Articles > > Holding A Wake

Articles - Addostour - Date: 2019-11-11
By: Oraib Al Rantawi

The wave of feelings and attitudes sweeping Israel's political class on the occasion of Jordan reclaiming its full sovereignty over the territories of Ghumar and Baqoura warrants analysis and unpacking.
Israel is holding a wake, minus only the wailing and lamentation, punctuated by feelings of anger, disappointment, or even shock, even though Jordan has done nothing but recover the territory that Israel itself recognizes as Jordanian via means that fall within the scope of the Jordanian-Israeli peace treaty and not outside it. Such arrangements are exercised as a matter of course by states that respect international law, contrary to the bullying tactics and policies of fait accompli and usurpation that Israel is infamous for and that it practices to the exclusion of all other countries across the globe.
Jordan informed Israel officially and in writing that there would be no chance of renewing its usufruct contract over the two areas, and in a timely manner, but Israel did not cease wagering on Jordan's retreat until the very end. We are used to Israel's policies of procrastination and evasiveness, and turning temporary situations into permanent ones, transitioning from usufruct to lease and from lease to ownership. This mentality of cooption, invasion, and encroachment on the rights and property of others has governed the Israeli ruling class ever since Israel was a mere idea and project, and both before and after it became a state.
The history of Israeli occupation of the two Jordanian territories reflects this aggressive-expansionist mentality. Baqoura fell into the occupation's hands two years after the 1948 war, and Ghumar fell one year after the 1967 war in conditions of truce and ceasefire with no security justification whatsoever. Today, the Israelis are crying over a land that is not theirs, a fact acknowledged by [former PM] Yitzhak Rabin, the leader they killed shortly after the treaty's signing.
Israeli commentators have gone crazy with analyses and interpretations that reflect their state of delirium and uncertainty. One such analyst had no shame in saying that Israel supplies Jordan with water and gas only for Jordan to respond with ingratitude. In his interpretation of the king's decision to restore Baqoura and Ghumar, he blames the Muslim Brotherhood and professional associations, as if the man were totally unaware of events and developments in Jordan, or as if propaganda compels him to spout off about something he knows nothing about.
Israeli PM Netanyahu's false arrogance and pride have undoubtedly sustained a deadly double blow: First with [former Jordanian detainees] Heba Labadi and 'Abdelrahman Merhi's unconditional return to their families, and second, with Jordan unconditionally restoring its territories formerly under usufruct. This is a lot to handle for a man who is used to swaggering like a peacock with every movement and gesture.
The important thing is that as of yesterday, Jordanian territories have been fully restored to Jordanian sovereignty and law, and are no longer subject to special arrangements. It is all well and good if there are those who have private ownership over parts of them as long as it is within the confines of Jordanian law and subject to the regulations for crossings, borders, and the visa system. And those who farm the lands will be given a single timeframe of several months to harvest them based on the negotiations and understandings also within the confines of Jordanian law and the procedures in force, without preferential treatment or a special system.
Jordan has done nothing but adhere to the peace treaty in its details and has not embarked on any move outside of it, contrary to what some of the more enthusiastic among us may believe. It has done so to avoid [Israeli] accusations of expropriation for fear that it would set a precedent to justify settlement and seizing Palestinian lands and Jordanian lands in Palestine.
Israel may not observe international law or legitimacy, but Jordan's decision-makers made sure not to set a precedent that would provide Israel with any justification or pretext, at least in terms of human rights conflicts on the international arena.