Statement on Defending State, identity against Israel's 'Alternative Homeland' - Retired Army

[03-05-2010 12:00 AM]

AMMONNEWS - Below is the text of a statement issued by the National Committee of Retired Army Personnel, a copy of which was obtained by Ammon News.

A Message from the National Committee for Retired Army Personnel

Our fellow Jordanians,

THE National Committee for Retired Army Personnel offers its patriotic greetings to the Jordanian People and puts forward the following facts for their consideration:

Firstly: the old/new Zionist scheme for liquidating the Palestinian Question at the expense of the Jordanian People has recently taken a more dangerous turn: whether in the form of strategic-diplomatic initiatives aimed at aborting Palestinian state-building and shifting international pressure for a peace settlement towards Jordan; or in the form of continuing concrete pressure on the inhabitants of the West Bank aimed at forcing their migration across the Jordan River; or in the form of an organized, politically motivated campaign of propaganda and misinformation ostensibly aimed at the establishment of a consociational political system in Jordan, but in fact geared to the settlement of more refugees on the East Bank and the establishment of a Palestinian demographic majority there.

Secondly, these plots have moved from strength to strength in recent decades, as the number of Palestinians in Jordan have now reached 4.5 million, including: around 2 million permanently settled and with no remaining administrative ties to historic Palestine (although still with an internationally guaranteed right to return or compensation); around 850,000 1967 refugees with Jordanian citizenship and yellow identity cards (these point to the fact that the bearer possesses a residence permit issued by the Israeli occupation authorities, i.e. an entitlement to return to the West Bank); finally around 250000 refugees without Jordanian citizenship holding green (indicating their origins in the West Bank) or blue (indicating their origins in Gaza) identity cards. The Jordanian Kingdom now faces concerted pressure to bestow citizenship on all Palestinians within its borders, which would in effect an alternative Palestinian homeland on the East Bank.

Third, recent Israeli measures on West Bank residence rights pose a grave danger on two levels: (1) they promise to expropriate the right of West Bankers to return to their homeland on the excuse that they possess another citizenship; (2) in combination with ongoing policies of state terrorism and economic siege they will encourage further out migration.

Fourth, what is most worrying about the present conjuncture is that these Zionist strategies find increasingly vocal support in our own homeland, in the form of a fifth column of collaborators who call more and more loudly for consociation and settlement, and lobby openly for American aid to further these ends.

Fifth, the Jordanian Government has shown extreme weakness in the face of the pressure exerted by Israel, the US and their local collaborators. Recent appointments at the political, military and administrative levels indicate that recent cabinets have already begun to implement a covert – if undemocratic – political quota system by placing Palestinians – including some who have yet to complete the full legal requirements of citizenship – in key positions at the pinnacle of the state apparatus.

Sixth, the root cause of this governmental weakness lies in the policies of privatization and the liquidation of the public sector that have been pursued in the last decade, and that have led to the growing power of business interests and those who truck in corruption and shady financial dealings.

This has in turn led to growing public deficits and external debt, as well as to burgeoning poverty, hunger and unemployment, especially among the inhabitants of the rural areas and the steppe. This economic weakness in the face of a projected alternative Palestinian homeland has been exacerbated by a pattern of internal politics marked by the dominance of familial politics and an oligarchy of vested interests. A narrow and unrepresentative coterie of political clans has monopolized cabinet formation and decision making, while preventing the Jordanian people from determining their fate and defending Jordan’s national interests.

ON the foregoing basis, the National Committee for Retired Army Personnel calls for a unification of efforts and concerted action along the following lines:

First, asserting that the Jordanian constitution grants legal powers to His Majesty the King, alone and that these powers are shared by no other party regardless of kinship or title. The King exercises these executive powers by means of cabinets that obtain the confidence of a parliament elected freely on the basis of the equal representation of Jordan’s historic regions, not on the basis of the vagaries of demography or migration. It goes without saying that the composition of these cabinets should reflect the wishes of the Jordanian people not vested interests, or political place men.

Second, the decision to disengage from the West Bank in 1988 was a decisive turning point for Jordan’s political system, ending all legal and administrative aspects of the country’s unification with the West Bank. It is now time to bestow constitutional status on this decision by issuing the necessary legislation to put it into law, and to end all overlap of citizenship rights with the Palestinian areas, including those involving trade unions, professional associations, political parties etc. On this basis, the status of our Palestinian brothers in Jordan will be as follows:

1. Those who are at present unable to return to Palestine either physically or politically, will be regarded as Jordanian with full rights and obligations until the implementation of UN General Assembly resolution 194, which grants them the right to return to their historical homeland. The implementation of this resolution should be the fulcrum of Jordan’s foreign policy.

2. Those able to return to Palestine whether physically or politically, should be given Palestinian citizenship rights or Palestinian travel documents in order to protect their rights in their historic home.

Third, there is now a pressing need for a patriotic cabinet that is able to defend the Jordanian nation, and that can implement a comprehensive and total assault on corruption and expropriate ill gotten wealth, while restoring public ownership of the commanding heights of the economy. This will provide the foundation for a system of progressive taxation that will restore the social equality enshrined in our constitution, and for the initiation of a development program that will give priority to the rural areas and the steppe.

Fourth, concerting efforts for support and enhancement of the armed forces and improving the status of its members, while restoring National Service and the People’s Army as a means of combating the Zionist threat.

Fifth, restoring pride in Jordanian National identity in all walks of life, and promoting political development by opening the way for party organization and free expression, while also directing blows to all groupings tied in one way or another to the Zionist project.

Our fellow Jordanians,

It is only by implementing this program that we can defend our homeland and our selves. It is not an impossible task, if you decide to work together and to abjure all backward-looking and sectional loyalties, and if you choose to live together in a secure homeland, with full social and constitutional rights, under the Hashemite banner and under the rule of the esteemed leader of the House of Hashem, King Abdullah II.

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