Photo Of The Moment | The Palestine Papers And Jordan

REUTERS: Abu Mohammad, an 83-year-old Palestinian refugee, speaks to Reuters TV at Al Hussein Palestinian refugee camp in Amman January 25, 2011. A proposal by Palestinian negotiators to exclude millions Palestinian refugees in Jordan, Syria, or Lebanon from potential vote over a peace deal with Israel has sent a shockwave amongst refugees in Jordan. In leaked documents published by Al Jazeera, Palestinian negotiators asked Israel to allow 10,000 refugees a year to return to their homes now in the Jewish state over a ten-year period while former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert proposed to cap the number to 1,000 refugees over the same period.

It’s interesting to note Jordan’s stance towards the Palestine Papers. One government official seems to define it as “premature”, or generally speaking, too soon to tell. At this point that’s probably an accurate assessment. Jordan is probably holding its breath (just barely) over what those papers will reveal about its role. Not only is this a conflict the Kingdom plays an obvious part in, but Al Jazeera is unlikely to be kind to whatever Jordanian mentions there may be, and both facts spell trouble for Jordan. Like the wikileaks, they are unlikely to reveal anything Jordanians don’t already assume, hence such documents only serve to reaffirm perceptions rather than confound them. So far, revelations seem to have centered largely on perceptions throughout the negotiations of the infamous “Jordan option”. It seems the state’s fears regarding this subject, especially in the past year or so, are not as unrealistic as one might assume. Here are a few gems:

Rather than break early for lunch, on other occasions, negotiators tried to resolve disagreements by offering in earnest what, to some, might sound like outlandish suggestions. Former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was the source of one such proposal during a meeting on July 30, 2008 at the State Department. Rice kicked off the session by asking for a progress report on the points of agreement between the parties. After a quick update from Qurei and Israeli foreign minister Tzipi Livni, the latter said that some major decisions had not been reached as far as how a future state of Palestine would look. “We need to know how it is going to work,” she said, “The Airport and Seaport.”

Addressing the Palestinians, Rice then dropped this bombshell:  “[Y]our airspace is so small – put it in Jordan.” The Palestinian negotiators appeared shocked at the suggestion that they use a sovereign country’s airspace as their own. Just under Rice’s comment, the Palestinian note taker wrote in brackets: “Discussion on whether this is a joke or a real option. Tzipi Livni and Condoleezza Rice clearly think it is realistic as an option.”

…A few months earlier, on February 11, it was Livni who was in a joking mood. During an otherwise serious meeting about regional security, the subject of Jordan came up in a discussion about whether a future Palestinian state would be de-militarized. “What do you want from Jordan?” Qurei asked the Israelis. “A Palestinian state,” Livni responded. “This is a joke. I didn’t mean that.” [source]

19 thoughts on “Photo Of The Moment | The Palestine Papers And Jordan

  1. Here is what I find interesting in the reaction of the Arab street towards this leak and Wikileaks, that in their mind their is as much credibility to conspiracy theories, assumptions and speculations as there is to documented facts.
    This reiteration that “leaks don’t reveal anything that the people don’t already know” just means that speculations and assumptions carry the same weight as facts to an arab… now if that’s not problematic on several fronts i don’t know what is.

  2. @bambam: public perceptions are politics. but its not necessarily differentiating between fact and speculation, but about speculating to the extent that when presented with the fact that backs up that speculation, one ceases to be surprised.

  3. Presumably this old gentleman really was a refugee, and would be one of the ten thousand (or whatever) who could return.

    I don’t think his children or grandchildren, born in Jordan, are refugees. They are Jordanian citizens, living in their country of birth. They have not had to flee anywhere to escape from a war zone, as he did.

    The world is full of people whose ancestors were refugees. I don’t think they have any right to “return”, but they do have a right to be accepted as full citizens of the country of their birth.

  4. “The world is full of people whose ancestors were refugees. I don’t think they have any right to “return”, but they do have a right to be accepted as full citizens of the country of their birth.”
    Don Cox,, get serious man . Jews who come from Brooklyn NY, London England, Sidney Australia have the right of return, but Palestinian who were ethnically cleansed from their ancestral land have to go live somewhere else, very twisted and cynical thinking indeed ..

  5. “Here is what I find interesting in the reaction of the Arab street towards this leak and Wikileaks, that in their mind their is as much credibility to conspiracy theories, assumptions and speculations as there is to documented facts.
    This reiteration that “leaks don’t reveal anything that the people don’t already know” just means that speculations and assumptions carry the same weight as facts to an arab… now if that’s not problematic on several fronts i don’t know what is.”

    The Palestinian papers that were leak to Al Jazeera are documented beyond reasonable doubt, and the puppets in the “Palestinian authority” couldn’t ‘ refute them, my confidential sources in the so called Palestinian Authority have confirmed that to me.
    I advise you smarty to stop using orientalist racist and vulgar cliches when it comes to your people ..

  6. “Jews who come from Brooklyn NY, London England, Sidney Australia have the right of return, but Palestinian who were ethnically cleansed from their ancestral land have to go live somewhere else, very twisted and cynical thinking indeed ..”

    I take your point, but jews from Brooklyn or Australia do have full US citizenship. Jews from Iraq or Syria do not have full Iraqi or Syrian citizenship.

    So far as I know, the Arabs were not “ethnically cleansed” from the area in 1948, but were told to get out of the way by the invading Arab armies. When these armies lost that war, the Arab refugees could not return. But they were not driven out by the Jews (unlike the ethnic cleansing in the former Yugoslavia).

    The reason I support the asymmetry is that the Jews have only this tiny patch of territory as their homeland, and only around 2/3 of that. The Arabs have the whole vast area of Jordan, Syria, Arabia and the Gulf States as their home.

    There is a parallel situation in Latvia. The Latvians have only that tiny state as their homeland, but a population of Russians insist they have a right to live there, although they have the whole vast teritory of Russia as their home.

    I don’t expect you to agree with me.

  7. @Don Cox: don’t bother yourself, plaestinians don’t want to return to their homeland, all they want is to take over jordan.

  8. @ jamal: before 1921, the date jordan was created , most of the land of jordan was part of historical palestine, unfortunatly this is a fact, palestinians should not be considered refugees or guests in Jordan but the contrary. we just did as israelis in manipulating history, each to convince his population with his own version….once we start to see ourselves as all arabs without these racist opinions, once we start to be more honest with ourselves and most of all once we start opening books and read only then we may move forward and merit better life with democracy, real one, and dignity.

  9. جمال، من قال لا يوجد صهاينة عرب بيننا ؟؟؟ أبشرك لقد بدت نهاية النظام الصهيوني
    Take this and run with it all the way to the bank
    ركائز وعماد النظام الصهيوني تنهار أمام أعيننا وعقبالنا في الأردن

  10. للاردني الحر رغم انه واضح انك مش اردني صدقني اللي صار بتونس واللي بصير بمصر كله لعيون اسرائيل والايام والسنين القادمة رح تثبت هالحكي

  11. صدقني االي بصير هو بداية التصفية النهائية للقضية الفلسطينية وتونس استخدمت ك “بروتوتايب” للبقية لانها مكان سهل ينعمل فيه هيك نموذج وخلينا نشوف شو بده يصير بمصر لانه مص مش مشكلتها مبارك مشكلتها ثقافة الشعب نفسه واي نظام جديد ما رح يعمل شي جديد لمصر الا اذا امريكا قررت تراكم راس مالي ضحم في مصر مثل كوريا الجنوبية وهذا من اهم شروطه رح يكون تصفية الجيش المصري

  12. بحكيلك خلينا نصبر ونشوف النتائج وعندها بيبين اللي بيدري واللي عايش على انفعالات جربها العرب بالستينات وادت الى ما ادت ولازم تعرف نقطة مهمة انه اسرائيل لا يمكن تزول هنالك احتمال واحد انه اسرائيل تتوسع وما في غيره

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