Today in Middle Eastern history: Jordan’s Black September begins (1970)

Prior to September 1970, tensions between the Hashemite monarchy of Jordan and the country’s majority Palestinian population had been on rise for many years. Palestinians had poured into Jordan after the formation of Israel in 1948, which created a lot of Palestinian refugees, and the ensuing Arab-Israeli War resulted in Jordan annexing the West Bank. When Israel seized the West Bank during the 1967 Six-Day War, still more Palestinian refugees made their way across the Jordan River. Jordan’s King Hussein elected to welcome these Palestinian refugees into his kingdom with open arms and do all he could to incorporate them into Jordanian society…sorry, I drifted off into an alternate reality there for a few seconds. King Hussein treated those refugees the way pretty much everybody treats refugees, as temporary visitors at best and parasites at worst.

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