|—||“Q&A: Gaza conflict”. BBC. January 18, 2009.|
We call upon the Kingdom of Jordan to declare itself the democratic nation state of the Palestinian people. 80% of Jordan’s population are disenfranchised Palestinians and this declaration would be a decisive contribution to finally ending the Arab-Israeli conflict.
Jordan is Palestine
The King of Jordan
King Abdullah the Second
The Government and Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan
Presented this Date, the 25th of May 2011
The 65th Independence Day of the Kingdom of Jordan
As the cries for democracy reach us from Tunis, Egypt, and all around the Arab world, we call upon the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan to declare itself the democratic nation state of the Palestinian people.
80% of the population of Jordan are disenfranchised Palestinians. This declarative step would correct that injustice and provide the foundation for a just, comprehensive and lasting peace between the Jewish and Arab peoples.
The late Prime Minister Yitzchak Rabin wrote: “A Palestinian State can be created only on the ruins of the State of Israel”.
That needn’t be the case. That shouldn’t be the case.
Let Jordan be democratic and free, and let the Palestinian people accept upon themselves the full mantle and responsibility of democratic statehood in Jordan - without the destruction or diminishment of the state of Israel and without the physical transfer of any population, neither Jew nor Arab.
We the undersigned, citizens of the world, representatives of hundreds of thousands around the world, ask the Government of Jordan and King Abdullah the Second, to proclaim the Hashemite Kingdom the democratic nation state of the Palestinians, and with this symbolic and declarative step, make a decisive contribution to Middle East and world peace.
We remind you of the brave words of your father:
“I wish democracy and peace to be my legacy to my people and the shield of generations to come.” - King Hussein I of Jordan
IDF readies to enlist haredim
Army prepares to recruit ultra-Orthodox soldiers after decades of granting sweeping exemptions; expiration of Tal Law could triple rate of haredi enlistment, officials say
For decades, the IDF would send haredi youths preliminary draft summons before granting them exemptions under the Tal Law. With the legislation set to expire on Wednesday, the IDF is gearing towards enlisting the ultra-religious individuals, starting with an extensive sorting procedure that includes a variety of tests.
Officials involved in the process postulate that the development will lead to the recruitment of 7,500 ultra-Orthodox soldiers each year, a number three times higher than the current rate.
The expiration of the law, however, does not mean that the IDF will automatically stop exempting all haredim from service; changes to the current draft regulations are unlikely to go into effect before 2013.
A team consisting of Defense Ministry legalists and IDF human resources officials has recently drafted an interim directive meant to allow legislators extra time to come up with an alternative to the Tal Law, after attempts to draft such legislation in recent months failed.
“We are looking into the military’s needs, and are discerning who is fit to be recruited while listening to the public’s just demands for equality as well as the army and the haredim’s demands,” a senior member of the committee told Ynet.”(Defense Minister Ehud) Barak instructed the army to expand programs for ultra-Orthodox troops and to raise their salaries, which would replace the allowance that they currently get.”
The political system appears to have given up on the issue, tossing the hot potato over to the defense establishment. The Knesset went into summer recess, and Minister Moshe Ya’alon, whom Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu put in charge of dealing with the draft legislation, has recommended the immediate establishment of new programs for the enlistment of haredim, instead of waiting for a new law.
Protesters call for universal draft
On Tuesday evening, activists belonging to the Suckers Camp, a movement demanding the enactment of a universal draft, intend to give out flowers on the streets of Bnei Brak, a predominantly religious central Israeli city.
The protesters also intend to distribute faux draft summons calling on potential ultra-religious soldiers to integrate within the army.
“The duty of service in the State of Israel applies to all of us… This is a mighty opportunity for all of us to create one society, under on law, where everyone serves the state,” the leaflets read. “No one wants to enlist you forcefully; no one wants to alter your way of life. We are brothers; we always have been and always will be.”
The National Student and Youth Council has also joined the battle, sending Netanyahu a strongly-worded letter urging him to enact universal army service.
“Don’t let Zionism turn into cynicism,” wrote Yuval Kahlon, the chairman of the council. “We don’t care about politics, we only care about how our lives will look like in a future State of Israel. How do you expect us to proudly fulfill our duty with this blatant discrimination tearing at our immense motivation?”
Various protest movements are expected to join forces on the weekend to call for the equal sharing of the service burden and to express objection to the recent tax hikes.
“The decision to favor the ultra-Orthodox interest over the general public’s interest when it comes to the draft question, the failing attempts to dissolve Kadima and the outrageous financial edicts are like spitting in the public’s face,” said Idan Miller, who heads the unified protester camp.
After longtime focus on Arab refugees, Israel putting Jewish refugees on the agenda
No, not Palestinian refugees; Jewish refugees.
For many years the world has heard about the “right of return.” This refers to Arabs who became displaced during the defensive war Israel was forced to fight when the surrounding Arab countries attacked it the day after declaring independence in 1948.
The plan was for Israel to be destroyed “in a few weeks,” allowing Arabs to return to their home. Yet these plans were dashed as Israel won the war. After Israel’s victory, not a single Arab country took these Arabs in - they were intentionally left to become “refugees,” so the world would perceive Israel as the villain.
For more than 60 years now, most of them have lived in camps. As part of any peace agreement with Israel, Mahmoud Abbas has demanded that they and their descendants be allowed to return. Today they number more than five million. Their return would mean Jews would no longer be the majority in the only country designated as their homeland.
If they are not allowed to return, Abbas has demanded compensation.
Compensating those complicit in a plan to destroy Israel seems a logical absurdity.
What is virtually never given media attention is the issue of Jewish refugees. For centuries, Jewish communities existed in many Arab countries. Their combined numbers were estimated to be roughly 850,000. The UN partition vote in 1947 brought tremendous upheaval for them.
The creation of the tiny state of Israel brought about a harsh reaction from Arab countries where Jews lived. They lost jobs and had their homes and land taken away. Their assets were frozen. Many were jailed, and some were killed. Virtually all of them were eventually forced to flee with just the clothes on their backs, and whatever they could carry.
The recent meeting, which seeks to raise awareness of the Jewish refugee issue, was hosted by the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Attendees included individuals from numerous organizations representing Jews from Arab countries.
Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon opened the meeting by calling attention to the injustice done to the Jewish refugees.
Ayalon also asked the Arab League to take responsibility for giving birth to the Palestinian refugees by declaring war on Israel, which caused their displacement. He insisted that if compensation is part of future negotiations, it will be addressed only on a mutual basis, which includes Jewish refugees.
This meeting represents an attempt by Israel to counter the Arab revisionist agenda by presenting documented facts designed to bring fairness and media attention to this long overlooked component of the “peace process.” Whether the balance of opposing narratives will shift remains to be seen.
While much remains in dispute, there is one indisputable fact about the peace process. There has been far too much “process,” and far too little “peace.”