Jordan and the Palestinian Cause
The PLO as the sole legitimate representative
We recognize only the Palestinian leadershipthe Palestinian Authority and President Arafatand our support for them is total. If and when we see anyoneJordanians or others in Jordanacting in any way to weaken or call into question the reality of our commitment to the unity of the Palestinians, then we will take any actions that need to be taken to ensure that this doesn't happen.
Interview with Middle East
In reaffirming our clear stand we consider the Palestinian National Authority and its leader President Yasser Arafat as the sole legitimate authority in Palestine which enjoys our support, and we consider any harm directed at the Palestinian National Authority as being directed against us, the Jordanian state and the countrys institutions.
Letter to Prime Minister Abdel Salaam
We have given our Palestinian brothers all the help and assistance possible, in their long years of struggle, and in their quest for peace. We shall continue to support them, and to support their sole legitimate representative, the Palestine Liberation Organisation, until they gain their full political rights on their national soil. In doing all this, we have no ambition nor designs on their affairs. Nor do we seek by any means to interfere in their internal matters.
Address to Motah University
As for developments of the recent past in the peace process, the mutual Palestinian-Israeli recognition, the conclusion of the Declaration of Principles, and the start of the period of serious implementation, I repeat my plea to all our Palestinian brethren, within the occupied Palestinian territories and in the outside world, to unite, cooperate and hold fast together, lest the wind go out of their sails, and to work through the leadership which they have chosen as their sole, legitimate representative. As for us Arabs, we all made a commitment at the Rabat Summit of 1974 to recognize their singleness of representationin response to their own desire. We committed ourselves to supporting that leadership and to respecting the independence of the Palestinian decision, whatever the future might hold. It was a bond of honor and an unwavering commitment by men of honornot a seasonal undertaking.
Address to the Nation
Then the Arab summit of Rabat was held in 1974. After extensive discussions, we responded to the wish of our Palestinian brethren and the entire Arab nation to recognize the Palestine Liberation Organization as the sole, legitimate representative of the Palestinian Arab people. We committed ourselves to supporting it and to cooperating with it out of a desire to serve the struggle of the Palestinian Arab people in occupied Palestine. We regarded this position as one of rational honor to be fulfilled with our utmost capabilities until the occupation had been removed.
On the other hand, the course of Israeli politics underwent a radical shift immediately following the Rabat Summit. It began to tell the world that it recognized no other party but Jordan and would not deal with any other party as far as the future and fate of the occupied West Bank were concerned.
On our part, we had honored our direct political responsibilitiesuntil the Rabat Summittowards the occupied West Bank. We were committed to seeking its rescue and liberation to enable it to determine its own future. Then we adhered to the Rabat resolution with tenacity, sincerity and honor. This was done through the attempt, more than once, at Jordanian-Palestinian coordination and agreement; the decision to disengage legal and administrative ties with the West Bank, on the basis that it was an internal Jordanian-Palestinian affair not amenable to being relegated to any other party; through providing the umbrella to our Palestinian brethren at the Madrid, Moscow and Washington conferences enabling them to exercise their right to represent themselves; and up to the mutual Palestinian-Israeli recognition in Washington on September 13, 1993, and the start of the Palestinian-Israeli march towards peacewhich we wish success, with God's help, in achieving its objectives.
Such was our position. No one may claim that while we shouldered our responsibilitiesuntil we were relieved of their direct exercise in 1974we had ceded an inch of Palestinian territory or an iota of the right of its people to their homeland. We then continued to support the people of Palestine and their right on their national soilas an act of honor and a duty to be fulfilled until the need for it no longer exists. We also continued to provide assistance in the services of the common good as well as of peace.
Address to the Nation
The Palestinian problem cannot truly be solved without the presence and participation of the Palestinians, and their legitimate representative, the PLO. This is a proposition Israel should accept. It need be neither as painful nor as fruitless as she seems to fear.
For years Israel has proclaimed that the parties to the conflict must be the parties to the peace. She has similarly insisted that peace can be attained only through direct negotiation. Israel cannot choose her negotiating partners any more than the Arabs can. And she cannot, in good conscience, exclude from negotiations the representatives of the original party to the conflictthe Palestinians themselves.
Address to the World Affairs Council
Israel has offered several explanations for her refusal to deal with PLO representatives. One is refusal to recognize the PLO because it does not recognize her. Another is refusal to negotiate with representatives of an organization which allegedly wants to extinguish her. The answers beg the question. Clearly, neither party needs to recognize the other in order to talk. And neither will ever recognize the other if they dont talk. Nor is it reasonable that one would be extinguished over a conference table in Geneva, or any other place.
A more recent suggestion is that, while Israel would not negotiate with the PLO, she would negotiate with Jordan. I might say a word about that.
At the Rabat Conference, in November 1974, the sole responsibility for negotiating any settlement of the West Bank, or other Palestinian issues, was transferred from Jordan to the PLO. Prior to that, Jordan felt a special responsibility for the return of the West Bank to Arab hands, and was quite prepared to arrange for an Israeli withdrawal. Israel refused. So, that opportunity was lost.
Jordan accepted the subsequent decision of Rabat, because it represented the will of Arab unity. Also, our goal, after recovering the West Bank from Israel, was not different from that of Palestinians everywherenamely, to permit Palestinians who want to live on the West Bank the unimpeded right of self-determination. We, and all Arabs, support this goal, regardless of the delegation of responsibility for achieving it.
Address to the World Affairs Council
If our Arab brethren at this exalted conference are of the view that the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan does not have the legitimacy of speaking in the name of the Palestinians who live in its midst, who carry its citizenship and who have become part of its institutions, or of defending the right of this people, or of striving to regain their usurped land, or of lifting occupation and doing away with aggression, and if they deem this legitimate aspect to be restricted to the Palestine Liberation Organization alone, then in the name of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, I place on their shoulders alone the responsibility of their decision and all the consequences it entails. I consider it to be a release of our current political responsibilities. We leave the verdict on this decision, if taken, to history.
Address to the Arab Summit Meeting