in an Associated Press article Jordan's king urges Palestinians to overcome internal divisions. Abdullah insisted " reason prevail," Abdullah said in an interview with Jordanian television. "The separation of Gaza from the West Bank is unacceptable at both the Palestinian and Arab levels."

In fact, it was King Abudullah I, whom the present Jordanian king is named for, who initially kept the West Bank and Gaza separate in 1948, while King Hussein continued that separation, in collusion with Egypt, the occupier of Gaza, from the time he ascended the throne in 1953 until 1967, when his foolish attack on Israel resulted in the loss of the territory Jordan had occupied for two decades.

Abdullah also called on Israel "to recognize the rights of the Palestinian people ... and cooperate for the establishment of an independent Palestinian state."

To his father's credit, King Hussein was the only Arab ruler who gave the Palestinian Arab refugees any rights, giving them Jordanian citizenship, but during the twenty years Jordan occupied the West Bank he never moved to allow the establishment of another independent Palestinian state. (People tend to forget that Jordan was established on approximately seventy-eight percent of the territory of Britain's Palestine mandate, so by any normal standard Jordan itself must be considered a Palestinian state.)

The fact that the present Jordanian king calls unacceptable a situation his father, grandfather and greatgrandfather all perpetuated for nineteen years and also calls for the establishment of an entity each of them could have but refused to establish should be considered criticism of each of them.

On the other hand, we can be certain had Egypt not forced the 1967 War or had his father not attacked Israel during that war and had the currently disputed territories remained under Egyptian and Jordanian occupation, neither Hosni Mubarak nor King Abdullah II would have any interest in ending their control, ending the separation of the West Bank and Gaza or establishing another Palestinian Arab state.

No comments: