Jews to Reclaim Land in Jordan?

European Jews reportedly plan to buy historically Jewish properties in Jordan.

Maayana Miskin,

Map of Jordan
Map of Jordan
Israel news photo: (file)

The Israel Land Fund, a group dedicated to restoring Jewish property in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria, is reportedly looking east. According to AFP, the organization plans to begin buying historically Jewish properties in Jordan as well.

Many Jews purchased land in what is now Jordan during the British Mandate, when such land was seen primarily as part of the greater Land of Israel. In 1946 Jordan declared independence as an Arab, Muslim country. Two years later, the state of Israel declared independence, and Jordan's rulers confiscated Jewish-owned land in their own country for state use.

Israel Land Fund chairman Aryeh King told AFP that his organization has proof that thousands of properties in present-day Jordan were historically Jewish, adding, "We have records of the ownership."

The plan is in its early stages, and no properties in Jordan have been bought to date. Purchasing would likely take place with the help of Jews in Europe, King said, as Israelis are prohibited from buying land in Jordan under Jordanian law.

The same Jordanian law is enforced by the Palestinian Authority, which views the sale of land to Jews or Israelis as a capital offense. The Land Fund manages to circumvent PA law by buying land through middlemen. In many cases, the group also helps Arab sellers to flee the country in order to avoid PA retribution.

Jewish properties bought or reclaimed by the Israel Land Fund in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria are guarded and used to build homes for Jewish activists.  It was not clear what would be done with property reclaimed in Jordan.

AFP noted that if the plan were to succeed, it could cause anger in Jordan, where anti-Israel sentiment runs high despite a 1994 peace treaty.


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