Verbatim | Suing Israel Equals Jordanian Hypocrisy?

“There is no greater hypocrisy than a country that just 39 years ago, on Black September in 1970, murdered 10,000 of its Palestinian residents, dealing with international crimes today…Jordan will not be the one to teach Israel what combat morals are.” – Israel’s Internal Security Minister, Avi Dichter, expressing outrage at reports that Jordan planned to file a lawsuit against himself and other Israeli officials to the International Criminal Court in The Hague. [source]

It’s an interesting and fairly controversial statement coming from a war criminal, which lead me to wonder if such statements are designed to cause a bit of turmoil here at home; a distraction. Maybe not. In any case, parliamentary plans to sue Israeli officials, including Olmert, Livni and Dichter, were canceled last minute due to “procedural” reasons.

Procedure, in this case, meaning a phone call.

Any thoughts?


  • whenever i hear this kind of argument (A can’t criticize B for x, because B also did something bad like x in the past), my response is why not? i mean, if jordan’s actions in the 70s constituted a war crime too, that doesn’t get the israelis off the hook. shouldn’t we conclude that those responsible for both crimes should be in the hague, not that neither of them should.

    the whole argument is so stupid. it’s like if i murdered someone, and then i claim the charges should be dropped against me because the prosecutor killed someone else 3 decades ago. what does one have to do with the other?

  • First of all, repeating what Dichter said helps in achieving his goal behind saying it.

    Second of all, and if we’re playing hypoctitical ping pong, it’s the epitomy of hypocracy for the offspring of the holocaust survivors to subject another people to tactics used by the nazis against the jews, but that’s not allowed to be said, as no suffering is higher than that of the jews, Mashi.

    Third of all, and most importanty, it wasn’t 10000, nor was it 25000 like someone said, it was between 1000 and 2000 combatants, the exadurated number was the product of Egyptian/PLO propaganda against Jordan, Israel is always happy to use that card, as excercised by Dichter.

    Fouth, I’m a Jordanian of Palestinian decent, so any theories about basing my argument on Jordanian chauvinistic feelings against Palestinians is void of its value, at least in my case.

  • In 1970 I lived in Zarqa and I have witnessed war crime committed by Jordanian soldiers(by the way ,it does not matter how many are killed to be constituted war crime ) and commanders at the time, there was complete chaos where commanders and soldiers become the judges and the executioners at the same time .
    Yes some Jordanian committed war and there is no question about it and there are amble evidence to convict some people,but you have to remember, Israel had encouraged and supported Hussein to finish off the palestinian Resistance and some people would argue that king Hussein himself was implicated in those crime .but what’s the point the king is dead along with all who participated in it.
    The Israelis are just bankrupt politically and have nothing useful to say ,they are punch of gangsters and if it’s up to them ,they would commit a holocaust against the Palestinians.

  • I ask out of pure ignorance with regards to this subject of international law:

    Why would Jordan sue Israel? Is this for crimes committed against Jordanians? Is Jordan acting as a custodian for aggrieved Palestinians?

    I do find it interesting that an Israeli official would invoke the 1970 civil conflict as a retort… From what I understand, the actions of the Jordanian forces against the PLO resulted from (1) the increasing insistence of the PLO that they would operate as a state within a state, outside of Jordanian law; and (2) the PLO’s use of the East Bank of the Jordan for launching attacks into the West Bank (newly captured by Israel). One could wonder how much the 1970 conflict was due to (2) and international pressure to stop incursions into the West Bank.

  • Yasser Abu Hilalah had it right today in al-ghad: its good to remember in the first place why Jordanian government had to act against Palestinian militants, whom we all know why did they become refugees, militants, and based widely in Jordan.

    Its good to remember that many members of the various Jordanian security forces (Army, Police, or Intelligence) were from Palestinian roots, another proof of an action taken to settle social unrests within territorial borders and not genocide being done by a group against another group.

    Its good to remember that Jordan was defending its ruling system and order, while Israel attacked a soverign territory that it occupies by blockade on Gaza and settlements/seperation wall in west bank, hijacks Jerusalem, prisons 15000 Palestinians and some other arabs, denies 6 million refugees right of return to their hometowns of pre-1948, neglects all UN regulations leading to solutions. I will stop here and will not get in Zionism and what it brought on the entire Arab people.

    This statement comes in line with other zionist lines as “Why Palestinians are so bitter from Israeli occupation while they are not angry about Jordanian occupation before it?” OR “Take care Jordanians, Palestinians in Baq3a Camp are so close to Amman!” which resemble a clear zionist approach of setting firsts, laying statements as facts to start from, ignoring or isolating historical/cultural realities to concentrate the idea of problems arising after Israel’s existence or disconnecting chain of incidents to take away Israel’s existence as the main reason of all the things that went bad for us.

    Such statements shall be dealt with in full discussion.

  • A couple of years ago I argued that we need to openly discuss what happened in Black September since we have different stories from different people, with some obvious bias in accounts from both sides of the conflict. One advantage of such discussion is to be able to answer such accusations from Israel, the country that displaced a whole nation and has not allowed them to come back the land they came from.

  • that’s the problem with being governed by murderous Arab despots. israel can always blackmail them into silence if not acquiescence. i won’t be surprised if the zionists have dirt files on every arab despot who even looks israel’s way in a manner that displeases Bani Zion. Then of course you have Israel’s key ally, the USA and its horrific human rights record in Iraq and Afghanistan. remember how every time someone tried to corner one of the Israeli propagandists on TV the Israelis were quick to remind the show host of America’s “war on terror” in Iraq and Afghanistan and the many “regrettable civilian casualties” and how if we are willing to accept the wholesale slaughter of Arabs and Muslims in Iraq and Afghanistan then why make a big deal about the slaughter of 1300 more Arabs in Gaza. When I heard the Arab League is leading an investigation into Israel’s war crimes in Gaza i knew from the start it would be nothing but a bargaining tool the Arab despots will use to extract concession from the US on their own violations. And the file will be dragged on and on and on and nothing will happen. Without democracy, there will be no dignity for the Arabs anywhere and no value for their lives.

  • AMP, International Law permits anyone, anywhere to file a lawsuit against people who are accused of genocide, it happened to Milosevic, when he was tried in the Hague, by people who weren’t affected by his “crimes”, it happened in Belgium when lawsuits were filed against Ariel Sharon for the 2002 massacres in Jenin, and could happen again to the Isreali leadership for the massacares in Gaza.

    Ahmad. it’s also good to remember that many Jordanian of east bank origin fought on the side of the PLO and Co, aka the “Palestininans”.

    It is also good to remember that the leader of the DFLP is an East Bank Jordanian, and he fought against the Jordanians in 70′, so it wasn’t a Palestinian-Jordanian conflict, as many insist on making it out of ignorance in politics, sometimes deliberately, but rather an attempt to overthrow a regime, by an opposition that includes amongst it people of different backgrounds, including sudanese, Iraqis, and East Germans, and, a sovereign state asserting it’s authority.

  • Good points, Ammar. I’d be interested in knowing more about East Bankers who sided with the PLO. I haven’t been able to find much information on this in the English language histories of Jordan. Any recommended reading?

  • AMP, I’m not actually aware of any spacific books or articles written about this particular angle, but the most promenant example of this was the leader of the DFLP, Nayef Hawatmeh, you can find stuff about him online, he’s still around, and comes to Jordan often.

  • a point of clarification: the World Court litigates between states whereas the ICC tries war criminals (as individuals) who have committed preposterous war crimes.

    Since Jordan is a signatory state to the ICC (which is something I think Jordan should pride itself in), it can file a lawsuit against any individual around the world. As far as we are concerned, any government can file the lawsuit against Israeli officials, but I think it is great that Jordanian MPs are attempting to do so.

    As for Israel’s Internal Minister’s comment, I don’t know why is it emphasized so much. Its part and parcel of Israeli resentment towards the ICC. By pointing out other atrocities committed in the past which are not tried by the ICC, Israeli official hope to undermine the the court internationally.

    bear in mind, the court only tries what it believes to be the most egregious crimes committed against humanity. Israeli crimes fall well within this parameter!

  • Israel atrocities in Gaza cannot be compared to any historical genocide, war or conflict that ever took place. However, it still think Ditcher was right in one thing, the ‘hypocrisy’ and double standards of the Arab states whenever it comes to pulling cards of international law violations. ‘Blame it on the enemy’ policy has been used in different instances to cover up states’ own failure of practising these laws or gain popular support. One can say that what Israel did is against all laws of humanity and speaking and reacting against it is very natural on a public or government level . This is not to say that Jordan didn’t do the right thing, but to say that Jordan may have gained a lot more credibility if it acknowledged the mistakes done in 1970s or at least opened a discussion to hear different sides of the stories, and gave the right to people to sue those executed war crimes in the name of sustaining order in Jordan. The same with Turkey, although their stands regarding Gaza were very honourable and they were ‘more Arab than the Arabs themselves’ as Aljazeera put it , but one should remember that, until this day, Turkey oppresses the rights of the Kurds (fifth of the population) and attempts to detach them from their identities. Just like we want Israel to be punished for its inhumanities, we should also take a look at our own backyards and start fixing it in order for what we ask for , as a country, in the future, hold more credibility and legitimacy.

  • It’s amazing to me how many people are so quick to complain about Israel and demand that Israelis face war crimes tribunals in the Hague and everywhere else, but no one, NOT ONE person in this blog or anywhere else is demanding that Hamas faces the same consequences for their actions. Did they not send suicide/homocide bombers into CIVILIAN crowded malls, markets, and streets?

    I saw the movie “Waltz with Bashir” a few days ago. I thought it was an excellent movie, but I have to tell you, as an Israeli, for many years I believed the Israeli army was responsible for the massacre in Sabra and Shatila. We were taught in school that it is a shameful piece of history that should never have happened, like Kfar Kassem.
    To hear the Palestinians and the world tell it, Israel was the only responsible party. Only years later did I find out that the Christian Phalangists were the ones murdering women and children. I am not ignoring the fact that the Israeli army was in charge, and to prove that Israelis are not running away from responsibility note the fact that half a million Israelis assembled in Rabin Square in protest and demanded an investigation into what happened, and how the Phalangists were allowed to commit such horrible crimes. My question is: where are the demonstrators from Gaza? Where are the demonstrators against Hamas’ homocide bombers? where are the demonstrators in lebanon against Hizballah’s shooting of rockets into Northern Israel just last week, without any provocation from us?
    And the hatred that is taught in Jordanian and Palestinian schools is already well documented.

    Two wrongs don’t make a right, but once, just once, it would be nice to see the Palestinians and their supporters protest wrongs committed in their name.

  • Waltz my potato ,,the movie has been approved and promoted by all the Zionist Embassy Around the world,it only show the agony of the Israeli soldiers and the palestinian just another faceless and nameless walking zombies..

    “To say that Palestinians are absent in Waltz with Bashir, to say that it is a film that deals not with Palestinians but with Israelis who served in Lebanon, only barely begins to describe the violence that this film commits against Palestinians. There is nothing interesting or new in the depiction of Palestinians — they have no names, they don’t speak, they are anonymous. But they are not simply faceless victims. Instead, the victims in the story that Waltz with Bashir tells are Israeli soldiers. Their anguish, their questioning, their confusion, their pain — it is this that is intended to pull us. The rotoscope animation is beautifully done, the facial expressions so engaging, subtle and torn, we find ourselves grimacing and gasping at the trials and tribulations of the young Israeli soldiers and their older agonizing selves. We don’t see Palestinian facial expressions; only a lingering on dead, anonymous faces. So while Palestinians are never fully human, Israelis are, and indeed are humanized through the course of the film.”

    “If a Hamas writer were to shoot a film about his experience in Gaza would the Hollywood community welcome him with open arms, and would the liberal media shower him with praise? With or without the “anguish” of the Israel soldiers.
    Posted by As’ad at “

  • Did they not send suicide/homocide bombers into CIVILIAN crowded malls, markets, and streets?

    regardless of everyone’s personal opinion of such bombings .. but when’s the last time one of those happened anyway?

  • It’s amazing to me how many people are so quick to complain about Israel and demand that Israelis face war crimes tribunals in the Hague and everywhere else, but no one, NOT ONE person in this blog or anywhere else is demanding that Hamas faces the same consequences for their actions. Did they not send suicide/homocide bombers into CIVILIAN crowded malls, markets, and streets?

    Yes they did, and it’s fine with me if Israel decides to take them to the Hague. Lets all take both Israeli war criminals and Hamas war criminals (and any other war criminals for that matter) to the ICC.

    But there’s one small problem. Most of the Hamas war criminals are already dead, along with usually half a dozen of their immediate family members thanks to Israel’s extrajudicial killings, which are illegal too by the way.

  • to the Israelis,

    You can never compare Israel to Hammas.

    1. By international laws, Israel occupies Palestine.. The right to resist occupation is always reserved, it got confused with war on terror. If I was a Hammas official, I would attack the soldiers and the settlers, the Jerusalem resisdents, the contractors of the seperation wall.. though its ok morally to attack zionists everywhere, its not wise to do so.

    2. By historical means, Israel exists on Palestinian lands and over their rights. Once you acknoweldge that your people (if you can be even charactrized as a nation) stole land and fabricated lies and went through a progressive action plan expanding over centuries, alot will make sense why Arabs wish you were not there. And our hate goes to Zionism, Israel but never against Jews.

    3. As we have ourselves to blame for dipping in shit as we do everyday (the civil wars, the arab-arab wars, the failed economies, detoriarating well beings) it was mainly caused or fueled by your existence, in good well and in bad well too.

    Acknowledge that, or learn about that if they fed you something else before you show up with disconnected facts, assuming life started yesterday.

  • War crmes are war crimes. They are sentenced independent of surrounding conditions and what happened over the century.

    Whoever killed civilians deserves punishment. Be it Jordan or Israel.

    All these darn blogs mentioning ONE thing, ANY thing about Israel ALWAYS dwindle down to the darn occupation, and lose sight of the original topic.

    CRIMINAL COURT. HAGUE. JORDANIAN ATTACK. ISRAELI ATTACK. thats the subject. shut up about the land.

  • I am glad I found this blog, because I am really interested to hear what you have to say, whether I agree with it or not.
    After reading the comments, though, I have to say that the eternal optimist in me is feeling kinda bummed…. if all Arabs believe that Israel has no right to exist, where do we (Israelis and Palestinians) go from here?
    You talk about your homes and your property and your land that we (Israel) stole from you, but then what about the land property and homes that my grandparents lost when they were kicked out of Egypt?
    We could go on and on like this in circles, but that really doesn’t solve anything.

    How do we realistically solve this problem? You and I know that Israel is not going anywhere, and neither are the Palestinians, so what can an American emissary do? Does George Mitchell have a chance?

    I know bloggers do not make or enforce policies, I am seriously just interested in an honest opinion. I for one, if I were the Israeli prime minister, I would get rid of the settlements right away. then remove the blockade on Gaza, and negotiate (with who, actually?) a peace with Abu Mazen or whoever is in the West bank. But, since hamas rules Gaza and they refuse to talk to Israel, how can I negotiate anything with them?
    any suggestions?

  • Discussing “black September” should be based on an ability to listen to the other party and to be able to draw conclusions based on real life references. Two of the major books I have been fascinated with are the memoires of Abu Iyad and Abu Dawood, Both were leading Fatah leaders in Jordan and both reached an honest conclusion that the PLO has exaggerated in provoking the state. In other books (Avi Shlaim’s Lion of Jordan” there was an argument that King Hussein was actually very reluctant to launch a military attack until he was openly confronted by Sharif Naser and Wasfi tell on the need to bring back the control of the state to the whlole of Jordan.
    Attrocities were committed also against Jordanian soldiers and a lot of PLO leaders were openly calling to regime removal. At this stage you just do not stay still and watching and anarchy. This is a delicate issue that needs honest assessments from both sides.

  • You talk about your homes and your property and your land that we (Israel) stole from you, but then what about the land property and homes that my grandparents lost when they were kicked out of Egypt?

    There’s a big problem with the argument regarding Jewish folks being kicked out of Arab land, because at that time (and until today), there was a huge pulling force from the zionist movement to settle people in the Jewish state. So this raises the very good question: were Jews kicked out, or did they just leave on their own to settle in the newly created state? The evidence supporting the zionist settling movement is overwhelming and well documented. However, not much evidence has been gathered (or at least been well publicized) regarding any forced departures from Arabic countries.

    IF there are Jewish people who are interested in a “Jewish right of return” to Arab land, they should not have been assimilated into the Israeli state and given Israeli citizenship. Instead, they should have been registered as refugees who are waiting to go back to their original homes. They should also be willing to give up living in Israel in the future if they’re given the right to go back to whatever Arabic lands they came from. After all, the Arabs who were made refugees in 1948 and 1967 and ask for the right of return certainly don’t expect to be able to stay in both their original homeland and the one that they live in now where they’re not given any citizenship. You can’t have it both ways.

    Generally, I believe we as Arabs do not wish to expel any Jewish person from the land of Israel/Palestine in a solution. Therefore, it’s gonna come down to what Jewish people prefer: stay in Israel or go back to the land that they were supposedly “kicked out of.” I don’t think anyone will choose to leave Israel.

  • Kyle,

    the land, the occupation, the refugees, the wall, the lost lifetime, Jerusalem, the Blockade, the prisoners, are all why wars happen.. and thats just to remain inside Palestine… As you always should know: Life didn’t start yesterday.

    Now suddenly Jordan is on the hock, so that Jordan drops its cause for Israel dropping the black september issue. Thats another attempt to overlap history. IF you ever are interested in a solution, you have to face realities “Why were the Palestinians militias in Jordan?” “Why is there 6 million Palestinian refugees?” “Why do all arabs hate you?” look up those answers if you do not already know.

    The “Neighbor”,

    More than half of the new elected “Kenest” represents right wing with some calling for expansion of settlements in west bank, others for Arabs kick off from 1948 borders, governments working systematically to digest Jerusalem, at best calling for better economies in the Palestinian authorities zone. None of those even considers Palestine and a small chunk of their rights, none of you acknowledges the right of return, no one has did real action to pull out the settlers from the west bank.. I do not see majority really interested in implementing international laws that give some rights to the Palestinians, not all, but some.
    Calls for compensations are not on table yet.

    As for being kicked out of Egypt, I very much doubt that. The Jewish temple is right in the middle of Cairo, with police giving it full attention for obvious reasons. Many Jews exist still in their original Arab towns (Iraq, Yemen, Egypt, Syria, Bahrain, Morroco, and Tunisia).. The Samarities live beside Nablus city in west bank for as long as anyone can remember, they live in harmony yet.


    No, the overwhelming majority of Arabs want them shipping in seas back to where they came from, we are just unable to do it. Some wish it, some work for it, some had peace with history, and some are actually too peaceful.

    We can not yet develop a vision where peace is a mean to realise our rights, we still look at it JUST as a way to stop bleeding.

  • Ahmad Al-Sholi wrote:

    “As for being kicked out of Egypt, I very much doubt that. The Jewish temple is right in the middle of Cairo, with police giving it full attention for obvious reasons. Many Jews exist still in their original Arab towns (Iraq, Yemen, Egypt, Syria, Bahrain, Morroco, and Tunisia)..”

    Ahmad Al-Sholi,

    You doubt it? You know sure or you just doubt it – Grab a history book. North African Jews have not been treated so well over the years. The vast majority left for good reason.

  • Carlo,

    I confirm it, I not only doubt it 🙂 I met an Israeli-Egyptian once that he found a good opportunity in Zionism. None of his Jew circles in Egypt were ever muscled to get out. Now a Jew or else, expressing favorable thoughts about Israel in Cairo mainstreams.. You know what that might get you in 🙂

    As for immigrants to Palestine in general, they come in 5 batches: Pre 1840, 1840-1920, 1920-1948, Post 1948 within 1948 borders, Post 1967 within 1967 borders. Many attempts to legitimize and regularize the transfer upon the phase. Problems heightened between many orthodox jews and the “liberal” jews when the zionist project started to materialize. One of the ongoing conflicts is legitimizing many new waves, being non-jews, or a non-rooted/unconfirmed jew blood. Not to forget that the zionist theory of nationalizing Jew people fails the social concept in the first place, or ignoring the facts of converting and reconfirming Jews during medieval Europe and the fall of Al-Andulus.

    Now Arabs immigrating to Palestine after the rise of the zionist state fall in one of the categorized immigrants (demographic factor, economics, politics, religion, and propaganda).

    I was just stating facts and not really interested in convincing you. Look it up if you want to know other than zionist fabrications.

  • Batir, I have listened to Abu Dawod talk about it, and I second you on that. Hijacking planes and blowing them on Jordanian soil was the breaking point, but as definitely the only reason the army took actio. King Hussein was reluctant but he was in a position where the army threatened to interfere even without his approval.

    Prior to 1948, Arab Jews were treated as citizens, with some restirctions and discrimination, but nothing qualifying to persecution. In 1948, Israel was enforced on Arabs and a whole Arab nation was displaced. A lot Arab Jews stood by Israel instead of standing by their fellow Arabs. After 1948, a lot of Arab Jews who decided to stay in their home lands were not very welcomed, and they were pushed to immigrate to The US, europe or Israel. This is very unfortunate, but you can return to your homeland if you want, and at least you have a country now. Millions of Palestinians do not.

  • As the child of Moroccan Jews I have a better understanding of the situation for North African Jews than just having read “Zionist fabrications”. My grandfather still talks with great respect for Sultan Mohammed V. but don’t believe that all hardships put upon the Jews of North Africa are “fabrications”. The Jews desire to control their own destiny comes from a very real place that is easy for anyone put in their shoes to understand. Unfortunately talking to an Israeli-Egyptian once might not make you as informed as you think.

  • Carlo, in controlling their own destiny Jews have ruined other people’s lives and occupied their land. The hardship that Jews faced in North Africa is nothing compared to the tragedy that Palestinians have suffered over the past century.

  • “The hardship that Jews faced in North Africa is nothing compared to the tragedy that Palestinians have suffered over the past century.”


    NOTHING compared? I was not trying to compare nor was I trying to belittle Palestinian suffering but I am surprised by your certainty and your use of the word “Nothing” – I don’t think you know enough to say this, please explain yourself.

  • I was not agreeing or not agreeing with any of the points mentioned above my comment.

    I was saying that whenEVER there is a discussion involving ANY topic, the buzz word *Israel* gets everyone blabbing about the occupation. Everyone loses sight of the topic.

    The blog is about international crime. Israel saying that Jordan has committed some of that itself in the past.

    Feel free to defend that. Or offend that. But playing that same darn song about why Israel exists or should not exist or how it came to exist is plain dumb.

    When you said “you” I got the feeling that you were grouping me with Isreal. I am not Israeli or Jewish – FYI.

  • Kyle,

    to what extent are you exposed to the Israeli-Arab conflict? I am asking to know on what did you build your statement “Feel free to defend that. Or offend that. But playing that same darn song about why Israel exists or should not exist or how it came to exist is plain dumb”.


    Now, if some or many Jew families in Morroco for instance were often harrassed by their countrymen just for being Jews, that definately is a shame but it contradicts with the numbers of Jews enjoying today thier citizenship in Morroco and Tunisia for instance.

    You know of course the zionist attempts to move Jews even forcefully to Israel.

    Jews are even convinced that they are a nation by Zionism activities, to explain it, you can look into documentation of german jews arriving in Palestine before/during/after Nazism where they mainly defined themselves as Germans, spoke German, and acted as average German villigers during the beginnings of settlements activities. Thats a result of null or limited zionist activity in Nazi Germany.

    Now I do not get how people who were really abused can easily abuse or live with an abuse committed by their names and in front them. Why from all the world did they have to move to Palestine, why not for instance go to Cyprus? Turkey? rush for Switzerland for refuge…

    Another thing that Jews like to link any trouble facing them to being Jews. You, being of Arab roots as well, should know how arabs had many setbacks during the crossing from middle ages to modern days (regardless of being Israeli centered) that means their social and economic realities, the jew issue that you are claiming does not even qualify as a tiny fraction. they barely level as sightings.

    There are definitions in vocabs how things get their names, and the many messages Arab-Israeli Jews recieved from their arab governments asking to submit claims and resolve issues and not replying to those calls clearly shows why did those people leave in the first place.

Your Two Piasters: