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

Prior to September 1970, tensions had been on rise for many years between the Hashemite monarchy of Jordan and the country’s majority Palestinian population. Jordan had become home to large numbers of Palestinians in the wake of the formation of Israel—and subsequent Arab-Israeli War—in 1948, which created a lot of Palestinian refugees and resulted in Jordan annexing the West Bank. When Israel seized the West Bank after 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 parasites who are simultaneously a do-nothing drag on the nation and an acute threat to national security.

Read the rest at my new home, Foreign Exchanges!

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