Muder Zahran recently published an article in the Jerusalem Post regarding the Jordanian treatment of its citizens who are of Palestinian origin – referring to the state as adopting a “well-established apartheid system” that is “no different than that formerly adopted in South Africa, except for the official acknowledgement of it.”
While this isn’t the first time Jordan is called an apartheid state, Zahran depicts Jordan as a country that essentially treats Jordanians of Palestinian origin as official second class citizens, with little to no rights. While I do acknowledge that the Kingdom is far from perfect, specifically with regards to equal rights, calling the country an apartheid state is a bit of a stretch. I mean South Africa under apartheid? Really? Zahran goes so far as to say that “Jordan is a country with a Palestinian majority which allows them little or no involvement in any political or executive bodies or parliament.”
All in all, it is a depiction of a country where the East Banker is “dominant” and “superior” compared to the “helpless Palestinian majority.”
While the article is essentially an attack on the right conservative flank in the Kingdom, Zahran seems a bit all over the map, and is fraught with generalizations. Probably the worst part about the article is that he refers to Jordan as New Jersey.
New Jersey? Really?
What is interesting is that Ammon apparently translated the English article and posted it up, resulting in Zahran writing a letter to the editor of the site claiming that he will never publish anything about Jordanian affairs again. Even more interesting is that he also included a letter his father wrote to him, chastising him and even disassociating himself and his family from his son’s article.
The only reason I’m writing anything about this is simply because Zahran’s words are rather exemplary of the kind of discourse that is essentially damaging to anyone or any movement that is attempting to have a genuine dialog about these very issues. By and far, Zahran paints an incredibly gloomy picture that is meant for effect, but in reality, it is counterproductive to those of us trying to grapple with this issue on a national level.
Yes, a true discourse is needed about Jordanian/Palestinian issues in the Kingdom – that’s for sure. However, this is what I consider to be a benchmark for the kind of discourse that seeks to be sensationalist as opposed to genuine; sacrificing candidness for hyperbole, and subsequently, the author’s credibility.
And that gets us absolutely no where.