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If anyone can lay claim to consummate mastery of the thriving art of history-forging, it's the Jordanians. Their entire state, nationhood and very identity are counterfeit. Had the international community not been sympathetically predisposed to lap up the lie, Jordan obviously couldn't pull it off. Its wholesale fabrication hinges on a world that contentedly collaborates in hoodwinking itself.
So deceit blithely marches on.
Its latest installment is the artificially concocted kingdom's decision to strip untold numbers of Palestinians of Jordanian citizenship. Those who were Jordanian for decades suddenly aren't. It's like the infamous Soviet encyclopedias' loose-leaf pages, which were removed and replaced with the latest authoritative versions of what once was.
The past is ever-malleable in the service of current agendas.
According to Jordanian Interior Minister Nayef al-Kadi, the aim is to preempt the possibility of anyone resurrecting reminders that Jordan is part and parcel of what's called Palestine. It's indeed the largest chunk thereof. That being the case, Palestinians - whether born east or west of the Jordan River - are Jordan's natural citizens (regardless of whatever name it or they adopt). Kadi, under his monarch's orders, is now out to underscore the falsehood that "Jordan is not Palestine just as Palestine is not Jordan."
Thereby no future peace deal could rubber-stamp Jordanian domicile for so-called Palestinians. Instead they'd be driven to overrun Israel and turn it into the third Arab state in the original jurisdiction of the post-World War I British Mandate over Palestine.
Otherwise Jordan would forfeit all proceeds from the gargantuan deception it labored so hard to market to a world eager to be deceived - i.e., the synthetic Jordanian and Palestinian ethnicities, along with the notion that these recent-vintage nationalities are dissimilar from each other and deserve self-determination in separate homelands: Jordan and Palestine.
This cock-and-bull contention begat the image of the stateless Palestinians - aggrieved indigenous inhabitants striving desperately to throw off the yoke of foreign (Jewish) occupation.
Until 1948 Palestine was synonymous with the Hebrew Eretz Yisrael. The "Palestinian" epithet was largely reserved for Jews and used by them. Local Arabs preferred allegiance to Greater Syria or Iraq.
Golda Meir used to quip: "I am a Palestinian, but don't like the name. Palestine is a name the Romans gave Eretz Yisrael with the express purpose of infuriating defeated Jews... Why should we use a spiteful name meant to humiliate us?... Christendom inherited the name from Rome and the British chose to call the land they mandated Palestine. Local Arabs picked it up as their nation's supposed ancient name, though they couldn't even pronounce it correctly, and turned it into Filastin, a fictional entity."
Palestine/Filastin never had an independent existence, cultural uniqueness, linguistic distinctiveness or religious idiosyncrasy to differentiate it from the surrounding Arab milieu.
Moreover, the British Mandate in Palestine extended over both banks of the Jordan. In 1921, 78 percent of what the League of Nations designated as "the national home of the Jewish people" was ripped off and presented as a gift to Abdullah, son of Sharif Hussein ibn Ali, Mecca's Hashemite emir (also self-proclaimed caliph of all Muslims). Hussein later (1924) lost control of Islam's holiest city and surrounding Hejaz to a rival clan, the Saudis. Had he won, we'd be speaking today of Hashemite Arabia. As is, we're saddled with Hashemite Jordan.
Out to recompense their Hashemite lackeys, the Brits enthroned Abdullah's younger brother Faisal as king of Greater Syria. After the French expelled Faisal, London manufactured for him a make-believe realm called Iraq. His grandson Faisal II was deposed, executed and his corpse dragged through Baghdad's streets in 1958, but England's unnatural Iraqi fusion remains and continues to disturb the world.
Abdullah sought the title of emir of Palestine. Britain made him settle for Transjordan. No Transjordanian nation appears in human chronicles. It was conceived on Palestinian soil by Perfidious Albion. That was the first division of Palestine.
In 1950, Transjordan annexed the "West Bank" (the name they gave the territory occupied after the Arab invasion of new-born Israel in 1948) and became the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. Its leaders, including the late King Hussein, stressed over and over in numerous pronouncements that "Jordan and Palestine are one and the same." So did Palestinian leaders, including Yasser Arafat. The Palestinian Covenant, in fact, covets all of Jordan - precisely because it's Palestine.
Yet eventually it became expedient, PR-wise, to claim that Palestine exists exclusively west of the mini-river, justifying the campaign for a second Palestinian Arab state.
Fearing that his Palestinian subjects would topple their imported Hashemite rulers, Hussein kicked out the PLO in Black September 1970. Too bad. Had he failed, Arafat would have taken Amman over and nobody could today deny that Palestine is divided among Jews and Arabs, with the Arabs owning nearly four-fifths thereof.
Now Hussein's son Abdullah II seeks to rewrite history once more in the well-trodden Jordanian tradition. His father dropped the claim to what he branded the West Bank but didn't revive the ludicrous moniker of Transjordan. After 17 years of annexation (1950-67), the Jordan trademark gained global acceptance. It rang authentic. Why then return to the obvious fake?
Jordan's population, though, is overwhelmingly Palestinian. The only exceptions are the Beduin who accompanied Abdullah I from Hejaz. Like the Hashemites, they're foreigners. Now these outsiders design to delegitimize the natives. Expectedly, governments and human rights NGOs worldwide are silent.
Jordan was born of fraud, which it's fated thereafter to prop up via unremitting retroactive repairs to the past - even the distant past. Not too many years back Jordan TV aired a documentary on Jerusalem portraying ancient Jebusites as Arabs.
Of course, were the Hebrews not the People of the Book, those Jerusalem-area Canaanites known as Jebusites would have never made their exceedingly fleeting appearance on the pages of history, or on JTV.
For anyone who forgot the brief biblical references, the Jebusites were the folks from whom King David conquered a wee hamlet he later turned into his capital. The books of Judges and Ezra indicate they intermarried and assimilated among the Israelites.
Posthumously Arabizing these Jebusites presumably establishes an Arab claim to Zion. JTV concomitantly magnified the Jebusites' contribution to mankind to proportions that would have doubtlessly astounded them. JTV outrightly expunged Jews from Jerusalem's annals, save for one abrupt but indispensable appearance in the Judenrein city. Villainous Jews arrived suddenly out of nowhere and stayed just long enough to crucify Jesus, described as "a Palestinian Arab prophet."
JTV even treated us to recipes from the Jebusite kitchen. These would have altogether floored the long-lost Jebusites, as it appears that their favorite ingredients were tomatoes and chili peppers, which, alas, only reached the Old World 2,500 years later, when Spaniards brought them back from America.
Perhaps, however, the enterprising Jebusites beat Columbus there, thus establishing an Arab claim to the Western Hemisphere. Any claim that Jordan isn't Palestine is just as unimpeachable.