Saturday, March 26, 2011


Joining their brethren in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Yemen, Syria, Saudi Arabia, and Bahrain, Arabs in the Kingdom of Jordan have been protesting in the streets and calling for a change in governing regime.

In a story on the death of one protester and the panicky response by the Jordanian Prime Minister who warned of chaos overtaking the country, Reuters correspondent Lina Ejeilat divides Jordan's Arabs into "Jordanians of Palestinian origin and the country's indigenous East Bank population" [italics ours].  This, in an effort to artificially bifurcate the local Arab population into two distinct peoples.

In reality of course, Jordan was at one time an integral part of Palestine and the Arabs living east of the Jordan River in what became first, Transjordan and then, Jordan, are ethnically, culturally, linguistically, and religiously indistinguishable from those Arabs living west of the Jordan River.  The only genuine, albeit transitory, distinction is one between Arabs of northern Palestine who were historically associated with Syria and Arabs in the south who are thought to have come directly from the Arabian Peninsula.

The myth of two peoples, "east bank" Jordanians and "west bank" Palestinians is precisely that, a myth, which has been perpetuated by those with a political interest, like Reuters, in calling for the formation of a second Palestinian Arab state (the first being Jordan) on the land promised to the Jews in resolutions adopted by the League of Nations and grandfathered across to the United Nations.  

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