(Photo Credit: Twitter)
The Jordanian parliament on 22 March voted to expel the Israeli ambassador from the kingdom in protest of Israeli Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich‘s incendiary statements and actions towards Jordan and Palestine.
“We in the House of Representatives call on the government to take effective measures towards the occupation government’s finance minister’s use of a map of the so-called Israel that includes the borders of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and the occupied Palestinian territories,” Parliament Speaker Ahmed al-Safadi said during the parliament session.
The final decision to expel the Israeli envoy lies with the government and King Abdullah.
During Wednesday’s session, officials also displayed a map similar to the one used by Smotrich during a speech in Paris – representing what he called “Greater Israel,” which included the occupied Palestinian territories, Jordan, and parts of Saudi Arabia and Syria.
However, the map hung on the parliament floor bore the flags of Jordan and Palestine instead of the Israeli flag.
Earlier this week, Amman summoned the Israeli ambassador and said Smotrich’s move was a provocative act by an “extremist” and “racist” minister that violated international norms and Jordan’s peace treaty with Israel.
According to Reuters, Amman received assurances from Tel Aviv that Smotrich’s statements did not represent Israel’s position.
“These statements are provocative, racist and come from an extremist figure, and we call on the international community to condemn it,” Jordan’s Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi said at a news conference.
Wednesday’s parliamentary vote took place just hours after the UAE ordered its envoy to Israel not to meet with any Israeli government officials or attend events where Israeli ministers and politicians will be present, according to reports on Saudi media.
Smotrich, who heads a Jewish supremacist party in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s far-right coalition, said on Sunday there was “no such thing as a Palestinian people” or Palestinian history or culture.