Jordan’s parliament votes to expel Israeli ambassador

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Amman – Al Carmel

ordan’s Lower House of Parliament today voted to expel the Israeli ambassador in Amman in protest of an Israeli far-right minister’s use of a map of Israel that includes Jordan and the occupied Palestinian territories, according to Ammon News.

House Speaker Ahmed Safadi called on the government to take effective measures against Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich’s statements and behavior, including expelling the Israeli ambassador Eitan Surkis.

The members of the parliament said that Smotrich’s behavior reflects “an Israeli arrogance and disrespect of international treaties and conventions.”

Jordan’s Foreign Ministry affirmed that such behavior will not harm Jordan and will not take away from the rights of the Palestinian people of an independent state.

The ministry added that this behavior can be expected from an extreme right-wing government that harbors hatred and extremism towards Arabs and Muslims, calling on the Israeli Occupation government to take a clear stance towards these irresponsible statements and to reconsider the peace treaty between the two countries.

On Sunday, Smotrich declared that “There’s no such thing as Palestinians because there’s no such thing as a Palestinian people” at a memorial service for a late Likud activist in Paris.

The far-right lawmaker said that the Palestinian people were “an invention” cooked up in the 20th century to fight Zionism and that it was people like him and his grandparents who were the “real Palestinians”.

Speaking at a podium adorned with a map based on the crest of the Zionist Irgun militia, which shows Israel straddling the West Bank and Jordan, Smotrich, who holds significant powers over the occupied West Bank, said that the French and US governments needed to hear “this truth” about the Palestinians. 

“Do you know who are the Palestinians?” the head of the ultra-nationalist Religious Zionism party said. “I’m Palestinian.”

The map shown on the podium Smotrich was speaking at also showed parts of Syria and Lebanon, regions included in the concept of Eretz Yisrael – Greater Israel – a key part of ultra-nationalist Zionism that claims all of these lands for a Zionist state.

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