Jordan claimed today it had succeeded in a “fearless” mission to air-drop aid to Gaza, only for the Israeli military to clarify the aid mission had been coordinated through it.
“Our fearless air force personnel air-dropped at midnight medical aid to the Jordanian field hospital in Gaza,” Jordanian King Abdullah II said early on Monday.
“This is our duty to aid our brothers and sisters injured in the war on Gaza. We will always be there for our Palestinian brethren.”
We see here propaganda in action. Jordan identifies Palestinians as “brethren” (Israelis are never “brethren”, of course) and falsely implies the aid was provided against the wishes of Israel and without its assistance, the better to make Israel look bad and Jordan look like it’s got the Gazans’ back.
But is this the same King Abdullah who has refused to take in a single Gazan refugee? Last month he said:
I think I can speak here on behalf of Jordan… but also our friends in Egypt: This is a red line… no refugees to Jordan and also no refugees to Egypt. This is a situation that has to be handled within Gaza and the West Bank. And you don’t have to do it on the shoulders of others.
Always be there – at a safe distance, dropped from a great height.
Jordan originally staked a claim to the whole land of Israel, of course, and annexed the West Bank in 1950 before losing it in 1967. And the Palestinians originally saw Jordan as an integral part of greater Palestine and fought to undermine the Hashemite state established by the British after World War One under its Mandate for Palestine. Palestinian claims on Jordan eventually came to an end after the 1970 ‘Black September‘ victory of Jordan over the Palestinian Liberation Organisation and the brutal driving out of the Palestinians from Jordan.
For some reason, though, this murky history is now largely forgotten, and the legitimacy of Jordan is universally accepted, while that of the Jewish state remains widely questioned. Now why could that be? Particularly as Israel has strived to include Gazans – before the war Israel had just issued thousands of new work permits – while Jordan’s border, like that of Egypt, has remained firmly shut.