The New York Times is reporting Jordan is worried that Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon will force all of the Palestinians from the West Bank into Jordan, under the cover of a US war in Iraq.
King Abdullah II and his advisors are asking the Bush administration to assure this will not happen. (They are also asking for help in securing a cheap flow of oil, which the country now buys at preferential prices from Iraq.)
King Abdullah said recently he would use troops to prevent Palestinians from entering. The Jordanian information minister also recently suggested Jordan would use troops to keep Iraqi refugees fleeing a war from entering the country.
Around half of Jordan’s 5 million people are Palestinians, and as many as 400,000 are Iraqis. An influx of refugees during an unpopular war could destabilize the monarchy.
- Benny Morris, professor of Middle East History at Ben Gurion University and author of 'The Road to Jerusalem' and 'The Birth of the Palestinian Refugee Problem, 1947-1949'.
- Norman Finkelstein, author of four books including 'The Holocaust Industry: Reflections on the Exploitation of Jewish Suffering' (Verso, 2000). The son of two Holocaust survivors.
- Boris Shusteff, author and research associate with the Freeman Center for Strategic Studies.