It has been said that you should define yourself before people give you a name. But, this is not the case for Jordan. According to many Arabs and Arab media Jordan is a tiny British made country existed to serve a purpose. After many decades of independent Jordan go figure what this purpose is. Unfortunately, Jordan is always described as a country divided into two; the Bedouin Jordanian tribes and the Jordanians from the Palestinian origins. This description by non-Jordanian media is due to the failure of our government to address this division. Mistakenly thinking that if a problem is not addressed it will eventually disappear.
In respect to the latest incident that took place after the match between the two rival Jordanian football teams, Al-Faisali and Al-Wehdat, I hope the Jordanian government be more transparent in their analysis of the recent violent incident. If for any reason is because this time the clash wasn’t mainly between the fans of the two teams but between Al-Wehdat fans and the police officers. The reason this time is different is because if the government does nothing it will be accused of oppressing Palestinians instead of reporting the incident as a clash between the police officers and the fans. This of course may lead to even worse consequences. But since we never address this division, we will always be Jordanians of Jordanian origins and Jordanians of Palestinian origins.
Knowing that both groups share the same religion, language, ethnicity, color, and geographical area makes one ponders where all this hostility came from and why it still exists even after 62 years when Palestinians were expelled from their homeland.
There is a long history of violence between supporters of the two teams, stemming in part from the decades of tension with Jordan’s large Palestinian population, which includes an estimated 1.8 million refugees displaced after Israel’s 1948 creation and their descendants.
He also quoted an American diplomat memo mentioned by one of WikiLeaks’ links:
In a match last year between the same teams, Faisali fans chanted slogans deriding the Palestinian origin of King Abdullah II’s wife, Queen Rania, and their son Crown Prince Hussein – an episode that even got a mention in one of the U.S. diplomatic memos released by the WikiLeaks website. In the document, American diplomats said they were "puzzled" by the king’s failure to respond to the "verbal attack on his family."
The fiasco media war that happened between Egyptians and Algerians over a football game last year was a disgrace for both countries. No Jordanian wants such thing to happen in Jordan between the so called Bedouins and Palestinians, or simply and more accurately one should say among Jordanians.
The repeated violent incidents in Jordan are not limited to Jordanian and Palestinian football fans and it is naive to say that what happened after Al-Wehdat and Al-Faisaly was due to “the deep divisions between the nation’s native Bedouin clans and its Palestinians.” [source] knowing that not all Al-Faisali’s players and fans are native Jordanians.
The culture of group violence in Jordan exists whether we like or not. It exists in university campuses, between two tribes supporting their parliament candidates or to avenge to one of their member’s killing. The government needs to address this issue by forcing the law. Violence in football stadiums is everywhere but in Jordan it is riskier because we still treat others as Jordanians and Palestinians not as just Jordanians.
Palestinians in Jordan are not a minority neither they are of different race or color. They are our sisters and brothers. Without a bond between these two groups Jordan will never be a safe place. Jordan is a country for everyone and should always be this way. Neither Palestinians nor Jordanians should think of each other as two separate entities. We may think of each other as different which is normal but we should not think that we are disconnected.
On a side note, it was hard to see the pictures of those kids got involved in this mishap but what those fathers were thinking when they took their children to this football game. Even without the violence, which is expected after every Al-Wehdat and Al-Faisali match, the cussing in the stadium is so obscene.