The Shmooze

Aryeh Eldad Calls for Better Treatment of Palestinians in Jordan

By Nathan Jeffay

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It’s an unusual rallying cry for Aryeh Eldad, one of Israel’s most right-wing politicians. He’s calling for action on behalf of “disenfranchised Palestinians.”

But Eldad, a lawmaker with the National Union party, isn’t advocating a change in Israel’s policies in the West Bank. Instead, he wants Jordan to improve its treatment of Palestinians, and is making this demand in this online petition which has 2,500 signatures to date.

Eldad is still holding out for the idea, long-since dismissed by the Israeli mainstream, that in view of the high concentration of Palestinians in Jordan it should be considered a Palestinian state - invalidating claims to a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza.

He argues that making Jordan officially Palestinian would be the logical next step given the democratic changes sweeping the Middle East. “As the cries for democracy reach us from Tunis, Egypt, and all around the Arab world, we call upon the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan to declare itself the democratic nation state of the Palestinian people,” he wrote in the petition.

He goes on to claim that this “symbolic and declarative step” will “make a decisive contribution to Middle East and world peace.”

Eldad plans to present the petition to King Abdullah and his government on Jordan’s 65th Independence Day in May.


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