Palestinians and Jordanians

"Palestine and Jordan are one...," said King Abdullah in 1948.

"The truth is that Jordan is Palestine and Palestine is Jordan," said King Hussein of Jordan, in 1981.

Jordanians and Palestinians live in the Middle East. Both structured by British mandate, these peoples also share geographical, cultural, emotional and linguistic ties.

King Hussein used to say that Jordan is Palestine and Palestine is Jordan. But conflicts in 1948, 1967, 1987, 2000 and ongoing instability have pushed them further and further apart, such that they now have very distinct and strong identities.

Much of Jordan's population is of Palestinian origin. Moreover, there are probably more Palestinians in Jordan than in the West Bank. In July 1988, however, King Hussein formally disengaged from the Palestinian areas. This breaking of ties marked the beginning of a new stage in Jordan's relationship with the Palestinians. Since then, it has become Jordan is Jordan and Palestine is Palestine.

Palestinians are divided economically, politically and physically. The current turmoil in Gaza and the West Bank triggered discussions about a possible federation between Jordan and the West Bank.

If it proves impossible to achieve the peaceful co-existence of two states, Israel and Palestine, then maybe Jordan could offer a last alternative to bring security and stability to this region and to prevent it from falling under the control of the militant Hamas. In which case, would Palestine be Jordan or Jordan Palestine?

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