The Jericho Conference:
Why It Matters!
The Jericho Conference was held in December 1948 to decide the future of the portion of Palestine that was held by trans-Jordan at the end of the 1948 Arab-Israeli War, led by Sheikh Muhammad Ali Ja’abari. Pro-Jordanian personalities called for the annexation of Judea and Samaria (the West Bank of the Jordan River), including Eastern Jerusalem, to Jordan. This unification was later known as the “Unification of the Two Banks” (the eastern and western banks of the Jordan River.) but was not formally recognized by international law.
The 1950 State Department Country Report on Jordan said that King Abdullah had taken successive steps to incorporate the area of Central Palestine into Jordan and described the Jordanian Parliament resolution concerning the union of Central Palestine with Jordan. The report said the US had privately advised the British and French Foreign Ministers that it had approved the action, and that “it represented a logical development of the situation which took place as a result of a free expression of the will of the people.” (Emphasis supplied) (Note 7) The major problems of concern to the United States were the establishment of peaceful and friendly relations between Israel and Jordan and the successful absorption into the polity and economy of Jordan of Arab Palestine, its inhabitants, and the bulk of the refugees now located there. Note 7: Foreign relations of the United States, 1950. The Near East, South Asia, and Africa Volume V, Page 1096
When we discuss “self-determinism” we tend to think of voting rights being exercised by a body politic. In the case of the Jericho Conference this is no less true.
While the Arabs of “Western Palestine” voted at the Jericho Conference in December 1948 for Abdullah I of trans-Jordan to be their Sovereign, we tend to over-look the fact that, it was the exercise of free will by the people; an exercise of self-determinism which cannot be disputed.
The Arabs of Palestinian extraction already have a state – it is called (trans-)Jordan. Their delegates voted in December 1948 at the Jericho Conference for Abdullah I to be their King. They are not indigenous to Eretz Yisrael as they are Arabs from Arabia! By Treaty Law (viz, the Treaty of Sevres) they have political rights in the Mandate territories of Mesopotamia (Iraq), Syria and Lebanon. Only Jews were given political rights in the Mandate area for “Palestine” as per the Anglo-American Treaty of 1924.