Creating people's geographies
The Jordan Times
1 August 2006
It is time we in Jordan sat down and seriously examined our relationship with Israel.
Israel is a pariah state. Next year it will be 40 years since Israel occupied the West Bank, East Jerusalem, the
Gaza Strip and the Golan Heights. It will be 40 years that Israel has ignored international law and legitimacy.
In 2008, it will be 60 years since the creation of Israel that also created the Palestinian refugee problem. The forcible transfer of the majority of Palestinians in 1948 was a prerequisite for creating a Jewish majority in what became Israel.
In 2008, it will be 60 years that Israel has denied these refugees their right to their own properties and their
national home, and ignored international law on the subject.
The Egypt-Israel peace treaty, the Oslo accords, and the Jordan-Israel Peace Treaty were meant to change all that.
But while Israel acted in almost good faith in relation to Egypt and Jordan — almost, because there are still, despite all diplomatic efforts by the Jordanian government, Jordanian prisoners in Israeli jails — it never did so with the Palestinians.
The Palestinian issue is the crucial issue. It was hoped that Israel would see this and change its ways.
But Israel built more settlements and made life harder and harder for Palestinians. It reneged on the spirit and the letter of the Oslo accords. And it acted with greater and greater bellicosity elsewhere.
In 1982, Israel entered Lebanon and stayed for 18 years.
In 1996, during that belligerent and illegal occupation, Israel was responsible for the slaughter of over 100 civilians in Qana.
Two days ago, Israel was responsible for the slaughter of more than 60 civilians in the same town.
Israel has not changed its ways.
Over the years, Jordan has proven beyond any doubt that it is genuine and serious about peaceful coexistence with all
its neighbours, including Israel. Israel has taken this for granted.
But Israel must be made to understand that even Jordan has red lines beyond which Israel must not be allowed to go.
The Israeli slaughter of civilians, whether Palestinian orLebanese, is not new, but it is reaching unprecedented levels and is being undertaken with unprecedented arrogance and a racist disregard for Arab lives.
The Lebanese government’s snub of US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice sent a powerful message. But Lebanon, as
is the case with the Palestinians, cannot stand alone. Its neighbours must help. And Jordan can help by sending the strongest possible diplomatic message.
We call on the government to immediately recall its ambassador from Tel Aviv and downgrade official relations
with Israel to only a functional level for practical purposes.