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Between the Sword of the Conqueror and the Scale of Justice: "Jordan is Palestine" (Again)

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Submitted by Robert (United States), Oct 2, 2018 at 11:34

Dear Daniel Pipes,

In October 1998 you and Adam Garfinkle published an article in "Commentary" in which the Thesis that "Jordan is Palestine" is a marginal view with essentially insignificant legal ramifications. I think one can safely say that you viewed that position as similar to the Medieval question as to "How many angels can dance on the head of a pin (infinitely many or not)." Although you conceded the legal truthfulness of the thesis, "you" denied its practical, or realistic, consequences. I put the word "you" in quotes because I desire to assign that part of the article mostly to your co-author, Adam Garfinkle, since I consider you extremely well informed on the history of the Middle East, both Ancient and Modern, as well as Contemporary.

However, as Generations come and go, any History changes Reality, Dialectically as the Marxists (sorry) would say (I'm thinking of the US New Left & the European Frankfurt School), I think it's time for us all to return to this thesis.

(1) I had befriended (in person) Paul S. Riebenfeld (a German American Jew) until he passed away in Manhattan. He was a historian, as well has an authority on International Law and the British Mandate for Palestine, having participated in its formulation before the League of Nations. Until his demise, he subscribed to the (International) Legal Thesis that Jordan Is Palestine.

(2) You, essentially, in 1988, considered that position as a mere "Slogan." You also discussed the full background history of the notion of Palestine, from Biblical times. However, International Legal Jurisprudence, as know very well, substantially begins with the League of Nations (which the USA didn't join,incidentally), and is revived with its Successor organization, the United Nations. Accordingly, I would like to attribute the weak part of this 1988 Commentary article to co-author Garfinkle, not you. And I believe you would agree, especially at the present time in history, to the Legalisms of the LON & the UN, that International Law matters. For example, that the so-called OCCUPIED TERRITORIES are in fact DISPUTED TERRITORIES, although this is primarily only the position (as far as I know) of the Soverign states of Israel and Uncle Sam.

(3) You appear to have omitted (I didn't read the whole relatively long article) the history of BLACK SEPTEMBER (though you do discuss Arafat, elsewhere). The fact is that non-Hashemite Palestinians have their own "National" view of their History in which Jordan is (a part of) Palestine. As you know, I'm sure, Nationalism is almost always substantially partial MYTHOLOGY. And perhaps, Palestinians are more Mythological than others in their Identity view of themselves because of the artificiality and recentness of their geography and demography.

(4) In the mostly undisclosed DEAL OF THE CENTURY is appears to me to be the case that the Thesis that "Jordan Is Palestine" is being resurrected from the fringes of the Historical Narrative, and that it is going to play a role in the Peace Plan. In this Context, I think you need to put more weight into the demise of both Iraq and Syria as Arab Sunni States, and the displacement of millions of their Citizens into Jordan, Turkey, and Europe, where,on the ground, they are also Refugees, just "like" Palestinians - except that they were treated far better ... until Donald Trump pulled the rug on the (you know very well what he's done to the "Palestinian Cause" as far as they are concerned).

(5) Although Israel is accused of Racism, Apartheid, Occupation, Ethnic Cleansing, you know very well that this isn't so from the standpoint of Middle East History; but I think you have underestimated the substantial significations of the argument that Jordan Is Palestine from the point of view of International Law as far as the United Nations is concerned. I know that you are willing to amend your views when events change in historical time. I thing it is time for you to re-visit the Thesis that Jordan Is Palestine, especially from two perspective: (1) International Law, and (2) the PLO (Palestine Liberation Organization), and its history, especially the (1970-1971) Black September rebellion in Jordan.

Here are the Four (4) Link location where you discuss the matter on your Website:

"Jordan is Palestine"
Daniel Pipes:
1) 1988 Jordan is Palestine:
http://www.danielpipes.org/298/is-jordan-palestine
2) 2009 Updates on the Jordan is Palestine Thesis
http://www.danielpipes.org/blog/2009/08/updates-on-the-jordan-is-palestine-thesis
3) 2009 No-State Solution
http://www.danielpipes.org/6110/solving-the-palestinian-problem
4) 1990 Arafat & Jordan is Palestine:
http://www.danielpipes.org/202/president-arafat-and-the-jordan-is-palestine-issue

Submitting....

Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

Daniel Pipes replies:

Thank you for reminding me of that article on its 30th anniversary. I just tweeted it at https://twitter.com/DanielPipes/status/1047269899230429186.

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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