The foreign ministers of the Gulf Cooperation Council sent a letter to US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken on Saturday, in which they condemned the statements of the Israeli Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich, about removing the Jordanian town of “Hawwara” from the map, and denying the existence of the Palestinian people.
In a statement by the ministers, the Secretary of the Gulf Cooperation Council, Jassim Muhammad Al-Budaiwi, confirmed that the letter addressed to the US Secretary of State embodies the position of the leaders of the GCC states on the issue of Palestine.
Al-Budaiwi also stressed that the issue of Palestine is “the first issue of Arabs and Muslims.”
The statement called on America to assume its responsibilities in responding to all measures and statements targeting the Palestinian people.
He urged the US administration to do its part to reach a just, comprehensive and lasting solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
These developments came after the majority of parliament members voted last week to approve a proposal to expel the Israeli ambassador from Jordan, in light of the map crisis and the racist statements made by the Israeli minister.
Last Monday, the Jordanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs summoned the Israeli ambassador in Amman, to protest the right-wing finance minister’s use of a map of Israel that includes Jordan and the Palestinian territories, as well as statements in which he denied “the existence of a Palestinian people or a Palestinian culture.”
During the commemoration of the death of French-Israeli activist close to the Israeli right-wing Jacques Kupfer, in Paris last Sunday, Smotrich considered that “there are no Palestinians because there is no Palestinian people,” according to a video clip that was circulated on social media.
An uproar and international condemnation
The minister, who a few weeks ago sparked an uproar and international condemnation after his call to “erase” the Palestinian town of Hawara, added, “After 2,000 years in exile, the people of Israel will return to their homes.”
Smotrich addressed his words as he ascended a podium, which was decorated with a map on which was written in Hebrew the “Map of the Land of Israel” with Jordan annexed to it.
This sparked a wave of Jordanian and Palestinian criticism, and racist statements towards the Palestinians called for Arab, American and European condemnations.