Geert Wilders, who leads the right-wing Party for Freedom (PVV) in Holland, said last week he believes Jordan should be renamed Palestine. The Jordanian government responded by saying Wilders' speech was reminiscent of the Israeli right wing.
"Jordan is Palestine," said Wilders, who heads the third-largest party in Holland. "Changing its name to Palestine will end the conflict in the Middle East and provide the Palestinians with an alternate homeland."
Wilders added that Israel deserved a special status in the Dutch government because it was fighting for Jerusalem in its name.
"If Jerusalem falls into the hands of the Muslims, Athens and Rome will be next. Thus, Jerusalem is the main front protecting the West. It is not a conflict over territory but rather an ideological battle, between the mentality of the liberated West and the ideology of Islamic barbarism," he said.
"There has been an independent Palestinian state since 1946, and it is the kingdom of Jordan." Wilders also called on the Dutch government to refer to Jordan as Palestine and move its embassy to Jerusalem.
The Saudi Al-Watan carried Jordan's response to Wilders' speech. The kingdom's embassy in Hague was outraged, and said the Dutch ambassador would soon be summoned to explain.
Jordan's minister for media affairs and communications, Nabil Al Sharif, asked for clarifications. He described Wilders' declaration as "an echo of the voice of the Israeli Right" and "crows' screams".
"Jordan is an independent and secure country which supports the Palestinian issue, and these imaginings of finding them an alternate homeland are nothing but the delusions of a few people," he said.
The PVV nearly tripled its power in the last election, going from nine parliament seats to 24. The right-wing party, which has called for a ban on minarets and Muslim scarves, has been holding so far unsuccessful negotiations with the liberal Right.