The Cynical Jordanian Ploy To Undermine The Arabs Of Eastern Jerusalem

UPDATE 12 am Sunday:  An hour and a half ago, a Palestinian terrorist was captured at the Hawara checkpoint carrying two IED bombs. Just before that three Palestinian terrorists were arrested in Jerusalem and charged with an attack on a Jerusalem family that occurred several days ago. At around 10 pm, a 16 year old Israeli girl was attacked by Arabs on the Jerusalem Light Rail system.

UPDATE 6 pm Saturday: No Palestinian terrorist events reported overnight.


An Arab school in the eastern part of Jerusalem. Despite the efforts of Jordan and other Arab countries, more and more Arabs living in the eastern part of the city are choosing to become Israeli citizens.

The list of  Jordanian dignitaries who have visited Jerusalem in the last two weeks continues to increase.

First we had Prince Hashem (the half brother of King Abdullah) followed shortly thereafter by Prince Ghazi  (with Ali Gomaa, the Mufti of Egypt, in tow)–all of whom went immediately to the Al-Aqsa mosque. A few days ago,  the head of the Jordanian security service, Hussein Majali, arrived and quickly traveled from Jerusalem to Ramallah. Now the Islamic Wakf has let it be known that another “important leader” will be arriving soon.

What has caused all of this sudden Jordanian interest in Jerusalem?

The simple fact is that dating back to the illegal Jordanian occupation of the Old City and the eastern neighborhoods of Jerusalem (1948-1967), the Jordanian government has cynically tried to manipulate the Arabs living in that part of the city.

Even though Jordanian citizenship was specifically denied these Arabs, they were granted “temporary” Jordanian passports. It was by using these “temporary” passports that Arabs from eastern Jerusalem were able to cross into Jordan to visit their extended familes.

The irony is that the Jordanian government, the United Nations,  and western governments such as the European Union have blamed Israel for this situation and have delighted in calling these eastern Jerusalem Arabs “stateless.”

Now all of this is changing.

Israel has always classified the 300,000 Arab residents of eastern Jerusalem as “residents” of Israel and has allowed them to retain this classification despite their having  “temporary” Jordanian passports.

In the past two years, however, since the beginning of PM Netanyahu’s government, over 60,000 of these 300,000 Arabs (more than 1/5) have opted to turn in their residency cards and become full-fledged Israeli citizens (the international world has absurdly termed this “ethnic cleansing”).

No longer “stateless” by anyone’s definition, these eastern Jerusalem Arabs are being required to turn in their temporary Jordanian passports in exchange for an Israeli passport. One irony of this situation is that Israel is perfectly happy for Jerusalem Arabs from the eastern part of the city to have a “permanent” Jordanian passport to accompany their new Israeli passports–but again, the Jordanians have refused to issue permanent Jordanian passports to these eastern Jerusalem Arabs since 1948.

But more than this, in a failing attempt to punish the Jerusalem Arabs from making the choice to become Israeli citizens, Jordan has been forbidding any Jerusalem Arab with an Israeli passport from entering Jordan. The Jordanian view is that if the ban is lifted, every Arab living in the eastern part of the city will choose to become a citizen of Israel (the Arabs living in the western part of the city have always been Israeli citizens).

The hypocrisy displayed by the Jordanian government in this entire episode is astonishing. On the one hand, it has spent over 60 years doing everything it can to isolate the Arabs of  eastern Jerusalem and deny them citizenship. Now it is doing everything it can to isolate the Arabs of eastern Jerusalem and deny them Israeli citizenship.

In short, Jordan sees its power over the Temple Mount (embodied by the Islamic Wakf) slipping away as more and more eastern Jerusalemites become Israeli citizens.

More than this, it simply does not serve the Arab narrative for Jerusalem Arabs (in the eastern or western neighborhoods) to belong to a state–particularly if that state is the state of Israel.  

As noted in recent blogs, a list of vocabulary for Israel supporters to begin using is appended to this blog (and every blog for the next month). Today we have a new addition, number 15.

1. Use ‘Judea and Samaria’ instead ofthe West Bank.

2. Use ‘Jewish community’ instead of settlement.

3.  Use ‘construction of Jewish homes, schools, and hospitals’ instead of settlement activity.

4. Use ‘new Jewish communities’ instead of outposts‘.

5. Use ‘Jewish community member’ instead of settler.

6. Use ‘conservative politicians’ instead of right-wing politicians‘.

7. Use ‘PLO’ or  ‘Palestine Liberation Organization’ instead of Palestinian Authority.

8. Use ‘Palestinian Islamic Terrorist Organization–HAMAS’ instead of merely Hamas.

9. Use ‘Israeli men, women, and children’ instead of  Israeli citizens‘.

10. Use ‘Palestinian cities’ instead of  Palestinian refugee camps.

11. Use Palestinian ‘settlements’ instead of  Palestinian ‘villages’ or ‘hamlets’.

12. Use Palestinian ‘settlers’ instead of Palestinian ‘farmers’ and ‘villagers’.

13. Use international ‘lawbreakers’ instead of international ‘activists’.

14. Use ‘the suicide bomber prevention fence instead of the ‘separation fence’ or ‘wall’.

15. Use ‘eastern Jerusalem’ or the ‘eastern neighborhoods of Jerusalem’ instead of East Jerusalem. The city of Jerusalem must never be divided again.


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