Homeless In Occupied East Jerusalem & Jordan’s Shameful Reaction

Palestinian officials and analysts have linked the incident to the Jerusalem municipality’s eviction orders of more than  1,500 Palestinians living in some 180 houses in the East Jerusalem suburb of Silwan area. It will become the largest mass expulsion of Palestinians since the Israeli occupation in the 1967 war. [source

We’ve been hearing this for quite some time and, as all things Palestine, the situation just seems to be getting worse.

I’ve always found it the most ironic thing in the world for Israel to demolish Palestinian homes under the pretense that they were built without permits. This is a country that was not only built on stolen land, but continues to build illegal settlements on more stolen land. And now the world is surprised by a predictable reaction of a Palestinian “terrorizing” Israeli police with a bulldozer when Palestinians have lost lives and homes at the hands of Israeli bulldozers? Give me a break.

Moreover, the reaction from the Jordanian state has been, as usual, quite horrendous, offering no more than a “denunciation” of Israel’s actions. Even the masses aren’t allowed to express their outrage. The Islamists, who still have no idea what the term “political reform” really means, were denied a license to hold a public rally, and instead, ended up holding a little sit-in at their headquarters.

This is nothing new. The Jordanian government has been denying pretty much any politically-driven, Palestinian-related events for at least a month now. From their perspective perhaps, the Jordanian masses have overstepped their anti-Israeli rally quota for the year during the onslaught of Gaza.

Meanwhile, hundreds of people are set to lose their home in a city you can see from Amman.

So much for Jordan being the guardian of Jerusalem’s holy places.

Some day, they too will be destroyed for being built centuries ago without Israeli permits, and on that day, I wonder if we as Jordanians will hear anything more than a mere denunciation from our government.

Can we have some solidarity?

16 thoughts on “Homeless In Occupied East Jerusalem & Jordan’s Shameful Reaction

  1. Every Arab and Muslim who has a “Western’ passport must visit Jerusalem and spend as much money as possible helping local Palestinian economy.

    We must help these people stay put. Help them get married, have children, and educate them.

    Even Jordanians who can get a visa must go. Forget the Boycott or ” I do not want to recognize Israel” none sense excuses. We all must go and spend money at Palestinian shops, hotels, and markets.

    I did that last August so I am not just preaching here. Palestinians were so happy to know that I came all the way from the USA just to visit and that I had no relatives at all!

    Israel is trying to suffocate them, we must give them air to breath.

  2. All our beloved Jordanian regime cares for is to be named custodian of the Jerusalem Muslim Holy places. It’s the prestige. That’s it nothing more. It’s even written in the Israeli Jordan peace treaty. And we will fight the palestinains for it and we will cut deals with israelis to ensure this will happen. As for the Arabs of Jerusalem and their human rights, well, since we divested from the West Bank, that’s no longer our problem. it’s the holy sites we care for just so we can say we are the Custodian of the First Qublah. So we will wait for the Palestinains to make all the painful sacrifices and then we will come final status negotiations to claim our “historical” right to Jerusalem holy sites. and I though our historical right was in Mecca, not some place we had nominal control over for a few years and could not protect.

  3. I might add ,it’s not only shameful but it’s disgusting to watch “our” government conspiring and playing dirty and machiavellian games in order to “save” it’s skin.
    Why should we protect an entity that is racist in it’s nature and practice and when we jordanian be able to say enough is enough of this this shameful and disgusting unholy alliance with this unsustainable racist entity?

  4. Nas, maybe I’m not understanding the context, but can you please elaborate on your statement “The Islamists, who still have no idea what the term “political reform” really means…”? What do you mean by that, in this context particularly?

  5. moi, nas: i don’t agree with some people describe the Islamists as Dark Forces or Thalami’youn. When we look at the repression and corruption and treason of the current Arab regimes, the Islamists look so enlightened and so democratic and so humane and so pro freedom and so anti corruption and anti occupation. in Jordan and the Arab world, it’s all relative. the old saying goes “we bear the bitterness because the alternative is far more bitter.” we have tasted the alternative of retarded dictatorships.. and it reeks with corruption, treason, backwardness and cruelty. i’d take the islamists any time over what we have now. fyi, i am even a godless atheist. unless an effective liberal secular pro democracy anti zionist movement comes to the scene, I am not against the islamists bringing down the house. who knows maybe a Maoist style cultural revolution in the arab world would do us lots of good. we have so much scum that needs to be scrapped off. or even something less drastic such as what our persian neighbors did with their US puppets.

  6. moi: i am referring to their reference in the aforementioned article where they call on political reform. such calls are incredibly cliche coming from the islamists in jordan, who have yet to figure out what political or any other type of reform is. in other words, they have yet to develop a sustainable alternative to any of our nation’s problem that require forming.

    to simply say you are against the status quo isn’t enough…especially if you’re a legitimate political party.

    Tamara: i’m not calling them “dark forces” or any such thing. im merely pointing out, as explained to moi, that as a political entity, they have no viable solutions. just because they are an alternative to the status quo doesn’t mean they are a healthy alternative to the status quo. in fact, i would go so far as to argue that at least in jordan, with all the problems we have, the status quo is still more livable than what life would be like under the islamists.

    but that’s just my opinion

  7. what do you mean the status quo is still more livable than what life would be like under the islamists? just because we have been born into this paralysis and have lost all perspective of the big and bigger picture and have no real sense of our past as Arabs and don’t care for the future beyond out immigration visas and have accepted the permanence of our third world status it does not mean livable is better.

  8. Naseem,
    I think that your stance toward islamists in jordan should evelove a little bit. As far as I see and hear, they are the only party that are willing to critisize the status quo. One can argue that they helped in creating and maintaining the status quo by mainly focusing their rehtoric on “external” affairs, but one hopes that the latest moves by someone like raheel gharaybeh represent a change in their focus.

    One more thing: You say that they should have a program(or at least imply that), but you forget that since the “independence” of jordan none of the so called programs by the government or the regime were successful. One can argue about the definition of success, but for me success is political and economic development. The identity of jordan should come from its people regardless of their origin.

  9. all jordan cares about is not being the watan badeel … people losing their homes in jerusalem is none of its concern … or so it seems

  10. Jarreb: i never said livable is better, nor am i saying the status quo is wonderful (this blog is obviously attempts to chronicle otherwise). what i AM saying is that but between the status quo and the islamists as the only available alternative, the devil you know beats the devil you dont.

    mohanned: yeah, they’re great at criticizing the status quo and good for them, they’ve been doing it for decades.

    there is a quintessential difference between a political party that offers only rhetoric and criticism and a political party that offers viable alternatives. the truth of the matter is, the islamists dont have a clue about political or economic development/reform. the reality is, they have no alternatives, they have no domestic issue-based platform and that’s a fact. creating an identity around a knee-jerk reaction of “no” to the government’s “yes”, isn’t enough to govern.

  11. The argument you are making is the same that nahid hattar is making, but you are very different from nahid and his motives. When judging based on governing then who should be held accountable for the last 60 or so years of governing? No one was held accountable for any failures, but we hear praise and hypocrisy of how we managed to survive in this turbulent region. The morale is: You can’t judge those who didn’t have the chance to govern based on the premise that they “might” be worse. It is an indirect fear tactic.

  12. thanks for comparing me to nahid hattar.

    this isn’t an indirect fear tactic at all, nor is it the pre-judgment of a group before they’ve been given a chance to govern. my argument boils down to the islamists offering nothing remotely close to governship. how can a jordanian citizen expect a party to be successful or even better than the status quo, when that party, which has been around for decades, has yet to formulate any official political platform related to economic, political or social reforms – when that party has no political solutions to unemployment, inflation, development, education, health, trade, industry, taxations, or anything else for that matter.

    am i supposed to support them just for their anti-status quo rhetoric?

    there’s plenty of that going around, and sorry but that’s not enough.

    not these days.

  13. “thanks for comparing me to nahid hattar.”
    Dude, you know that this is not what I meant, I was simply saying that the same arguments are coming from the racist nahid, for different reasons than yours. The marginalization of the islamists only serves the status quo, because the only alternative to them is the status quo itself. Maybe, just maybe, when they are no longer marginilized they will make other societal forces move. That is my theory: we need something to make the people move, and nothing seems to do the job, maybe this will mobilize them.

    “there’s plenty of that going around”
    I don’t think so.

  14. Nas, thanks for the clarification.
    It maybe the case that Islamists in Jordan have not had a serious program to offer and at times resorted to rhetoric that simply criticizes the government without providing alternatives except “Islam is the solution.”
    However, I think they are evolving, and I think that they are also learning from other movements in the region and outside the region who have initiated real reform (ie- AKP in Turkey). I think we will soon see a paradigm shift in the strategy of Islamists in Jordan to a more action-based platform that provides real alternatives to the status-quo. There are growing signs of this, as Mohanned alluded.

    The status-quo is simply unsustainable, and Islamists understand that rhetoric no longer moves people and doesn’t make a difference.

    I’ll wait and see, but I’m pretty sure that if they do begin to provide a more tangible platform for reform, the government will come down very harsh on them and use all its power to discredit them. This would be a natural reaction, and anything else would surprising.

  15. @Mohanned: “The marginalization of the islamists only serves the status quo, because the only alternative to them is the status quo itself. Maybe, just maybe, when they are no longer marginilized they will make other societal forces move.”

    are they marginalized? yes. is this an excuse not to have an actual platform? no. is this reason enough for us to support them, i.e. out of sympathy? no.

    @moi: “I think they are evolving, and I think that they are also learning from other movements in the region and outside the region”

    supporters of the party have been saying that exact line since I can remember…

    “I’m pretty sure that if they do begin to provide a more tangible platform for reform, the government will come down very harsh on them and use all its power to discredit them.”

    the government already does that, whether the party still doesn’t have a tangible platform…

    in response, the party continues to offer obsolete rhetoric.

    heck, i might even be willing to buy in to this rhetoric if it was relevant to my life as a Jordanian citizen, or, in other words, if more than 5% of that rhetoric had to do with Jordanian issues.

  16. ” is this reason enough for us to support them, i.e. out of sympathy? no.”
    I am not saying you should support them, Because I sure don’t, What I am saying is that we have to be able to recognize what effects their rise might have on reform in jordan. They should be getting the signals from the rehtoric, if they don’t, oh well.

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