Jordan's King Abdullah II reaffirmed his government's rejection of his father and grandfather's historic policy that "Jordan is Palestine" on Monday.
"The so-called 'substitute homeland' exists only in the minds of the weak," Abdullah told reporters, stressing "the Jordanian option is an illusion. Jordan is Jordan, and Palestine is Palestine."
Abdullah's comments come amid a row over his refusal to back the Palestinian Authority's unilateral bid for statehood at the United Nations and are likely intended to show 'solidarity' with PA officials, who have been angered over Amman's position.
Analysts say, despite Jordan's couching its opposition in terms of concern for 'Palestinian refugees' and the so-called right of return, that Amman's motives are likely rooted in its own demographic and security concerns.
Jordan's 'Palestinian refugee'' majority has been heavily involved in recent unrest in Jordan - during which there have been credible threats on Abdullah's life - and assuming responsibility for PA enclaves in Judea and Samaria is widely seen as a potentially destabalizing move for the Hashemite monarchy by regional experts.
During the infamous Black September of 1970, PLO chairman Yasser Arafat, then funded by current PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas, attempted to carve a state for himself out on the East Bank of the Jordan - forcing Abdullah's father King Hussein to crack-down and evict the PLO from his country.
“We know our direction, and our path is clear in our quest to protect Palestine’s future, and safeguard our rights when the future of Jerusalem and the refugees’ right of return are negotiated,” Abdullah told reporters.
“We support the Palestinians’ right to establish their state, and our position has not, and will not change. Therefore, the substitute homeland option should at all times be excluded from any discussion.”
Abdullah noted with consternation that the substitute homeland proposal is frequently raised by Israeli nationalists.
“This is not acceptable,” Abdullah insisted. “We cannot keep bringing up the subject every year. There are people who blow this issue out of proportion. It is the unsettled who raise it.”
“Regrettably, although we keep reassuring these people, they keep bringing it up again and again. But this is a bygone era, so let us think about our future rather than the past. We need to move forward."
But while Abdullah insisted he supported the national aspirations of PA officials, he pointedly said he did so only on Jordan's terms, and made no reference to reversing his opposition to their UN bid.
"Jordan will defend its rights and support its vision of a permanent solution that would ensure the establishment of a Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital and a just realization of the right of return and adequate compensation," Abdullah said.