Wasfi Tal - Wikipedia
Wasfi Tal
  (Redirected from Wasfi al-Tal)
Wasfi Tal (Arabic: وصفي التل‎‎; 19 January 1919 – 28 November 1971) was a Jordanian politician, statesman and general. He served as Prime Minister of Jordan for three separate terms, 1962–63, 1965–67 and 1970 until his assassination in 1971.
Wasfi Tal
وصفي التل

Wasfi Tal in 1962
15th Prime Minister of Jordan
In office
28 January 1962 – 27 March 1963
MonarchHussein
Preceded byBahjat Talhouni
Succeeded bySamir Al-Rifai
In office
14 February 1965 – 4 March 1967
MonarchHussein
Preceded byBahjat Talhouni
Succeeded byHussein ibn Nasser
In office
28 October 1970 – 28 November 1971
MonarchHussein
Preceded byAhmad Toukan
Succeeded byAhmad Lozi
Personal details
BornJanuary 19, 1919
Arapgir, Turkey
Died28 November 1971 (aged 52)
Cairo, Egypt
Spouse(s)Saida Al Jabari
Alma materAmerican University of Beirut
OccupationMilitary Officer, Diplomat
ProfessionNatural Sciences
Tal was born in Turkey to prominent poet Mustafa Wahbi Tal. He moved to Jordan at 5 years old. He received his education in Al-Salt, later continuing his education at the American University of Beirut in 1941. He then joined the British Army in Mandatory Palestine after being trained in a British-run military academy, and joined the irregular Arab Liberation Army to fight against Israel during the 1948 Arab–Israeli War.[1]
Following the war, he served various positions in the Jordanian government, rising to higher positions after his abilities captured King Hussein's attention. His first tenure as Prime Minister in 1962 was short-lived, he resigned in 1963 over widespread criticism of his perceived pro-Western views.[2] He was appointed Prime Minister again in 1965, which saw an improved climate of economic activity, but resigned just before the onset of the Six Day War in 1967. He was appointed again as Prime Minister in 1970 during Black September, the conflict which saw Palestine Liberation Organization fighters (fedayeen) expelled from Jordan. Earning the ire of PLO leaders for his role in the conflict, he was assassinated by the Black September group outside a Cairo hotel hosting an Arab League conference.[3]
Tal was popular with traditional Jordanians for his success in expelling the fedayeen. Meanwhile, he was widely denounced by Arabs who had supported the fedayeen.[4] His assassins were found innocent and released on bail by an Egyptian court.[5]
Early life and career
Wasfi Tal with his father Mustafa Wahbi Tal during mid 1930s. His father is often described as Jordan's most prominent poet.
Tal was born in Arapgir to prominent poet Mustafa Wahbi Tal and Kurdish mother Munifa Baban. His family relocated to Irbid when he was five. He moved to Al-Salt in 1936 when he was 16 to go to the only public high school in Jordan at the time. As a student he founded a secret student organization called the "Black Hand" whose goal was to promote a more aggressive stance against Zionism. During his time as a student he and several students in the "black hand" were arrested after bombing Al-Salt mayor's mansion. Due to his family influence and the fact no one was hurt in the bombing he was released a few days later and allowed to finish his education. Later continuing his education at the American University of Beirut in 1941.
He then joined the British Army in Mandatory Palestine after being trained in a British-run military academy, and joined the irregular Arab Liberation Army to fight against Israel during the 1948 Arab–Israeli War. Due to his experience in the British army he started off with the rank of captain. After the Arab Liberation Army was dissolved in 1948 his unit was reassigned to the Syrian army for the remainder of the war under the new name Yarmuk Forces. By May 1949 he had risen to the rank of major.[6]
Following the war, he served various positions in the Jordanian government, rising to higher positions after his abilities captured King Hussein's attention. His first tenure as Prime Minister in 1962 was short-lived, he resigned in 1963 over widespread criticism of his perceived pro-Western views. He was appointed Prime Minister again in 1965, which saw an improved climate of economic activity, but resigned just before the onset of the Six Day War in 1967. He was appointed again as Prime Minister in 1970 during Black September, the conflict which saw Palestine Liberation Organization fighters (fedayeen) expelled from Jordan. Earning the ire of PLO leaders for his role in the conflict, he was assassinated by the Black September group outside a Cairo hotel hosting an Arab League conference.
Assassination
Field marshal Habis Majali and Wasfi Tal
On 28 November 1971, four Black September gunmen assassinated Tal in the lobby of the Sheraton Cairo Hotel in Egypt while he was attending an Arab League summit in the city.[7][8][9] Historian Patrick Seale claims that one of the assassins, Munshir al-Khalifa, was one of Abu Ali Iyad's soldiers who sought to avenge his commander's death.[9][10] As Tal lay dying, "one of the assassins knelt and lapped with his tongue the blood flowing across the marble floor."[11][12]
Tal was the first victim of the newly formed Black September Organization, a more militant offshoot of the Palestinian militant organization Fatah. His assassins were released on low bail and allowed to leave Egypt. Yasser Arafat, Fatah's leader, claimed responsibility for the killing.[7]
Tal was popular with traditional Jordanians for his success in expelling the fedayeen. Meanwhile, he was widely denounced by Arabs who had supported the fedayeen. Egyptian President Anwar Sadat had also despised Tal. Tal was the third senior Jordanian political figure assassinated between 1951 and 1971; the first two being King Abdullah I and Prime Minister Hazza Majali. His assassins were found innocent and released on bail by an Egyptian court.
Burial
Tal's body was flown back to Amman on 28 November 1971. He was buried in the royal cemetery after the prayers in the Royal Mosque in Amman on 29 November.[13]
Personal life
Tal was married to Sadia Jabri, who had been former wife of the Palestinian leader of the 1940s, Musa Alami. They had no children.[14]
Honour
Foreign honour
 Malaysia: Honorary Grand Commander of the Order of the Defender of the Realm (1965)[15]
See also
References
  1. ^ "Hussein's Premier". The New York Times. 7 April 1971. Retrieved 28 November 2018.
  2. ^ Lentz, Harris M. (4 February 2014). Heads of States and Governments Since 1945. ISBN 9781134264902. Retrieved 29 November 2018.
  3. ^ Fallible Memory, Benny Morris
  4. ^ "Slain Jordanian Angered Many Arabs". The New York Times. 29 November 1971. Retrieved 29 November 2018.
  5. ^ Grose, Peter (29 November 1971). "Bloody reprisals feared for slaying of premier". Eugene Register-Guard. Ramallah. Retrieved 15 December 2012.
  6. ^ Susser, A. (2017). On both banks of the Jordan: a political biography of Wasfi al-Tall (Vol. 2). Routledge.
  7. ^ a b Rubin, Barry M. (1994). Revolution until victory?: the politics and history of the PLO. pp. 37–38. ISBN 9780674768031.
  8. ^ Jessup, John E. (1998). An encyclopedic dictionary of conflict and conflict resolution, 1945–1996. p. 77. ISBN 9780313281129.
  9. ^ a b Amos, 1980, p.222.
  10. ^ Seale, 1982, p.81.
  11. ^ Bruce Hoffman (December 2001). "All you need is love: How the terrorists stopped terrorism". The Atlantic.
  12. ^ Shair, Kamal A. (2006). Out of the Middle East: the emergence of an Arab global business. p. 240.
  13. ^ "Avange Rebel's Death". The Deseret News. Caito. UPI. 29 November 1971. Retrieved 15 December 2012.
  14. ^ "Wasfi Tel was bitter enemy of guerrillas". Gadsden Times. 29 November 1971. Retrieved 15 December 2012.
  15. ^ "Senarai Penuh Penerima Darjah Kebesaran, Bintang dan Pingat Persekutuan Tahun 1965"(PDF).
Bibliography
Political offices
Preceded by
Bahjat Talhouni
Prime Minister of Jordan
1962–1963
Succeeded by
Samir al-Rifai
Preceded by
Bahjat Talhouni
Prime Minister of Jordan
1965–1967
Succeeded by
Hussein ibn Nasser
Preceded by
Ahmad Toukan
Prime Minister of Jordan
1970–1971
Succeeded by
Ahmad al-Lawzi
Last edited on 9 April 2021, at 15:36
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