The idea of reunifying a substantial part of the West Bank with Jordan received a further boost this week - when former head of the PLO Political Department - Farouk
Kaddoumi - told the newspaper London-based newspaper Al - Quds Al - Arabi that giving the West Bank back to Jordan would be a "positive move."
His remarks are the first of their kind to be voiced by a senior PLO figure in decades.
His statement follows hard on the comment recently made by Jordan's Prince Hassan that the West Bank was part of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan
It was back in March 1977 that Kaddoumi himself told Newsweek:
There should be a kind of linkage because Jordanians and Palestinians are considered by the PLO as one people...
His viewpoint was echoed by another PLO leader - Zuheir Mohsen - who told the Dutch newspaper Trouw in the same month:
The Palestinian people does not exist. The creation of a Palestinian state is only a means for continuing our struggle against the state of Israel for our Arab unity. In reality today there is no difference between Jordanians, Palestinians, Syrians and Lebanese. Only for political and tactical reasons do we speak today about the existence of a Palestinian people, since Arab national interests demand that we posit the existence of a distinct Palestinian people to oppose Zionism.
For tactical reasons, Jordan, which is a sovereign state with defined borders, cannot raise claims to Haifa and Jaffa, while as a Palestinian, I can undoubtedly demand Haifa, Jaffa, Beer-Sheva and Jerusalem. However, the moment we reclaim our right to all of Palestine, we will not wait even a minute to unite Palestine and Jordan.
The greatest criticism of the international community since then has been the failure to heed these statements and recognise there is no difference at all between the Arab residents living in the West Bank and the Arab residents living in Jordan. Both reside in an area comprising almost 80% of former Palestine and live within one hours drive of each other. Both were citizens of Jordan and had Jordanian passports from 1950-1988. Both have families that live on both sides of the Jordan River. No country was ever called "Jordan" until 1950.
The attempt to create two separate national identities and two separate peoples - Jordanians and Palestinians - have always been nothing but misleading and deceptive fairy tales.
Even the 1968 PLO Charter itself makes this abundantly clear in its opening two articles which state:
Article 1: Palestine is the homeland of the Arab Palestinian people; it is an indivisible part of the Arab homeland, and the Palestinian people are an integral part of the Arab nation.
Article 2: Palestine, with the boundaries it had during the British Mandate, is an indivisible territorial unit.
David Singer is an Australian Lawyer, a Foundation Member of the International Analyst Network and Convenor of Jordan is Palestine International - an organisation calling for sovereignty of the West Bank and Gaza to be allocated between Israel and Jordan as the two successor States to the Mandate for Palestine. Previous articles written by him can be found at www.jordanispalestine.blogspot.com.