In This Review

Jordanians, Palestinians, and the Hashemite Kingdom in the Middle East Peace Process
Jordanians, Palestinians, and the Hashemite Kingdom in the Middle East Peace Process
By Adnan Abu-Odeh
United States Institute of Peace Press, 1999, 286 pp.

The territory known eight decades ago as the British Mandate of Palestine, which later split into Palestine and Transjordan and emerged after the 1948 Arab-Israeli War as Israel and Jordan, now seems destined to add a third state, Palestine. But even if that happens, the Palestinians -- those Arabs tracing their roots to the west of the Jordan River -- will remain a significant minority in Israel (around 20 percent). And although some observers dispute the estimate, Palestinians may well form a majority in Jordan. The sorting out of territorial boundaries and national identities is a complex story, told here from the special perspective of Jordan. Abu-Odeh, a long-time political adviser to the late King Hussein, offers a positive but not uncritical account of the Hashemite policies. A Palestinian native of Nablus, he also elucidates an issue often overlooked: the tensions within Jordan between East-Bank Jordanians ("Transjordanians") and Palestinian-Jordanians.