Royal Jordanian pilot Yousef al-Hamlan Dajeh appears to be confused about regional history; or perhaps it’s only the issue of local geography that has scrambled his thoughts. But in any case Captain Dajeh somehow has lost track of at least half a century.
In a recent public rant the pilot managed to embarrass himself and his monarch by publicly telling America’s president that Jerusalem belongs to Jordan’s King Abdullah II.
But he also said it belongs to “the Palestinians.” And he said it belongs “to the Hashemites.” And also to the “Arabs,” without bothering to specify which ones, or where.
In fact he really wasn’t very clear about what he meant at all. The only thing he was clear about was that Jerusalem must not belong to Israel or the Jews.
The airline pilot recently gained notoriety after having made his debut last week in an announcement over his plane’s public address system to let passengers know, “We will be flying over the Palestinian lands, over Palestine. Then we will fly north of Jerusalem, the capital of the Palestinian state,” as they began their trip to the United States.
It’s not clear whether Dajeh made the announcement at the official request of Royal Jordanian Airlines, or simply upon his own initiative.
On December 13, Captain Dajeh told the Ma’an Network in a broadcast interview that was translated into English by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI), “The Jihad-fighting Palestinian people defend the Islamic nation. Several million people in Palestine are waging Jihad on behalf of the entire nation – not just the Arab nation, but the Islamic nation as well,” he said.
He then received permission from the interviewer to allow him to “say a couple of words in English to the U.S. president:
“I’d like to say something for the president of the United States, Mr. Trump. My name is Yousef al-Hamlan Dajeh. I’m from Jordan.
“I belong to Jordan, to Palestine, and to all the Arab countries.
“I am right here in New York, beside your tower. What you have said is arrogant.
“What you gave to Israel — as you said, “Israel,” but I don’t believe in Israel myself — it’s not right. It’s not yours to give.
“If you want to give something to them, give it from your country, give it from America.
“This is belong to the Palestinians, it belongs to the Arabs, belongs to the Hashemites, it belongs to King Abdullah, it belongs to us.
“It is not yours to give.
“Hands off, please, from our territory.”
In a subsequent cell phone video posted online in Arabic, Dajeh was seen declaring,
“It is Jerusalem that is fighting, and every person should fight for the sake of Jerusalem.
“We should sacrifice all that is dear to us for the sake of Palestine.
“We are [willing to be] martyred for the sake of Palestine.
“Every mother, father, and teacher should raise a new generation that will liberate Palestine from the [Jordan] River to the [Mediterranean] Sea.
“We shall not forget Acco or Jaffa.”
Now, doesn’t all this inspire the greatest confidence when internet travel services recommend Royal Jordanian Airlines as a low-cost, convenient alternative to the high-price fares one sees on direct flights with Israel’s national carrier El Al Airlines, or America’s gold standards, Delta Airlines and American Airlines?
As the saying goes, you get what you pay for …