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Jordan and the Mandate for Palestine

Reader comment on item: Is Jordan Palestine?

Submitted by David (United States), Jun 5, 2014 at 17:53

While Pipes is right that Jordan is not Palestine, disagree that it was only part of the Mandate for a few months. The Trans-Jordan 78% of the Mandate remained part of it until Jordan received independence from the Mandate only in 1946, one year before UNR 181.

That it is 78% of Palestine is why the PLO first fought the foreign Hashemite king for control of the land. Only after he slaughtered more than 10,000 in one month did they turn to focus solely on Israel. In fact, that's how the Black September group that slaughtered Israelis at the 1972 Munich Olympics got its name.

Jordan certainly was most of Palestine, almost the entire existence of the Mandate.


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Daniel Pipes replies:

I stand by my position. Here is an excerpt from Martin Sicker, Reshaping Palestine: From Muhammad Ali to the British Mandate, 1831-1922 (199), pp. 157-58.

On August 7, 1920, Herbert Samuel, the recently appointed high commissioner in Palestine, cabled London requesting permission to include Trans-Jordan directly under his administrative control, thereby allowing him to take the necessary steps to restore order in the territory. This would eliminate the threat of a French attempt to control the region from Damascus.

London, however, troubled by a declining economy at home and seeking ways to reduce military expenditures, was unwilling to commit any significant resources to an area that it considered to be of only marginal value. Curzon therefore rejected Samuel's appeal and proposed instead that a few political officers be sent to "such places as Salt and Kerak, provided that no military escorts are necessary to ensure their safety…. The duties of these officers should be confined to encouraging local self-government and to giving such advice as is asked for by the people…. There must be no question of setting up any British Administration in that area."

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