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The Zarqa declarations

Mar 21,2019 - Last updated at Mar 21,2019

His Majesty King Abdullah chose Zarqa to make momentous declarations, especially on East Jerusalem and its Muslim and Christian holy places.

Zarqa is a major metropolitan urban city in Jordan that is home to about 50 per cent of the country’s industries and businesses. But that was not what the King had in mind when he spoke up about Jerusalem and its holy places.

At a time when many countries, including some Arab states, are silent on the Israeli threats to the Islamic holy places, including Al Aqsa Mosque, the King chose to keep the torch of Jerusalem burning, hoping that the silent nations would wake up one day and speak up on the fate of the Muslim and Christian religious sites.

The Zarqa declarations did not come, therefore, from a vacuum. The Hashemite Custodianship over the holy sites in East Jerusalem is a firm and unshaken conviction that no side can derail or question. That is what the King wanted to say in Zarqa loud and clear.

East Jerusalem is a red line, said the King, that no side can cross with impunity. “No one can pressure Jordan on this matter, and the answer will be no. All Jordanians stand with me on Jerusalem. At the end of the day, Arabs and Muslims will stand with us as well,” the King said. The Jordanian custodianship over these holy sites is also a red line that the King will uphold at all costs. “All my people are with me,” the King added.

His Majesty did not fail to add that he remains sanguine about the future, despite all the odds that the country faces, which undermine its stability and progress.

Some countries, the King said, were actually applying pressure on his steadfastness on East Jerusalem, but he reiterated that he will not waver. Jordan’s stance on East Jerusalem and its holy places is a matter of principle and not a subject for negotiation. Well, the King has spoken loud and clear and it is up to the rest of the shareholders to take full note of his firm determination to uphold his custodianship of the holy sites in East Jerusalem, come what may.

The King touched upon the so-called allegation that Jordan could be the homeland for the Palestinian people. He stressed that any talk about an “alternative homeland” for Palestinians in Jordan is rejected, noting that “to anyone who speaks about an alternative homeland, the answer is no”. Jordan is Jordan and Palestine is Palestine. This should put an end to those who still market the ridiculous idea that Jordan is the homeland for the Palestinians.

Only when the state of Palestine is created on Palestinian soil in the West Bank, with East Jerusalem as it capital, would Jordan consider some form of unification or another. That moment in time has not arrived. That was Jordan’s official position and remains its final word on the subject.

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