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Jordan protests Finance Minister Smotrich’s ‘racist’ remarks, summons Israeli ambassador

Jordanians are also angry that Smotrich delivered his remarks while standing next to a “Greater Israel” map

Israeli Finance Minister Smotrich speaking at a private memorial event in Paris (Photo: Screenshot)

The Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan summoned Israeli Ambassador Eitan Surkis on Monday in Amman to protest against Israeli Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich’s “racist” speech at the French capital where he referred to the term “Palestinian” as a modern “invention.” 

Addressing a crowd at a recent private memorial event in Paris, Smotrich said that there is “no such thing as Palestinians because there’s no such thing as the Palestinian people [nation].” 

Historically, the term “Palestine” came from the Roman name for Judea, which was occupied by Rome. During the British Mandate of Palestine, the term “Palestinian” was mainly used by local Jews like David Ben-Gurion and Golda Meir who held British Mandate documents. 

The Jordanian Foreign Ministry released a harsh condemnation of Smotrich, citing “the racist and extremist inciting statements made by the extremist Israeli minister against the brotherly Palestinian people, their right to exist and their historical right to an independent and sovereign state on Palestinian national soil.”

The Jordanians are also angry that Smotrich delivered his remark while standing next to a “Greater Israel” map that shows the State of Israel, the West Bank, Gaza, Lebanon, the Kingdom of Jordan, and parts of Egypt, Syria, Saudi Arabia and Iraq.

Map of the Middle East with a red line marking "Greater Israel" (Image: Public Domain)

Amman’s Foreign Ministry warned that Jordan “will take all necessary political and legal measures to address such extremist actions and statements.”

The controversial map at the event appears very similar to the official symbol of Irgun, a former Jewish paramilitary organization led by the late Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin, who fought against the British Mandate prior to Israel’s establishment as a modern state in 1948. 

The British “Mandate of Palestine” originally included today’s state of Jordan, until London established the Hashemite Arab state east of the Jordan River in the early 1920s. 

The Israeli Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem quickly released a statement where it stressed the Jewish state’s commitment to peace with its neighbor, Jordan.

“Israel is committed to the 1994 peace agreement with Jordan. There has been no change in the position of the State of Israel, which recognizes the territorial integrity of the Hashemite Kingdom,” according to the statement.

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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