Verbatim | Queen Rania Criticizes Israel

“The attack stunned the world because of its blatant and absurd disregard for anything resembling international law, human rights, and diplomatic norms. Its glaring outrageousness stunned, but didn’t surprise, me. It cannot be viewed in isolation. It is another upshot of a dogma long fermenting on Israel’s political landscape. It is a doctrine that lives for itself and off others. It survives by tapping into the subliminal and cognisant levels. It implants into public consciousness a set of tenets that see Israeli’s very existence as eternally under threat, to be defended through any means (preferably through use of force to show the enemy who’s boss).”Queen Rania on Israel’s attack of the Flotilla and the rise of the Israeli right, in an article in the Independent. [source]

Suffice to say the piece is fairly strong-worded coming out of Jordan and addressing a predominantly western audience. It’s rare to see that kind of commentary emanating from the state and one might wonder why King Abdullah didn’t write it himself, or, in other words, why Queen Rania was given this role to play even though foreign policy isn’t exactly her domain (but pretty much everything else is). Moreover, there is a spark of confusion to consider, as I am personally unable to tell whether Queen Rania is speaking for herself or for the Jordanian state? Such confusion is absent when it is the actual leader of the country who is making a statement the concerns foreign affairs; the line becomes gray when it is the Queen.

Nevertheless, at the end of the day, actions speak louder than words, and if Jordan is genuinely looking to play a role in the faltering status quo that is Gaza, then it must take proactive measures, rather than remain a reactionary state that is forced to write articles on how the rise of the Israeli right wing, with the unloved Netanyahu at the helm, is bad for peace. Moreover, there is still a domestic constituency that once again has been ignored. Such messages are tailored to the western powers, who care little for anti-Israeli sentiments despite their short-lived and ceremonial “uproar” over Israeli crimes against humanity. All the while, here at home, Jordanians hear very little from their leadership regarding said crimes, and more importantly, see very little movement by the state to interfere or play a role that expands beyond the humanitarian.


  • اعتقد ان هناك انعدام تنسيق, لحسن الحظ , بين الملكة والحكومة .

  • I was suprised myself by the article, considering that the country has remained fairly mum during this ordeal. But why the disconnect between the internal and external message? Generally, I get what HM the Queen does in terms of softening the image of Arabs to the Western audience. I get it and appreciate it, even though it sometimes comes off unappealing internally. However, the PR should be balanced both internally and externally, even though her audience outside is much easier and less likely to criticize. But even with a tough crowd inside, she needs to start working on reaching out to them just as well.

  • we have asked the same question on regarding HRH Qeen Rania’s piece in the Independent, and I am glad that the Black-Iris has also pointed this out,

    it was a great piece, however was it very necessary considering Jordan has not really taken an official stance in international media, and has barely had a mention in western media.

    This draws a bold underline that Jordan does have major problems with how it treats external media and PR for the country and how it publicizes its policies in the region. Media is such a powerful tool but whoever is in charge (in the Royal Court ) of devising strategies on how to use various platform is gravely mistaken.

    Good effort and strong words by HRH Queen Rania, and I understand she is an activist in Humanitarian and developmental issues and she does a great job in the field…, however the bottom line and the final – most important – question is, as stated in this blog, who’s views is she representing, the Jordanian view, or her own view? and to what extent should the foreign policy views of the country be represented in Western media by a state figure who is outside the domain of official Jordanian Foreign policy??

  • @T: that disconnect has continued to bother me and deserves a great deal of attention in my opinion. generally, the country’s leadership needs to start addressing the local constituency with these issues. ignoring them and pretending they don’t exist isn’t a solution, it just makes people angrier and increasingly frustrated.

    @Maan: in these situations, where the contradiction is so bold, one is bound to conclude that either the left hand does not know what the right hand is doing, or the left hand not only knows – but is orchestrating the movement of the right hand. it’s a 50-50 scenario public perceptions wise. and that’s politics.

  • @Nas: I think this article would have been better suited after an official reaction from the State in regional and western media. I commend HM Queen Rania for such a humanitarian piece, however the timing comes into question.

    The right and left hand need to combine in harmony and correspondence with one another, and this is strictly in terms of media strategy which Jordan is lacking heavily on the international scene, otherwise this foggy image of Jordan, internally and externally, will remain.

    I also commend black-iris for raising such issues and important questions. it is through websites such as black-Iris, and further more Aaram (and please excuse me for plugging our site continuously) – that the dissection of ‘higher level’ PR and media strategies in Jordan occurs. R.I.P the much needed Jordanian Ministry of Information, The Higher Media Council, and the Information Center at the Jordanian Embassy in London…we will miss you all…

    I have lived my life in the West with the motto, ‘only shout when your wrong’, and this has been successful so far in my life and career, however in the Middle East this is different, you have to shout in order to be heard, because it seems the right words and facts fall on deaf ears and that is dangerous for the future of Jordanian media and image.

  • I guess it’s a matter of context. If this was published in US mainstream papers I’d say it is very strong worded. But in the UK, and Europe more generally, disregard for international law is always met with outrage, and the Queen’s piece falls within the lines of the criticism already voiced. Naturally, clearly pro-Israel papers remain, but generally, even the Guardian and BBC covered this in terms of a violation of international law, an assault on civilians, and a deadly attack on human rights. And that is saying nothing of the independent (the most liberal and left-leaning of the mainstream papers). This frame of reference already exists within journalism institutions; it was used for the coverage of the Tiananmen demonstrations, the Iranian response to protestors, and now Israel’s attack. If we continue to criticise Israel within this frame of reference this will effectively translate into pressure because it falls within the lines of mainstream reporting traditions.
    Still, I think it is immense that we are getting on board with universal criticisms and reiterating our respect for human rights. Having a Jordanian articulate the view so eloquently is something to be proud of. This will only reaffirm Jordan’s standing in the international (European) community. However, this also needs to be matched by such respect in internal policies. We can not use liberalism when it suits us in defending the Palestinians but ignore violations of international law within. Similarly, we can’t lecture Israel on violating UN charter clauses when we ourselves have not accepted them all (the list of ta7afuzat on women’s issues).

  • It’s well-known that the spouses of political leaders do not have any political roles. Occasionally when they make political comments they are brief and they come in complete agreement with their spouse’s opinions. What’s different here is the tone, which is stronger from Queen Rania than that of the king.

  • There is a lot of confusion made by different tones of the Jordan government, people and the Queen too, the three have to meet halfway very soon.

    I do agree strongly that such statements will confuse people on whether they express the Queen’s stand or the entire Jordanian state.

    With the absence of people’s representaion, monarchy is taking on what is supposed to be the “government role that reflects true public participation.”

  • صح النوم- أين كانت الملكه رانيا خلال ال ١٠ سنوات الأخيرة والجرائم الصهيونيه على قدم وساق؟ ، أين ذهبت الملكه رانيا عندما كانت إسرائيل تمطر غزة بلقنابل والصواريخ والأسلحه الفتاكه والقنابل الفسفوريه؟. لماذا لم نسمع أو نقراء حتى كلمة شجب أوأعتراض من الملكه رانيا على ما قامت بهي هذه الدوله المارقه من مجازر وقتل مُتعمد للمدنين العزل ØŸ هل يعقل أن أن نتعامل مع مجرم أستمر في دبح أهلنا في فلسطين على مر العقود بشجب وكلام معسل ØŸ هل منكم يصدق بما كتب في هذا المقال؟، والعلاقه بيننا وبين هذه الدوله المارقه مثل العسل والسكر؟؟؟

  • If I am not mistaken, we had a discussion a while ago about ‘actions speaking louder than words’ and Queen Rania was the culprit of that debate…

    I quote you Nas:

    “so, do we judge the person or their actions?

    and if we judge the person, are we ever in any position to truly know what their intentions are…be they the queen or just your average jo?”

    So now its convenient to judge her by her action?

  • Maan, everybody;
    I would disagree with the assumption that the Jordanian stance was weak. In fact, if you consider The royal statement last week as well as Dr Joudeh’s and Dr Sharif’s statements, they all make a stronger combined message compared to the standard Arab world daily dose of ‘condemnation’.
    However, what is really worrying is how we reflect ourselves outside the country. I was surprised to see that almost none of the foreign media (including those with Amman based reporters and offices) have recognized any Jordanian role in the peaceful release of the activists. Even the Gazan wife who was first deported to Turkey, her story was everywhere, with no mention to the Jordanian mediation. This is actually worrying because we don’t explain ourselves outside the country.
    Turkey didn’t capture the world’s attention last week through their embassy in the US. They were talking in Ankara and in fluent Turkish. I think our national media leadership needs to carefully study the Turkish example and come up with a practical, yet effective action plan for Jordan’s image in the international media… a plan that is made and applied in Amman.
    As for HM the Queen’s commentary today, I don’t think she has made a political statement; ‘governments’ do not send their statements to op-ed pages, thinkers and intellectuals do. Queen Rania has a natural right, just like any one of us, to express herself. If that’s going to send a stronger message that serves Jordan’s goals of a lasting, just peace in the region, then what’s the harm? Do we disagree with any of what she wrote today? I don’t think so.

  • @Maan: Many people are sadly sucking up, not knowing what is really going on in matters that will soon affect us profoundly, others know and speak out but it is like this : No Lower House (most likely the upcoming one will not be better than the previous), No strong stand led by political parties, and No questioning at the end of the day…

    Let monarchy aside, each person should come up with his/her own way to express their view and take action even by the simplest measures; I don’t have an answer to “what should people do?” but at least some awareness (as a first step) and action even verbally is something. Maybe people could even benefit tools such as media and strong public groups to champion their causes when the government isn’t.

    @The Free Jordanian: I am not a publicist but many public figures tend to come out sometimes and obtain an extensive role globally; so let it be but regarding Israeli-Jordanian ties, there is a certainly discoordination; once the ties are described as “suffering a major setback” while they are taking different turns in terms of economy and politics, we need to know where we stand.

  • how about you guys stop wasting time talking about jordan, and talk about the west because thats where the game is played?

    yesterday Helen Thomas a white house journalist was basically DESTROYED because she said “israelies should get the hell out of palestine”

    notice how jews are all over the white house, media.
    i dont think she would be attacked like this if she pissed on the american flag.

  • @Yasmine, I tell you where we stand , the so called “our” government ( as far as i know, I never elected as all of you) has been worshiping the shameful Wadi Araba treaty since it’s inception . and all they care is the few corruption American dollares that comes their way.

  • @Nas: I did not mean to attack you or anything, sorry if I came off as belligerent. But your tone now seems a lot more confident in the power of action over the power of words, that was all i was trying to say. Looking at things in context, I think the question to be asked is not whether or not Jordan/King Abdz/his wife WANT to do something about the growing hostility toward Israel/Israeli hostility towards the Palis, its whether or not they CAN in fact do something about it all..

  • Who said we did not have freedom of speech. The past 3 articles have been as outspoken as they could get.

    Good work Naseem

  • @TFJ, in terms of “why didn’t the queen say anything about previous atrocities”, my only comment is that she did. On youtube, twitter, blog postings, and other opinion-platforms, her she voiced harsh criticisms against Israel, especially during the Gaza crisis.

    But that’s a side point, and I belief your own true criticism is similar to that of Naseem’s, which is that actions speak louder than words; that is a more legitimate argument, and a true concern. In absolute terms, I would agree;

    –however if one would say that “actions speak louder than words” in a relative manner, and compare our ‘words’ to Turkey’s ‘actions’, then I would disagree. Because their form of actions /is/ mainly words, the difference being that their size and economy and position makes them more able to get things done.

  • @Fares: no offense taken. I do take in to consideration the power of words, and their ability to move people. But as in all things, context is important. There are times when words are enough – enough to change policy, enough to inspire and move the masses – and then there are times when they must be coupled with action. When it comes to Palestine, we have long driven past the point where words are enough to stand on their own. If they are not coupled with action then they carry absolutely no meaning to me, and probably to most.

    that said, i do agree with you that there is a distinguishing line between what our country’s leadership WANTS to do and what they CAN do, i.e. what they are allowed to do. but with that in mind, i think if one is faced with various limitations it becomes a time for ingenuity. there are always ways and means to act without explicitly doing something predictable or in line with the beltway thinking.

    @Eyas: im not completely convinced by the argument that a country’s actions are limited to the obstacles that surround it. obviously they play a major role but if anything, history has shown that even the smallest country’s can play the biggest roles; they carve one out for themselves and enforce it on the status quo. no one gives it to you; you have to take it.

  • ” It implants into public consciousness a set of tenets that see Israeli’s very existence as eternally under threat, to be defended through any means (preferably through use of force to show the enemy who’s boss).”

    Unfortunately Israel IS eternally under threat.

  • Rania is playing with fire.

    When HM King Hussein publicly bollocked Netanyahu, he was a King, a Statesman and a political genius, he had Jordan united behind him, as well as decades of experience in the mire of political history of the Middle East. He was also extremely well respected in Israel.
    He had instinct, it was almost always spot on.

    Whoever thought this gem of a debacle up, is either a complete idiot, or someone with malicious intent.

    Who else in their right minds would give the green light for the King’s wife – yup – the King’s WIFE to speak out on the international stage against Israel, who at the moment are united in the face of the world’s disapproval. Does Jordan really want to be pissing them off now?

    Rania needs to keep her head down & her face out of the press, sign off Twitter and log out of FB.

  • @Eyas, In my opinion and millions of others, you can not appeal to rogue criminal state such as Israel , by writing an article to urge them to refrain from killing , Israeli rogue state has to be defeated on all fronts , just like when the European and american defeated Nazi Germany, fascist Italy and imperial Japan and if look at the results after their defeat , they became one of the most peaceful nation on earth.
    Like Norman Finkelstein has one said , Israel must be defeated , period

  • Just a note to say that the Queen is a person and has a right (guaranteed in the constitution and in the Universal declaration of human rights) to express her opinion. I don’t see any clause in the constitution that says that she is not allowed to express an opinion in her name. True since she is Queen that can be seen as having legitimacy but the world knows that she is expressing her own opinion and that the government of Jordan has spokesman led by the King.

    At the same time the Queen is very well known and loved in the West and if we want to get our message across why not ask a person with her popularity to deliver it, I expected all Jordanians to be proud of her role and her position, especially since this is an issue that almost every Jordanian and Arab agree with her on. So I don’t see the controversy except those who have very narrow points of view or those who look at everything from the internal prism of east bankers and Jordanians of Palestinian origin.

    Please note the following article dealing with this issue and quoting Mr. Tarawneh and others

    also see my article in the washington post last saturday.

  • @D.Ford: A bit harsh, she remains a humanitarian and developmental activist with millions of followers on twitter and about the only State figure from the MENA region that speaks out to the West in a clear and concise manner.

    Call me an idealist, or a Utopian, however I believe the only way to solve the problem that is Israel lies not just with Jordan, but the whole of the Arab world, and I emphasize, the WHOLE of the Arab world, not just the levant and Egypt. A way to do this: For the Arab league to evolve into not just a league of nations, but further into a Union, based on the model of the EU. The EU is full of diverse cultures, languages, economies, however they have still managed to create a credible union after centuries of warfare, dictatorships, human rights abuses etc etc, and any rogue state in Europe was made to behave and operate accordingly to EU laws and legislations, and we now have the EU we have today, it did not come easy, but it came nevertheless.

    The Arab world CAN do this, All Arab countries have similar cultures, one language, diverse economies (but this should not be a hurdle as exampled above in the EU). We need an Arab Union, incorporating the North African countries and the GCC & levant. how will this help solve the problem that is Israel? it will bottleneck Israel as Israel has bottle necked Palestine. It will not dare to pick on Palestine knowing that it is in the middle of a credible and official Arab Union, a union that shares a common currency, common culture, holds a vast majority of the worlds oil reserves. An Arab Union will give birth to what everyone has dreamed, a free and prosperous Palestinian State.

    It just takes guts, leadership, a strong enough leader to spark this debate and idea, and for all Arab leaders to come together and unite once and for all, and bring the sense of Arab nationalism back from the dead, from Morocco to Iraq! This leader does not need a billion dollar economy to convince his neighbours to act accordingly, this leader needs charisma, this leader needs guts, this leader needs a vision, this leader needs great ties with the west, this leader needs to be an ally of the west … however this leader needs a clean government who share his vision, not self-interested, corrupt officials comfortable with their salaries and lavish way of life and post-retirement/’you’re no longer needed’ pension or salary…

    This leader can be King Abdullah II

  • @ The Free Jordanian …@ comparing Israel to Nazi Germany is so tired and inaccurate. You have such a simplistic view. The entire middle east looks for ways to demonize Israel no matter what they do. I fully admit that they definitely have made ( and continues making ) mistakes but when you say things like that it only makes your hatred obvious. What about Iran (no to mention other countries)? who will definitely use this opportunity to make hateful comments (which I am sure Ahmadinejad has made already) and war mongering.

    It seems like everyone just picks a side (usually based on their nationality or religion) and supports their side regardless of logic.

  • @nas: yes, I completely agree. My point is that the SPECIFIC CATEGORY OF “ACTION” by Turkey, such as calling for international investigation, UN meetings, trying to mobilize NATO powers, are all things that are *only* virtues of their size and stature, not something they carved out for themselves. In other words, I’m not saying we can’t do any action and should be fine with it (which is why I said, in absolute terms, I agree that we should be more active). However, I strongly stand by thinking that Turkey’s ‘dedication’ is not any better, as they pretty much did everything Jordan did, proclamation, coming up with “plans” and “points”, etc. In other terms, I’m simply saying looking up to Turkey as a regional leader in the Arab-Israeli conflict is, in my opinion, a mistake.

    @TFJ: I understand your point and agree to an extent (and I tried to make that clear in my previous comment). What I tried to merely reply to was that “where were her comments during previous incidents?”, in which I said, she /did/ comment on previous incidents as well. To quote myself again:

    “But that’s a side point, and I belief your own true criticism is similar to that of Naseem’s, which is that actions speak louder than words; that is a more legitimate argument, and a true concern”

    I agree to a small extent with gonzales, but I still think Israel is much more in the wrong both historically and today, especially today. But let’s leave that debate for another day.

  • ” I fully admit that they definitely have made ( and continues making ) mistakes but when you say things like that it only makes your hatred obvious.”gozales12
    Are you kidding me? continued Massacres without an interruption of Palestinians since 1947 are “mistake” according to you , Ethnic cleansing of more than 750000 indigenous Palestinians inhabitants are “mistake”,stealing Palestinian land is “mistake”, imprisonment of thousand of Palestinian and according to the latest estimate over 11000 Palestinians and some of them women and children, extra judicial execution and assassination of hundreds of Palestinians activists are to your limited comprehension and knowledge are “mistakes”, bombing Jordan, Syria, Lebanon( repeatedly since 1950 and killing over thirty thousand of Palestinian and Lebanese civilians), in 1982 Israel invasion of Lebanon, twenty thousands Lebanese and Palestinians were murdered by Israel let alone the massacre of Sabra and Shatila in west Beirut), Tunisia, Egypt, Sudan, Iraq, all that are”mistakes” to you.
    Libyan Arab Airlines Flight 114, ” was a regularly-scheduled flight from Tripoli to Cairo via Benghazi. At 10:30 on February 21, 1973, the 727-224 left Tripoli, but became lost due to a combination of bad weather and equipment failure over northern Egypt around 13:44 (1:44 P.M. local). It entered the then-Israeli-controlled airspace over the Sinai Peninsula, was intercepted by two Israeli F-4 Phantom IIs and shot down and most of the people on board killed while trying to re-enter Egyptian airspace after failing to follow instructions issued by the Israeli pilots.[1] Of the 113 people on board, there were 5 survivors, including the co-pilot.[1][2]” and lastly and not least Palestine 1946: King David Hotel Bombing by the terrorist Irgun gang And now tell me, are those “mistakes”? and before I forget DID YOU HEAR ABOUT THE US LIBERTY THAT WAS BOMBED BY ISRAELI AIR FORCE AND NAVY and as a result 34 American sailors killed and 172 injured.

  • There are more ” mistakes” that Israel made , “The crimes I saw on the Mavi Marmara ”
    “During the Israeli attack on the Mavi Marmara, deep in international waters, I was inside the body of the ship. We were unarmed civilians ranging in age from a one-year-old child to an 88-year-old priest. We were going to Gaza to break the siege that Israel has imposed on a million-and-a-half people for the last four years. We were carrying a cargo of humanitarian and construction aid as well as letters from Turkish children to the children of Gaza. We were full of hope. When the attack began at 4am on 31 May 2010, our ship was transformed into a military target. On the deck, at first there was heavy firing, and then the Israeli occupation’s commandos took control of the ship.

    Minutes after the attack began, wounded and corpses were being brought inside from the deck. We were then held for several hours with four bodies and dozens of wounded, some in critical condition. Blood was pouring from the bodies of the dead and the injured. We wanted to help them, but we had no medical equipment to treat them. There was nothing we could do. One Turkish woman was crying and saying goodbye to the body of her dead husband, petting his face and reading the Quran over him. Another man had a bullet wound in his head and was dying.

    From 5am on, we were begging the Israeli navy to provide medical assistance to the wounded and dying but received no response. We made the request in English and Hebrew through the loudspeaker and also wrote a sign in Hebrew reading, “SOS … people dying in need of immediate medical attention” and put it on the window in front of them. They ordered the people with the sign to get lost.

    At around 7am they ordered us to come to the exit door one by one. I requested in Hebrew that medics be allowed to stay with the wounded; a solider told me to shut my mouth. Later he called me, “You, tell the wounded that if they want to stay alive, they should come out one by one.” We tried to bring the injured out individually, but they could not walk and were falling down.

    We were transferred to the upper deck. We were searched; our hands were tied, and we were forced to sit or kneel on the deck as a military helicopter hovered within meters above our heads. Heavily-armed soldiers with guns and knives strapped to their arms and legs stood guard over us with dogs. They were standing around us with the blood of their victims on their boots, joking and making lewd sexual suggestions to each other about the female prisoners. Then Israeli personell came and strutted around the ship. We were held this way for hours. I was held here until 1:40am on 1 June 2010.

    As soon as the Israeli occupation forces learned that I was a Palestinian Israeli citizen, I was treated more harshly and isolated from the rest of the other imprisoned passengers. I was taken to a prison in Ashkelon where I was held in isolation and subjected to humiliations such as strip searches four times a day. The next day we were brought to court, and I was held in a small metal box inside the police car for eight hours with my hands and legs shackled. We were subjected to various accusations, from attacking soldiers to carrying weapons. The judge gave the police permission to extend our detention for another eight days. After international pressure forced the Israeli authorities to release all the foreign prisoners, all the Palestinian citizens of Israel were taken to court again. This time, the judge ruled that we would be subject house arrest and would be forbidden to leave the country for 45 days.” source; Electronic Intifada

  • “Nevertheless, at the end of the day, actions speak louder than words”

    Yes that is true and we can condemn and condemn and condemn but so long as our actions are those of continued ties with Israel then there are no consequences!

    There should be a strong state sanctioned boycott with Israel inline with the BDS movement. But alas instead we continue to support this apartheid state not only in our silence but also through economic support, to say the least.

    I understand this is a thorny issue and where do you draw the line as being a life line to the palestinians of the West Bank, but something has got to give… and not in favor of the bully!

  • @maan al-majali harsh, but true, (my worry is that it’s not harsh enough)
    You said it here yourself:
    “It just takes guts, leadership, a strong enough leader to spark this debate and idea, …. this leader needs charisma, this leader needs guts, this leader needs a vision, this leader needs great ties with the west, this leader needs to be an ally of the west …

    This leader can be King Abdullah II”

    She is none of the above, and certainly not King Abdullah but “a humanitarian and developmental activist with millions of followers on twitter” that’s IT. A celebrity following on Twitter should not be the platform for politics as sensitive as the topic she has chosen to speak out on. There remain far too many unknowns and intangibles, and she, and obviously her staff are far too inexperienced to gauge the fall out of her publicly speaking out against Israel. End of the day people, she is MARRIED to the leader, she has completely undermined his position,and regardless of how highly Oprah and the West regard her, she should review her job desciption –

  • she should review her job desciption –

    In the kitchen perhaps??

    really …impressive ..i might not agree on all the pR around her but still she have all right to speak up like that ….

    and belive me ….if teh king wasn’t ok with it he wouldn’t have allowed it ….so stop all this she is teh WIFE …..JOb Descreption ….NANNY …Rulers WIFE ONLY ..she is Jordan Queen and she represents Jordanians and Jordanians have always been supportive of palestenian Cause inside and internationally …don’t go after what others say …if they weren’t pissed byher words they wouldn’t have launched this silly ” who is the foreign Minister or true ruler here ?”….

    some attack her because she is teh first queen in Jordan who asssumed a larger role …some would have been happy to clap for a puppet who innagurate a KG or Festival and stays in the shadow …

    we could not keep a close eye on extraveganza but we might as well be fair in this case ….

    All monarchies have faults and attacking one royal figure here in Jordan for hidden reasons ” racist , gender …whatever” without looking at others wether previous or current can be described as D standards…

  • Maan Al-Majali@ a”bout the only State figure from the MENA region that speaks out to the West in a clear and concise manner.”

    Although not a state figure I would say that Prince El Hassan bin Talal is also well heard and well known in the West, and also in much of the rest of the world. His audience is probably different to that of Queen Rania’s but he has a large following amongst think tanks, academia etc.

  • @Daoud:

    “True since she is Queen that can be seen as having legitimacy but the world knows that she is expressing her own opinion and that the government of Jordan has spokesman led by the King.”

    Really? Have you polled on this or is this merely your opinion of what the whole world thinks?

    No one can dispute the Queen’s right to speak as a citizen of this country – this is indisputable by all standards. However, no one can dispute the fact that the Queen retains a position of power and a leadership role in this country that is, by its very nature, a monarchy, and thus she is a representative of that system. In other words, when the Queen speaks out on matters related to foreign affairs or policy, it automatically begs the question of whether she is speaking on behalf of herself or on behalf of the monarchy.

    Ordinary people who work for organizations are often held to that same standard – so why wouldn’t a Queen?

    To further highlight this contrast I’ll quote your second paragraph where you say:

    “if we want to get our message across why not ask a person with her popularity to deliver it, I expected all Jordanians to be proud of her role and her position, ”

    when you say “we” and “our” and “role” and “position” – is this not within the context of the Queen taking on role that is representative of the people, and thus monarchy?

    this is what i’m trying to highlight here.

    i have no problem with neither the message nor the messenger – this post is merely an inquiry as to whom this messenger’s message represents due to the nature of her position within the system of governance.

  • @safaa: you seem to have missed the point completely. She is not a Head of State, and therefore should be extremely careful expressing herself on the public stage as such it tends to stir up a hornet’s nest, illustrated by the comments left here on the hugely circulated Huffington Post.
    This is precisely what you get when you play with fire, and why I said she should review her job description – Humanitarian – check
    Developmental Activist – check
    Positive image of Jordanian women – check
    Head of State – Jordan already has one.

  • @D.Ford: Fantastic comments! Well done. It is time that somebody gives our Queen sensible advice on the do’s and don’ts especially with regards to foreign policy. I completely agree with you that she should just focus on education and humanitarian work in our beloved country.

  • @mbtoosh: May be it is time that somebody gives HM good advice for a change? He is swamped with so many grave problems; and I am very worried that the people around him are not. Any thoughts there?

    @D.Ford: I salute your honesty and courage in raising this issue. Our Queen should not in any way interfere with foreign policy period (even under the guise of humanitarian suffrage). She is a great ambassador for Jordan abroad and has helped raised the profile of our country immensely. She will be well advised not to partake in any issues related to foreign policy.

  • @D.Ford, don’t be naive, she had the approval and permition from her husband long before this article was published and most likely he co authored the article with her speech writer..

  • @nfarkooh: I was very encouraged when HM appointed Hussein Hazaa Al Majali as the director of public security. This made me feel that may be all is not lost when the Diwan announced the appointment of an inexperienced PM along with an incompetent ministerial team. Hussein Al Majali brought back the good memories of how things were during Sayyedna’s lifetime (i.e. King Hussein).

  • @The Free Jordanian…let’s not pretend the Israelis are the only ones doing the killing. The Palestinians don’t make ‘mistakes’? Do you criticize your own people when they kill civilians?

    Concerning your treatment by the military – it sounds like you were treated very badly and there is no excuse for that but I wonder how well an Israeli citizen would be treated by Hamas should they be captured after trying to break a military blockade and clashing with armed soldiers?

  • @gonzales12 , Stop being silly, Who is occupying who , don’t be an apologist for an apartheid terrorist state, and the killing ratio is 10 to 1 , who is supplying the bodies and who is supplying the bullets ?

  • Under international law , resisting an occupying army is the right of the oppressed.
    And let us see how many Israeli solders are held by Palestinians , the answer is only ONE fricking occupying solders , and how many Palestinians are held in Israeli’s jails? there are over
    Elven thousands Palestinian kidnapped and tortured.. you do the math gonzales12..

  • “Under international law , resisting an occupying army is the right of the oppressed.” …and when a country that is much more powerful militarily than its adversary is attacked they retaliate – and the result is usually disproportionate.

    Do Palestinians abide by international law when engaging Israel?

  • “Do Palestinians abide by international law when engaging Israel?”
    Let me ask this, Did the French resistance during the occupation of France by the Nazis abide by Internationale Law?, Did the Algerian people abide by international law when the brutal French
    Army was occupying Algeria and as a result, a million and half Algerian were murdered in cold blood? , Did the Cuban abide by international Law when the US attack them during the Bay of Bigs ?
    Did the Vietnamese abide by international law when the were defending their country against the American occupation? Did the American abide by international law when imperial England controlled North America?
    gonzales, You are asking the raped victim to recognize and except the right of the rapist to commit the rape.
    I present my argument with facts and figures and you reply with ranting and blabbing. get over it man , Israel has committed atrocities and war crimes and the whole world knows it
    I rest my case.

  • @TFJ: While I agree with you about the disproportionality of Israel’s actions towards Palestine, and while in a fair world the people responsible should be brought to justice in an international court, to my mind it’s clear that the only result of suicide bombings against Israeli civilians is that whatever international support Palestine has dwindles and that the Israeli state only becomes more hardline in how it acts towards Palestine.

    Focusing for a moment on how to get out of this gridlock: do you think that attacks against Israel that mainly hurt civilians have any positive net effect for the Palestinian people? If not, what is the point of such attacks? The reality seems to be that Israeli hawks are only strengthened by (understandable?) attacks by Palestinians, and vice versa. “They do it too, and much worse!” doesn’t give anyone the moral high ground IMO other than in very relative terms.

  • Matt, Thank you for your comments, let me set the record straight, first off all , Iam not Palestinian but I like to call my self one, and I will be proud to be granted the Palestinian citizenship after Palestine is liberated, second I can not chose for the Palestinian what methods should be used to liberate their country just like you and I could not chose what the people of South Africa had chosen
    get rid of apartheid , thirdly, Since day one, In 1947, after the Palestinian catastrophe and the occupation of historic Palestine , every non violent protest was exercised by the Palestinians , on the other hand, Zionist gangs used all kind of terror to drive Palestinian out of their homes and land .

  • “Since day one, In 1947, after the Palestinian catastrophe and the occupation of historic Palestine , every non violent protest was exercised by the Palestinians ”

    …the fighting between the two sides began weeks after ‘The Catastrophe’. The non violent protests didn’t last too long. You paint such a simplistic picture of the conflict but you know it is much more complicated than that. Israel was much more vulnerable back then (Kfar Etzion massacre?) and the numbers were not so disproportionate. The killing goes both ways.

    Do you criticize Hamas for having the destruction of Israel as part of its charter (wtf)? How would you interact with Hamas if you were Israel knowing they would destroy you in a second if given the chance?

    You call the occupation apartheid and to some it looks like necessary protection (albeit cruel).

  • gonzales12, For your pwn sake wake up man, you have been spoon fed so much propaganda and lies for long time and that’s something I could not change , but before leaving i will post what Albert Einstein views on the newly built settlers state and here it is April 10, 1948

    Mr. Shepard Rifkin
    Exec. Director
    American Friends of the Fighters
    for the Freedom of Israel
    149 Second Ave.
    New York 3,N.Y.

    Dear Sir:

    When a real and final catastrophe should befall us in Palestine the first responsible for it would be the British and the second responsible for it the Terrorist organizations build up from our own ranks [Jewish].

    I am not willing to see anybody associated with those misled and criminal people.

    Sincerely yours,
    Albert Einstein
    Read it very carefully, maybe you will start to see the light

  • the Palestinians will never get an independent state and a developed one if they continue to tell themselves lies about the history of the land which is now Israel. And you don’t help their cause one bit if you continue to recite their lies for the next 62 years.
    The fact is that the atrocities between Jews and Arabs in the “Holy Land” begun ever since the first Zionists came to the land and started building towns and villages. Not by chasing the Arabs, but by buying lands and settling on empty lands – which were so very abundant in the late 19th century (I hope you don’t blame Mark Twain for being a Zionist when he tells of a mostly deserted, barren land, an account which is reinforced by every picture taken from the holy land in the late 19th century).
    The ones who started the violence were the Arabs who wanted the Jews out. However you play with it, that’s the truth. There are so many examples of the atrocities that Arab committed. Just one example is the Hebron massacre which happened in 1929 – long before Dir Yassin, long before 1947 and definitely before the 67 war and the “occupation”.
    Here’s a link :

    I hope you’re not going to dismiss this as a Zionist lie..

    Again, the truth will set you free. I suggest that you Arabs start facing the truth, not only regarding the Arab-Israeli conflict, but in general. That’s the only way you can make progress in the Palestinian issue and in general.

  • Whatever the answers are to who started it and who’s doing worse things in the region, I don’t think that this is where the solution lies – if there is a solution at all, which I guess we have to believe in or otherwise despair of the situation. It is just a sad fact that political solutions (or indeed military solutions) don’t have all that much to do with what is true and what is fair. At best those are one argument of many, but then add relationship between nations, political needs, economic issues etc., and who did what first and who’s committing the bigger crimes simply doesn’t make that much of a difference.

  • @53 “The Free Jordanian”: start… :
    While it is true that the situation is more complex than The Free Jordanian might spin it, it is also much more complex than your own response. First, historical evidence, particularly examining newspapers, periodicals, letters, etc. indicate a very active community that is very aware of a distinct Palestinian cultural identity very early on. This “barren land” refers to parts of the Negev desert, etc., and anyone who’s been anywhere at all knows that pretty much every place on earth has “practically empty”, desolate places.

    Regardless, the process of buying lands were not free from controversy. It was influenced by the Ottoman Land Code of 1858 which, continued absentee landlordship, and increasing their responsibility as taxpayers, and encouraged many absent landlords, who often live in a completely different region, to sell their lands to other contenders legally. Biggest example was a family in lebanon by the name of Susruq that sold huge amount of lands to zionist jews. Interestingly enough, lands brought by the jews at that time were fertile lands valleys like Jezril, not barren deserts.

    Now this sounds legal, which it kind of is, but it created immense social pressure; absent landlords allowed other peasants (known as fellaheen) to cultivate the lands they live on, even if they fall under the ownership of the absentee landlord. In the eyes of many peasants, these lands were their lives and only source of income and decent living, notwithstanding the only home they have, and the only place they can stay or sleep. Jews of the first Aliya (1904-14) were not as politicized, but since the second Aliya, Zionist jews – affected by ideas of socialism – stressed agriculture and kicked the fellaheen out to work in their own lands. This lead to the first clashes (before ’29). While spinning it as an anti-semetic, terrorist, Arab-sided action, it can actually be compared to Trade Union Mass demonstration gone mad. These were not Arab-sided, but peasant-sided. They were not large scale, but they contributed to ethnic tension.

    Then comes 1929, and conveniently enough, you choose the Hebron massacre, instead of the greater “1929 Palestinian riots”, more appropriately perhaps ‘the Wailing Wall Disturbances of 1929′. And don’t use wikipedia as a resource, especially in this topic, because its biased point of view depends on whether the person who last edited the page was pro-Arab or pro-Israeli. Anyhow, the greater 1929 disturbances began by Jewish protest to British policy. British policy regulated prayers on both sides of the wall, the Jewish protest was met with Arab protest, and the riots began. It was volatile, and rumors spread, and it got out of hand. Other spin-off riots took place, those started by the Arabs took place due to rumors that the jews were mobilizing against them. What I’m saying is, its was a mess, not some one-sided disproportionate action. And the numbers are 116 arabs and 133 jews, dead.

    But please, the truth would set us all free. And Israeli/Zionist versions of history are as skewed as arab versions, if not more skewed. Please keep that in mind.

    The situation in the early parts of the 1900s can be categorized by ETHNIC TENSION on both sides. Both sides. Arabs and jews were living in Palestine (or the ottoman province of greater jerusalem), in peace, for a very long time. The Aliyahs changes this.

    And WHY did the ethnic tensnion begin in the first place? Because of (true) rumors of a Zionist Jewish “plan” in creating a national home or independent state in Palestine. (previous drafts of the Balfour declaration make this even more obvious than the Balfour declaration itself, especially knowing which lobbying groups supported what versions and wordings).

    The problem of the conflict is this: it is NOT that Jews and Zionists are murderers who want to destroy the arabs and take over the world, but instead:

    Zionist ideology, based in part on Herzl’s Der Judenstaat, focuses too much on the status of the Jews in Palestine, forgetting the indigenous population completely. The status of Arabs, what happens to them, is absolutely not addressed. The plan: creating a Jewish state in these lands, completely undermined the existence of an Arab majority, of christians and muslims, who may not want to be part of a jewish state. The indigenous were undermined since day one.

    This is why attempts at creating a Christian-Muslim-Jewish (or Arab-Jewish) government by the british were refused by the Arabs — because the Balfour Declaration was public knowledge by then, and agreeing to work under the british was seen (rightfully so, in my opinion) as an admission of the Balfour declaration.

    And if you say that the 47 partition plan, or previous plans by the Peel Commission, were proof that the Jews wanted a jewish state in palestine, instead of in all of palestine, then I disagree. The Zionist position has been different.

    And finally, why did the arab reject the peel commission partition plan and the UNGA 47 partition plan? Well, both disproportionately favored the Jewish population, and were designed to “give more place to the Jews to accommodate those who would immigrate after the state is formed”. It was also rejected because, in the Arabs’ eyes, all of the land was rightfully theirs, etc. and that they were both de facto and de jure, the successors of the Ottoman state in the area known as the British Mandate of Palestine. Giving up a third, or half of their land, IS NOT AN OPTION. Example would be, would the U.S. give up colorado as in independent Kurdish state to allow the Kurds of Iraq and Turkey to escape prosecution and have an independent state in Colorado? How about this, would the U.S. give up half of colorado, or a third? No. Thought so.

    BUT, does arguing about history really matter? Sure it does, big time. But it does not change the fact the Israeli atrocities of today are deplorable.

    my two cents

  • When you write that “This “barren land” refers to parts of the Negev desert, etc., ” with such confident, what are you basing your words on? intuition? What Israel looks like now? Because it certainly not true that when Mark Twain used these words he used them to describe the Negav desert. He used them to describe most of the holy land, including areas that are among the most fertile and extensively cultivated in Israel.

    When he and his companions traveled in the NORTH of the country which is now green and full of farms, fields, forests that were planted by the Israelis, here’s what he had to say:

    “….traversed some miles of desolate country whose soil is rich enough, but is given over wholly to weeds—a silent, mournful expanse, wherein we saw only three persons…” and it goes on and on.

    And regarding the extent to which this land in the north of the country was populated:

    “There is not a solitary village throughout its whole extent— not for thirty miles in either direction. There are two or three small clusters of Bedouin tents, but not a single permanent habitation. One may ride ten miles, hereabouts, and not see ten human beings.

    Here’s a link to the complete book:

    I agree with you that we shouldn’t dwell too much on the past. My comment was in response to “The Free Jordanian” who quoted Einstein’s reaction to Dir Yaseen massacre as a sort of proof that the Israelis were the murderous bad guys in the story and the Palestinians the pure innocent.

    I also agree with you that the Arabs had a reason to view themselves as “the successors of the Ottoman state..”. Yes, they were the majority here before the Zionists came, and probably they would have inherited the land from the Brits if it weren’t for the Jews. I don’t believe there would have been a Palestinian state, but rather the land would probably have been divided between Syria, Lebanon Jordan and Egypt, because let’s face it, the Arabs in Palestine viewed themselves first and foremost as belonging to the big Arab nation, no different than their brothers in Syria, Lebanon, Iraq. Many of them moved from Palestine to these countries and vice versa freely, and their distinct Palestinian identity emerged only as a reaction to Zionism. Also, for 400 the Arabs were quite content living under Turkish rule and weren’t in a hurray to establish their own independent state in the land.

    On the other hand we have the Jews, which a minority of them kept a presence in this land for thousands of years. A people with the strongest religious and historic connection to this land (in their daily prayers, in the bible, in their idioms – such as “Next Year in Jerusalem”), who were viewed by the whole world as belonging to this land only (what did the European Christian shouted at the Jews? “Jew, go back to your home, Palestine”), who were persecuted and discriminated against in whichever country they resided.
    Taking into account that the Jews didn’t kill or chase the Arabs in Palestine out of their homes, or stole their lands, or started a war with an Arab state that existed here in order to establish their own state (I’m talking about the pre 48 era) , but rather that they came to a vastly unpopulated land, built out of nothing agriculture, cultivated land that lay desolated for hundreds of years, settled areas that Arabs shun away from because there was Malaria and swamps there, worked very very hard to basically make this desert bloom and make a state for themselves because there was NO other place for them where they could live safely and freely, when you weight the 2 things – the Arab and Jewish rights in Palestine, I don’t see why the Arab stance is more moral than the Jewish one.

    In my opinion both sides have a right for this land and the only viable solution is to divide it to 2 states. You talk about the unfairness of the 1948 UN resolution that gave the Jews 56% of Mandatory Palestine and the Arabs 43%. Again, I can argue that taking into account that the Arabs could stay in their houses and lands even if it was within the territory allocated to the Jewish state, and if they didn’t want to live under a Jewish rule like they did under Turkish rule, they could have moved to the Arab state that would have been established or to one of the many other Arab states surrounding Palestine, also to taking into account that the land allocated to the Jews is the ONLY piece of land on the globe that the Jews can call home, I don’t think that the resolution was unfair.

    Yes, the Arabs did lose something once the Zionists came to this area but maybe they have themselves also to blame that they didn’t care about or didn’t need this land enough and for hundreds of years did nothing in order to establish their own state here. So the Jews who needed this land much more than them, came and acted where the Arabs were passive for so many years.

  • @58: I don’t want to take this whole blog post out of context, so I’ll try to be much quicker:

    First, I familiar with Mark Twain’s work, but I dispute it (and it is strongly disputed by many). Arab presence is well documented in other source, the bedouin tribes exist in the deserts were a minority. Cities and villages with actual civilization existed. To this day, Palestinian families in Jordan and elsewhere are known to be either villagers, farmers, peasants, or trade workers, and not bedouins. I’ll stick to a general premise but will source it if you really don’t believe it.

    Second, you show a clear misunderstanding of the Ottoman Empire. It was not a Turkish state, nor Turkish rule. The Ottoman Empire is an Islamic Caliphate, and it had strong Islamic culture, highly influenced by Arab Culture (see Ottoman Turkish for instance, which any Arab can read and often understand). The Ottoman Empire was also decentralized, and governed by the “politics of notables”, in which Arab local families (known as Arab Notables) were the local ruling elite. Especially in the late 1800s, in which Ottomanism flourished, which stressed the diversity and pan-Islamism of the Ottoman Empire and stressed Arab Pride in Arab Provinces, including Jerusalem (the Jerusalem province is actually a superset of Mandate Palestine).

    Third, saying Palestine would not have been an independent state is speculative in nature, but I will dare say false, too. As I said, primary resources show strongly that a distinct PALESTINIAN national identity was abundant since the early 1900s as the Ottoman Empire weakened and free press was established. It is completely wrong to say that the land would be divided by the other Arab states, because resolutions by the Peel Commission and the UNGA Partition Plan both mention “Arab state”, but actually refer to to an Arab state under Hashemite Transjordanian rule, and the Palestinian Arabs rejected this precisely because they didn’t want a nation under Transjordan, but instead independently.

    Fourth, saying Palestinians could move to other places is, again, like saying a Californian is free to move to New York and create another state there. This whole thing about “Arabs can go to any other Arab country”, I think, is offensive (though I take no offense is deliberately meant by you), and quite-honestly hypocritical when said to defend the premise of a Jewish state; when Jews stress the importance of their connection to the land, and just this land, then how can you expect Arab families living in Mandate Palestine for centuries to move? ALSO, via my second point, I demonstrated that your point “if they can live under turkish rule, they can live under jewish rule if they want” is completely unfounded. To say that is to forget that Turkey FOUGHT FOR ITS OWN INDEPENDENCE. And also shows a misunderstanding of what the Ottoman Empire, simply IS.

    Fifth, on Jewish connection to the land. I will argue that a stronger connection is living in the land. While Idioms, folk tales, and thousands-of-years-old history are nice, they pale in comparison with generations and generations — centuries’ worth — of a physical connection. Truth is, national identities, especially the “Jewish national identity” as thought out by the Zionist movement, are completely imagined. The idea that a certain person in a certain part of the world has a legitimate connection with “a nation” for the mere virtue of their lineage, is not very legitimate, I think. But even if it was, the assumptions that all jews living in Historical israel left, arabs replaced them, and now all the jews need to go back is kind of ridiculous, and it disregards the more probable scenario: some jews left, most stayed, some of those indigenous converted to christianity, others to Islam, were influenced by Arab and Muslim presence in the area.

    Sixth, saying there was no other place for them to live is false. The entire lands of the ottoman empire were open to Jewish immigration.

    Seventh, my previous comment disagrees strongly with the fact that lands cultivated by the Jews were barren or uncultivated. ALL OF THE LANDS were brought from Absentee Landlords, and MOST OF THESE LANDS were cultivated by fellaheen, as is documented in the fellaheen uprisings and the tensions after the second Aliyah.

    Eighth, I deeply apologize if you misunderstood my post to indicate that the Arab stance is more moral than the Jewish stance in living in Palestine. I do, however, belief that there is no reason (As indicated by the seven previous points) why a Jewish State would be legitimate. I understand the horrible nature of the persecution of jews in Eastern Europe, and under Nazi Germany, and I understand the lack of normal civil rights all over Europe, but that does not justify a jewish STATE, especially in another area where an indigenous population claims right to it and running it. Also, just an idea, African Americans were persecuted in the U.S. and they faced harsh times in civil rights, they found another solution.

    Ninth (I can already see that my initial hope at a short post dwindles away), there were Palestinian efforts at independence and political presence. They were however disfavored by the british. I will keep this point short, but I am more than prepared to share all about this. In a nutshell, the British supported unified representation of the Jews but not of the Arabs, and as such Arab efforts at forging a nation in/of Palestine were scattered by the british.

    Tenth, the Jewish people are not a nation, they are a religion. By these standards, Mecca and Medina are the only place that Muslims can call home. The whole analogy fails, I believe. The Arab Identity is a national identity, the emergence of the Jewish Identity as a National Identity instead of a religious identity creates much of this discourse. Maybe its true that Mandate Palestine is the only place Jews can call home, but Poland is a place Polish people can call home. And I am uncomfortable saying this, becuase I might be misunderstood as saying “stay home and be persecuted”, which I’m not. But just as the Jews rose up to the british and fought for independence (both with the British pre 48 and with the Arabs post 48), they could’ve done the same elsewhere.

    Finally, I will dissect the last paragraph:

    “Yes, the Arabs did lose something once the Zionists came to this area but maybe they have themselves also to blame that they didn’t care about or didn’t need this land enough…”
    How can a people need a land more than living in it and having it as their source of income, shelter, and community (the three most basic needs in Maslow’s hierarchy, if you believe in it)?

    “… and for hundreds of years did nothing in order to establish their own state here.”
    The Ottoman State was a decentralized Arab state. Both a pan-Arab state that includes Palestine, or a Palestinian state were attempted.

    “So the Jews who needed this land much more than them,”
    No. The Jews needed freedom. One of the ways to achieve it was to live in “A” land. Not THIS land. And even then, remains the question of a jewish state in a land already occupied.

    “came and acted where the Arabs were passive for so many years.”

  • Is there any way to solve this problem except by agreeing to accept the two states of Palestine and Israel. Of course not. The problem and solution is obvious if you want peace and a lack of resolution is the obvious choice if you want perpetual war. There is a lack of good will on both sides to end the conflict. The Palestinians refuse to recognize historic and religious ties to Israel and the Isralies refuse to consider the rights of the later Palestinian settlers. I think you are all prejudiced and the conflicts just fuel the fire and satisfy the groups who thrive and attain power in these conflicts. I notice that no one has objected to peaceful Iranians coming to Lebanon because they were fleeing persecution and not even to the the incursion of an Iranian Mafia which has fomented violence on the Iranians who fled from it. These Iranians cannot leave thneir own people alone because they realize that peace diminishes their place in the system just as do certain of your militant people. Likewise the above mentioned Kurds earned my admiration long before any war due to their democratic attitude with full and complete recognition of all religions. Yet the gassing of the Kurds who were independent of Saddams autocracy evoked no reaction in anyone except the US. Whatever America has done wrong you must admit that the Kurds are as democratic a state as any in Europe, Jordan and Egypt, or the USA.

  • This is turning into a deep historical and almost philosophical debate, which is not a bad thing, but kind of unexpected…

    I’ll try to answer a few of your points:

    I never said all the Arabs in Palestine were only bedouins, I brought a quote to demonstrate that large portions of the land were not populated. There were towns in which Jews by the way, lived as well, for thousands of years. I’m aware of that.

    You write that “The Ottoman Empire is an Islamic Caliphate” and that’s why it was OK for the Arabs in Palestine to live under its rule for 400 years. That kind of contradicts with the notion of a distinct Palestinian national identity and a need for self determination. Again, what it shows is that the Arabs in Palestine saw themselves first and foremost as Arabs and Muslims, not as Palestinians.

    You say that a Palestinians state would have been established and the land would not have been divided between the surrounding Arab states. I wonder… Jordan had control over the west bank and east Jerusalem until 1967, how come it didn’t give the control to the Palestinians, how come no Palestinian state was established on these territories, but rather they belonged to the Hashemite kingdom of Jordan? How come the Arabs in the west bank didn’t try to free themselves from Jordanian rule and form their own state? My guess is that again, they were content living under Arab and Muslim rule.

    You write that most of the lands bought by the Jews were cultivated by fellaheen. I really don’t know where you get this stuff from. Have you ever heard of the drainage of the Huleh swamps for instance?
    What are you suggesting, that Palestine was a blooming garden before the Zionists came and the only thing that happened is that the fields were now cultivated by Jews instead of fellaheen? This claim is so absurd that I don’t even know where to begin. First of all, again, just looking at pictures from the past, reading accounts of travelers, seeing pictures of the the first Zionist pioneers sweating over the the hard dry soil and for the first time in hundreds of years grow something out of it, reading the history of the first Zionists who settled in villages and kibbutz… The bottom line is that most of this land was indeed a barren, desolated desert.

    Regarding moving to other Arab states. That’s not exactly what I suggested. What I wrote was that the Jews threw no one out of their home or lands. Had the Palestinians stayed in the area that was allocated to the Jewish state they could have continue to live where they lived before. Just like the Arabs who live now in Jaffa, Haifa, Acre etc. the UN resolution was a compromise to a situation on the ground where 2 peoples populated and wanted the same land. Again, the only viable solution in my mind is dividing the land to 2. The land was divided by the UN so that predominately Arab areas will go to the Arab state and predominately Jewish areas will go to the Jewish state. If the Arabs who lived in places like Jaffa didn’t want to stay in their homes because they wanted to live under an Arab Muslim rule then they had a choice to move to the Palestinian state or one of the numerous other Arab Muslim states. If their attachment to the land was stronger then they could have stayed in their homes. What is the alternative? that the Arabs get it all and the Jews get nothing? What’s the logic in that?

    And by the way, what makes the Arab presence in this land more legal or moral? How did the Arabs get to this land if not by conquering it from someone else at some point in history? Why don’t the Jews who lived in this land long before the Arabs did and WERE forcibly kicked out by the Greeks and Romans have less of a right to live in it?
    Let alone that it’s not clear what percentage of the Arabs in Palestine actually lived here for centuries. Just an anecdote, I saw a video on YouTube called “The Stolen Bride” which was about the Palestinian Arabs who used to live in Jaffa and fled it during the 1948 war. One of the people interviewed who belong to one of the prominent Palestinian families of Jaffa said that his father actually came to Palestine from Lebanon. I wouldn’t be surprised if there were many other Palestinians like this man’s father who came to Palestine at some point from neighboring countries and vice versa. I’m sure there were Palestinians who had lived in the land for centuries, but how many out of the whole population?

    To say that the Jewish people are not a nation but religion is not true.
    The birth of Judaism went hand in hand with the birth of the nation on a specific land – Israel. I myself am not a religious person, but as you know, the bible specifically connects the Jewish religion to a land – the holy land that god has promised to the Jews. There was a kingdom of Israel and if that’s not a national identity I don’t know what is.
    It’s true that Jews can be Jewish anywhere, but to live in the holy land is considered a religious commandment because according to the Jewish belief god gave us this land so that we’ll live in it. There is a close connection between Judaism and the land itself. The fact that Jews are spread all over the world now is only because of the fact that they were kicked out of the land of Israel. In the early days of Judaism all the Jews were concentrated in one place alone – the place that according to Jewish belief was given to them by god. I’m not familiar with Islam, but I doubt that it’s connected in this way to a specific land.

    If you really think that the Jewish problem could have been solved within the states the Jews lived in, I suggest that you learn much more about the history of the Jews in Europe (and else where).
    The Jews could have risen against their prosecutors in Poland and Germany?? PLEASE…. How exactly?
    and for what end? You totally misunderstand the status of the Jews in Europe. They had no power and they were considered outsiders. Do you really think that a powerless minority could have forced a state to except it? More likely they would have all been butchered or expelled from the country. In Palestine the Jews were the majority compared to the Brits who were the foreign minority ruler. The Brits were the ones who were far away from home. In Poland and Germany the Jews were a fraction of populations who didn’t want them. That’s the difference.

    You say that the Jews needed freedom and needed “A” land. Any old land will do…
    To say that is again, to misunderstand Judaism and Jewish history and the strong connection that Jews have to this particular land. And again, given the fact that at the beginning of Zionism the land was ruled by an empire who had no particular moral business being there (what moral or legal right did the Turks have to rule the holy land beside the fact that they conquered it by force?), given the fact that most of the land was empty, given the fact that the local population who lived there lived for centuries without specific national identity, I think it wasn’t such a far fetched or bad idea to suggest that the solution for the Jewish problem will be to establish an independent Jewish state in the Jews’ ancient homeland – Israel.

  • what do i think of the queen’s “harsh” words .. to quote the beautiful shania twain ..

    that dont impress me much

  • ان موقف الاردن المتمثل بقيادته ثابت دائما اتجاه القضايا العربية Ùˆ خاصة القضية الفلسطينية …. لسنا بحاجة ال سماع الشجب او الاعتراض المستمر لمعرفة مدى اخلاص الاردن لهذه القضايا … الشعب الاردني دائما في المقدمة لنجدة الاشقاء العرب في الازمات …. ونحن كباقي الدول ايضا بحاجة الى التركيز على الاوضاع الداخلية ايضا لتنمية الاردن حتى يستطيع متابعة دوره الداعم في المنطقة.

  • أنا أؤيد ما قاله MBH فالقيادة الاردنية ثابتة دائما اتجاة جميع القضايا العربية Ùˆ هذا ما أكده جلالة الملك في خطابه عندما تحدث عن المواطنه…
    Ùˆ أكد أن الاردن ليس الوطن البديل لفلسطين….
    Ùˆ الاردن يسعى دائما للمحافظة على السلام الداخلي Ùˆ الاستقرار في الدرجة الاولى… مع ذلك هو لم يتوانا يوما في مد يد العون لأي دولة عربية تحتاج للمساعدة أو الدعم….

  • ان موقف الاردن شعبا Ùˆ قياده من قضاياه القومية ثابت معروف للجميع وقد دفع الاردن كثيرا ثمن ثبات عن مواقفه القوية خاصة موقفة الرافض للعدوان الاول على العراق عام 1990 فبينما رفض الاردن ذلك العدوان خسر بسبب ذلك المساعدات الامريكية والخليجية وارسلت العديد من الدول العربية قواتها العسكرية الى حفر الباطن لتشارك جنبا الى جنب مع القوات الامريكية Ùˆ البريطانية وغيرها في قصف Ùˆ قتل العراقيين

  • The Free Jordanian : والله انتا صح النوم وين كاين قبل 10 سنين ؟؟؟؟ هلا جاي تحكي Ùˆ تهاجم بهاي الطريق الي ما راح تفي بأي اشي بس خلص الجاهل عدو نفسوا Ùˆ مافي داعي تتناقش معوا بس اذا عندك حكي تاني هات سمعنا …. Ùˆ الواحد فينا لازم يكون عندو انتماء Ùˆ ما ينكر جهود الملكة رانيا العبد الله لانوا لا انا ولا انتا بنقدر نعمل الي عملتوا …

  • ان كنت لا تدري فتلك مصيبة وان كنت تدري فلمصيبة اعظم

  • @Free Jordan (on 7 June): I read all your comments and I respect your education and the amount of literature that you have gone through! Reading tons of literature should not only help you seeking the truth but also should force your brain to think in a positive manner. Educated fellows like you respect the queen speech in which she condemned the Israeli behaviors. We as “Jordanians”, which I hope you are truly one of them, need to stand behind any voice that speaks loudly to support our case. Apparently, you have a loud voice, but I bet your voice is not as conceived as the queen’s voice. I do not know how many people hear you everyday, but accept this fact: those who hear her voice are much more than those who hear yours. The queen is not in a position to frequently engage herself in any argument related to foreign affairs even if that matter is related to the Palestinian issue, and therefore, and assuming that you are truly loyal to the Palestinian issue, you should hold in high regards the queen’s contribution…

Your Two Piasters: