Changing Jordanian Attitudes Toward the West Bank

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This webinar was held April 12, 2022 and led by Prof. Michael Sharnoff of the National Defense University.

Jordanians recognized the West Bank under Jordanian rule (1948-1967) as an integral part of the Hashemite Kingdom while also acknowledging that Jordanian rule would be temporarily held in trust until a final settlement of the Palestine issue. After Jordan lost the land to Israel during the 1967 war, Jordan continued to assert sovereignty claims on the West Bank and competed with the PLO for influence. King Hussein’s decision to sever ties to the West Bank in 1988 and the 1994 Jordan-Israel peace treaty sought to underscore that Jordan was not Palestine, that Jordan would not become an alternative Palestinian homeland, and to support the PLO in establishing an independent Palestinian state. In recent years, however, some prominent Jordanians have become increasingly vocal in defying official Hashemite policy by advocating for a renewed Jordanian role in the West Bank.

Michael Sharnoff is Associate Professor at the National Defense University’s Near East South Asia Center for Strategic Studies in Washington, DC. Prior to joining NESA, he served as Associate Professor of Middle East Studies and Director of Regional Studies at the Daniel Morgan Graduate School of National Security. While at DMGS, Dr. Sharnoff taught graduate courses on the Arab-Israeli conflict, the History and Politics of the Modern Middle East, and radical Islamist movements. He holds a Ph.D. in Middle East Studies from King’s College, London, and his research focuses on the Arab-Israeli conflict and foreign involvement in the Middle East. Dr. Sharnoff publishes frequently on the Middle East and his articles have appeared in popular domestic and international media outlets. Dr. Sharnoff is the author of Nasser’s Peace: Egypt’s Response to the 1967 War with Israel (New York: Routledge, 2017).