May 19,2018 – JORDAN TIMES –
Jordan at various levels of government never failed to make the Palestinian conflict a core regional crisis and the continued epicentre of its foreign concerns. This has been the steady and systematic policy of the country even before the occupation of the West Bank in the 1967.
The Palestinian problem continues to enjoy an added sense of urgency for Jordan. This is not to mention that nearly half of the county’s population are of a Palestinian origin, and that the occupation of the West Bank meant the loss of a major national territory to Israel.
Yet, Jordan’s official interlocutors from various governments never cease to brush aside this principled Jordanian concern either by responding in a muted way or by patronising Jordanian officials by pretending that they share Jordan’s concerns, when in fact they cling to their new priority list of conflicts in the Middle East, which for them have dwarfed the Palestinian problem.
The Syrian and Yemeni conflicts, and before them the Iraqi and Libyan conflicts, seem in the eyes of the international community to have overridden the Palestinian case in terms of urgency. While the Palestinian case is certainly the oldest conflict in the region , it is no longer occupying the front seat for many nations, including the mighty and powerful.
Against this backdrop, while Jordan must continue its stance that the Palestinian case is still on the top of its list of national priorities, there is a parallel need to accept the obvious fact that other regional conflicts have indeed overtaken it in terms of urgency and are, therefore, competing with it in terms of international attention.
Half a million people died in the Syrian conflict and millions others were either internally displaced or rendered refugees in neighbouring countries and beyond. The Iraq war was never less critical in terms of loss of human life and suffering, not to mention the geopolitical weight of Iraq on the international arena.
Yet, sticking to the current position of prioritising the Palestinian conflict despite of the new realities would help keep the torch of the Palestinian conflict burning and alive. Otherwise, the Palestinian case would be forgotten altogether, and the Palestinian cause shelved for future generations to deal with.
Keeping the Palestinian cause on the top of its national priorities would be the biggest service that Jordan can make to the Palestinian people.