Saleh ِAl-Qallab
Jordanian writer, Former Minister of Information, Minister of Culture and Minister of State. Member of the Board of Trustees of the Saudi Research and Marketing Group

No Migration From West Bank... Jordan Has Nothing to Do With Balfour Declaration

Indeed, it is no coincidence that among two former prominent Jordanian officials who had taken part in taking difficult and decisive decisions, one would warn against a transfer, a mass migration, from West Bank to Jordan and the other against a sequel to the Balfour Declaration targeting the east of the Jordan River, the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, and would be implemented by Israel soon under the Zionist slogan, “From the Nile to the Euphrates.” Both these officials are from Nablus, a city that was and still is referred to as the Mountain of Fire for playing a vital role in the successive Palestinian revolutions. 

In a previous article for Asharq al-Awsat, I had insisted that even if extremist Israelis and Zionist Jews, especially in the United States, considered expelling Palestinians from what was left of Palestine, if it were possible before, was not possible today. These remaining parts of Palestine are populated by more than 3 million Palestinians who will cling to their homeland, and no mass migrations have been recorded among them for more than half a century. The cities and villages of West Bank are well-built and are home to the best universities and schools; its people live under European standards.

It is impossible for a mass migration of the people of the West Bank who are as rooted in their land as the centuries-old, even millennia-old, olive trees in that part of Palestine. It is well known that some Israelis who take their distant future into consideration reject this and that the Western World, mainly Europe, also rejects this. Therefore, if such a “transfer” were possible in 1967, it no longer is, even if extremist Zionists wanted it and had the support of the American President Donald Trump.

Despite the fears expressed in all seriousness by those whom we respect and admire and discussed this issue with, the way it was presented is out of the question. More important, is that the people of this part of Palestine have learned a lot after what happened in 1948 and in June 1967. This made them very attached to the West Bank, and what is worth noting in this regard is that the number of people who returned to their homeland after the infamous Oslo Accords has exceeded half a million. This is despite the fact that the Israelis kept transgressing these agreements and the former Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was the only one who was serious about implementing them, famously gave his life for this conviction.

Importantly, and undisputedly, the motivations behind those warnings against mass migration are cautions stemming from bitter experiences. We must affirm, however, that it is entirely out of the question, as these people are holding very tightly to their land. There will be no migration from this land, come what may.

This is one issue. Another is that caution compelled the former Jordanian Prime Minister, Taher al-Masri, to warn against any regional divisions in Jordanian society that may weaken Jordan’s position visa vie the Zionist project in the east of the Jordan River, considering that it was part of the mighty Balfour Declaration, something that Israel and Christian Zionists are pursuing so that they complete their occupation of historical Palestine and finish the Jordanian part of this project.

Of course, the former Jordanian Prime Minister deserves nothing but respect and admiration for his fears of this grave issue, but what is known in this regard that the cursed, and not mighty, Balfour Declaration did not indicate anything to do with the east of Jordan River as part of the Zionist project, and no text indicates a Jordanian part of what Israel and Christian Zionists are pursuing other than the notorious Zionist slogan, “From the Nile to the Euphrates.”

No doubt that the Oslo Accords have miserably failed after the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin, which left matters in the hands of more extreme Zionists who undermined the foundations of this agreement in the region and closed the horizon for Palestinian liberation and the establishment of their own independent country. This essentially means that if things keep moving in this direction, then all agreements in the area are transgressed, from Camp David, Wadi Araba Treaty, to Oslo, and there will be no disputing that the basis for this whole Middle Eastern struggle is the Palestinian cause.

Perhaps extreme Zionists dream of East Jordan after completing their project at the level of Palestine, which will never happen. It is necessary to affirm that the East of the Jordan River, the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, was never mentioned in the infamous Balfour Declaration. The truth is that those who championed the Arab project wanted the Levant and Iraq to be one Arab country. Of course, this did not work from the beginning, given the circumstances of that well-known historical period.

It is, therefore, a big mistake to say that the Zionist project includes the East of the Jordan River as part of the Balfour Declaration, as no official and unofficial documents indicate this. Consequently, we ought not to treat the issue this way, and it is well known that whoever keeps talking about the wolf will find the wolf at his doorstep.

­­In all cases, what is supposedly known to every Jordanian and Arab is that the only time that Israelis tried to cross the Jordan River in an attempt to occupy the Western As-Salt Heights was on the 21st of March, 1968 and that the great Battle of Karameh took place between the Jordanian Arab Army alongside their Palestinian Fedayeen brethren, and defeated the Israeli Army. This is still an example of the fact that it is possible to defeat the Israelis and to expel them from every occupied Palestinian and Arab land.

This means that even if the Israelis think the way the former Prime Minister Taher al-Nasri describes their ambitions, then they will not only face one Karameh but a thousand, and that the Jordanians will not be an easy bite in the Zionist project East of the Jordan River, as all Jordanians will all become Fedayeen. They should be sure that if such a battle were to take place, it would be a nationalist struggle that Iraqis, Khaleejis, and others will participate in it, just like they did before.