This is Our Story

By: Mohammad Aburumman

تم نشره في Thu 23 June / Jun 2016. 10:23 PM
  • Mohammad Aburumman

Acquiring a copy of Samir Mutawi’s “Jordan in the 1967 War” was not easy at all. My friend and colleague Alfred Asfour helped me secure one from the author himself.

An important book, as this one, should not be forgotten or ignored; Jordanian libraries must not run out of copies! Contrarily, this should be integrated in the series of Culture ministry issuances of family books, as well as incorporated into the high school curriculum or bachelor’s programmes, at least.

The importance of the book lies in that it went beyond the storytelling rhetoric of the events of the 1967 war, to prospecting the Jordanian perspective, backed with documents from the Arab Army archives, according to the book, and interviews with Jordanian military and political leaderships during the war, before, and after, as well as reviews of western and Israeli documentation of the war.

For the most major parts of the war, the turning points and decisive moments; Jordanian records on such events were either absent, unreliable, or terribly insufficient, due to shortage of documents and limitations on the resources allocated for documentation, which reflected on the stereotypical image of Jordan’s political and historical role, not only abroad, but domestically. A vast segment of Jordanians view us through the lens of political media and counter propaganda, providing the others’ historical accords before ours.

The 67 war, for example, out of which Jordan emerged with only half the territory, one third the military equipment, and no military air fleet, is centred about a haze through which looking back at the events leading up to the war, during its unfolding, and its aftermath, remains difficult, for reasons above mentioned. So, instead of doing late King Hussein justice for what he did at the time, and instead of showing appreciation for the Jordanian army, what we have is a ready-tailored set of accusations, locked and loaded.

Weirdly enough, Jordan’s rivals at the time, one of the most important anti-Jordan Arab media figures, unfortunately; late Mohamed Hassanein Heikal himself, a close friend and counsellor to President Jamal Abdul Nasser, admitted in his book on the war “the Explosion” the multitude of facts that do Jordan and the late King’s roles well, during the war.

Heikal as well admitted to King Hussein’s repetitive warnings to Egyptian leaderships at the time, of traps and ambushes set up for Egyptian troops, as well as to informing Egypt of the attacks on their troops, placing Jordanian troops under unified Arab command, and turning down Israeli mediation and messages to avoid the war, with guarantees to not attack Jordanian forces.

Heikal himself concurred that Egyptian military commend back then, had deceived Abdul Nasser himself, let alone Arabs all over; denying the total destruction of Egypt’s air force during the first hours of the Israeli battle, and that the war itself did not last for 6 days, but 3 hours; the rest is just bitter deteriorations of defeat.

Going back to Samir Mutawi’s book is crucial to figuring out the real Jordanian story on the war and other decisive events; the 1948 war, Al Karama battle, Black September of 1970, and the 1973 war, so why aren’t we? This is our story, so, what are we scared of?! Why not say our word in history and pin it. If we turn our back to our past, our history, and if our youth does not realise the reality of the events that unfolded during the 20th century, we will not understand our present, and there will be no national historical awareness of our position and place in reality today.

A historical propaganda is not what I’m fishing for here, nor am I calling to defend ourselves and blame others, as our Arab brethren did. What is requested here is an objective historical account of our prospects on these events; where did we go wrong, right, but eventually, the facts that would do Jordan justice in this accord.