6 December 2018   A Two-Pronged Policy Needed To Stem The Flow Of Migrants - By: Alon Ben-Meir




29 November 2018   Bridging the gap between decentralisation and media - By: Daoud Kuttab

27 November 2018   Netanyahu's Predicament: The Era of Easy Wars is over - By: Ramzy Baroud

26 November 2018   Why I Choose To Stay In Palestine - By: Sam Bahour

22 November 2018   Palestinians and Saudi Arabia - By: Daoud Kuttab

18 November 2018   Netanyahu’s ceasefire is meant to keep Gaza imprisoned - By: Jonathan Cook

15 November 2018   Gaza's balance of terror - By: Daoud Kuttab

15 November 2018   The Democrats’ Victory Can Save The Republican Party - By: Alon Ben-Meir

9 November 2018   America Must Not Live And Die By The Gun - By: Alon Ben-Meir

8 November 2018   What do the midterms mean for the region? - By: Daoud Kuttab














5 أيلول 2015   "من الأزل".. آخر كتب الراحل جونتر جراس - بقلم: المركز الألماني للإعلام (ألمانيا إنفو/ almania info)

22 November 2018

Palestinians and Saudi Arabia

By: Daoud Kuttab
print     send by email

Palestinian citizens of Israel often find themselves caught between a rock and a hard place. On the one hand, they feel discriminated against by the ruling Jewish Israeli powers, and at the same time they are often misunderstood and not accepted by fellow Arabs and Muslims. Israel’s recent nation-state law declared that citizens of Israel of the Jewish faith have special rights and privileges, including the right to self-determination, while non-Jews, who constitute nearly 20 per cent of the population, do not have that right, nor does the Arab language, that has been considered an official language for years, hold that title anymore.

For decades, Palestinians living in Israel had an image problem whenever they travelled or met other Arabs or Muslims, who somehow considered them traitors for carrying an Israeli passport and choosing to remain living under Israeli rule. And as they often tell their detractors, Israel came to them; they did not go to Israel. But regardless of who came to whom, it took Palestinian patriotic leaders and their nationalist leaders many years before they succeeded to a large degree in erasing this negative mark associated with Palestinians living in Israel.

Among the major drawbacks of staying put in their homes when most others fled was the fact that they were not allowed to visit relatives and friends in Arab countries technically at war with Israel. The problem was even worse for Muslim Palestinians, who were citizens of Israel and who were unable to perform the mandatory Hajj pilgrimage and the non-mandatory umra visits to Saudi holy places during the time outside of the Hajj season.

The Hajj problem was resolved in 1978, when His Majesty the late King Hussein suggested that Jordan provide Muslim citizens of Israel with temporary Jordanian passports. The idea was presented officially at the Arab League, and with the approval of the Saudi government and the Arab League, Jordan started facilitating the ability of tens of thousands of Muslims citizens of Israel to carry out their religious duties.

Temporary passports were not limited to Muslims of Israel. While Palestinians of the West Bank, including Jerusalem, were allowed also to possess Jordanian passports as part of Jordan’s 1950 decision to annex the West Bank, this decision was partially retracted in 1988. When Jordan severed legal ties with the West Bank, Palestinians could continue to possess Jordanian passports but they no longer had citizenship, as reflected by not having a national ID number listed on their passports. For most Palestinians, this problem was short-lived because after the Oslo Accords they were granted Palestinian passports. The only group that was left in legal limbo was the Palestinians of Jerusalem, as well as several Palestinians from Gaza, who immigrated to Jordan and were not given citizenship.

Those Palestinians, Israeli citizens, Jerusalem residents and Gazans living in Jordan, continued until recently to be able to travel to Saudi Arabia not only for the annual Hajj pilgrimage, but also for umra and to apply for work in Saudi Arabia.

However, after this year’s Hajj season, Saudi Arabia unilaterally changed its policy. Tour agents who organise religious visits to Saudi Arabia were the first to be informed that no visas will be issued to any person who is not a citizen with a national ID number. This decision did not only affect nearly 2 million Palestinians in Jerusalem and Israel, but also Palestinians with no citizenship in Jordan, Syria, Egypt and Lebanon. Palestinian refugees in these countries carry travel documents from the countries they are residing in, even though they have not been granted citizenship.

It is not clear what pushed Saudi Arabia to this unusual decision. Most Palestinians believe that this was an unannounced part of the plan of US President Donald Trump’s administration to end the Palestinian refugee problem and to take Jerusalem off the table. Hundreds of travel companies in Israel, Jerusalem and Jordan suddenly were out of work this fall, and rumours began to circulate that Saudi Arabia might even change its policy regarding dealing with Israeli citizens.

Rumours have been circulating within Palestinian circles in Israel that the Saudi government might be open to allowing Palestinians living in Israel to enter on Israeli passports and to fly directly from Ben Gurion Airport to Saudi Arabia. Trump's team have been talking publicly about the need to end the recognition of Palestinian refugees. And while the US has not yet officially recognised the annexation of Jerusalem and has not suggested that Palestinians in Jerusalem apply for Israeli citizenship, the move of the US embassy to Jerusalem appears to suggest a warming up to this position.

The Jordanian ministries of foreign affairs and awqaf and Islamic affairs attempted to reverse this policy, and delegations from both ministries had travelled to Saudi Arabia to find a solution to this problem that affects millions of Palestinians.

Saudi King Salman made a strong speech at the Shura Council in support of the Palestinian cause. Many saw in that speech a sign that the decision disenfranchising millions of Palestinians from religious visits and work in Saudi Arab will be soon reversed. The support that Saudi Arabia has consistently given to Palestinians indicate that this dark cloud over many Palestinians will soon be lifted.

* A Palestinian columnist based in Amman, Jordan. - dkuttab@ammannet.net



Name
Email
Comment
Security Code

10 كانون أول 2018   حروب نتنياهو الانتخابية..! - بقلم: محمد السهلي

10 كانون أول 2018   قراءة في عملية "عوفرا"..! - بقلم: خالد معالي

10 كانون أول 2018   فشل أمريكا بادانة حركة "حماس" - بقلم: شاكر فريد حسن

10 كانون أول 2018   العولمة القاتلة وسؤال الهوية الثقافية..! - بقلم: حسن العاصي


9 كانون أول 2018   هل العمل المسلح مفتاح القبول؟! - بقلم: سري سمور

9 كانون أول 2018   الوقاحة المزدوجة..! - بقلم: د. مصطفى البرغوتي


9 كانون أول 2018   اوقفوا نزيف الهجرة..! - بقلم: محسن أبو رمضان

9 كانون أول 2018   أزمة الفلسطينيين في العراق..! - بقلم: عمر حلمي الغول

8 كانون أول 2018   الأمم المتحدة سلاح ذو حدين..! - بقلم: د. إبراهيم أبراش

8 كانون أول 2018   تحنيط الثورة ... تغييب القضية - بقلم: عدنان الصباح

8 كانون أول 2018   معارك نتنياهو..! - بقلم: د.ناجي صادق شراب

8 كانون أول 2018   شرف العربي معلق على خاصرة وردة..! - بقلم: جواد بولس

8 كانون أول 2018   مذكرات براك: "نجاح" المحارب وفشل رجل السياسة..! - بقلم: سليمان ابو ارشيد






8 حزيران 2018   ..هكذا خسر قطاع غزة أكثر من 40% من مساحته..! - بقلم: وسام زغبر







27 اّذار 2011   عداد الدفع المسبق خال من المشاعر الإنسانية..!! - بقلم: محمد أبو علان

13 شباط 2011   سقط مبارك فعادت لنا الحياة - بقلم: خالد الشرقاوي

4 شباط 2011   لا مستحيل..!! - بقلم: جودت راشد الشويكي


10 كانون أول 2018   العولمة القاتلة وسؤال الهوية الثقافية..! - بقلم: حسن العاصي


10 تشرين ثاني 2018   لا تفتح البابَ للذئب..! - بقلم: د. المتوكل طه

5 تشرين ثاني 2018   في انفلات الاستبداد على رقاب العباد..! - بقلم: حسن العاصي

19 تشرين أول 2018   كريستينا ياسر كريستينا..! - بقلم: د. أحمد جميل عزم


8 كانون ثاني 2011   "صحافة المواطن" نافذة للأشخاص ذوي الاعاقة - بقلم: صدقي موسى

10 تشرين ثاني 2010   رساله .. - بقلم: جودت راشد الشويكي

3 تشرين ثاني 2010   شخبطة صحفية - بقلم: حسناء الرنتيسي

27 تشرين أول 2010   المدلل .. - بقلم: جودت راشد الشويكي

21 تشرين أول 2010   فضفضة مواطنية - بقلم: حسناء الرنتيسي


4 اّذار 2012   الطقش


26 كانون ثاني 2012   امرأة في الجفتلك



 
 
 
top

English | الصفحة الرئيسية | كاريكاتير | صحف ومجلات | أخبار وتقارير | اّراء حرة | الإرشيف | صوتيات | صحفيون وكتاب | راسلنا

جميع الحقوق محفوظة © لشبكة  أمين الأعلامية 2018- 1996 
تصميم وتطوير شبكة أمين الأعلامية