Hashemites repost AFP claim that Assad is best option

December 13, 2013
Assad, backed by Iran and the Lebanese Hezbollah militia, is locked in combat with a diverse group of Sunni rebel factions which are increasingly dominated by hardline Wahhabi militant groups.

The rebel groups are dominated by Sunni Muslims, while Assad is generally backed by Syria’s Alawite, Shiite, and Christian minorities. 

This in Ma’an? This is Jordan preferring Iran to Sunni Muslims


Agreement Between Jordan, Palestinian Authority Officially Recognizes Jordan’s Custodianship Over Jerusalem’s Holy Places

June 25, 2013

(HT: Memri / Other)

Introduction: On March 31, 2013, an agreement that came as a surprise was signed between the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Jordan, which solidified Jordan’s custodianship of the Islamic holy places in Jerusalem. The daily Al-Quds Al-Arabi reported that the agreement had been signed in total secrecy in the presence of Jordan’s King ‘Abdallah II, PA President Mahmoud Abbas, and the PA and Jordanian ministers of religious endowments.

The agreement states that “His Majesty King ‘Abdallah II, as the custodian of the Jerusalem holy sites, will exert all possible efforts to preserve [these] sites, especially Al-Haram Al-Sharif [The Al-Aqsa Mosque]… and to represent their interests.” The agreement states further that King ‘Abdallah is responsible for ensuring respect for the holy places, guaranteeing the Muslims’ freedom of movement to and from the sites, ensuring their maintenance and representing their interests in the international arena.

In practice, the Hashemite dynasty in Jordan has had stewardship over the holy places in Jerusalem since 1924. Even after the Six-Day War and Israel’s conquest of East Jerusalem, Jordan continued to play a religious role in Jerusalem’s holy places via the East Jerusalem Waqf, which it manages.

In 1988 Jordan did disengage itself from the West Bank by “severing its legal and administrative ties” with it, but this disengagement never applied to the holy places in Jerusalem. In 1994 this custodianship was reinforced via a Jordanian declaration that emphasized the kingdom’s historic role in Jerusalem’s holy places, as well as by the peace agreement between Israel and Jordan where Israel recognizes Jordan’s special status in Jerusalem.

In June 2013, Hamas Prime Minister Isma’il Haniya disclosed that Egyptian President Muhammad Mursi plans to hold an international conference in Cairo on the issue of Jerusalem. He added that the issue of Jerusalem was prominent in talks that took place this month in Cairo between Mursi and Hamas representatives, and also in talks between the heads of Hamas and Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan.

The liberal website elaph.com assessed that Mursi has decided to convene the conference in response to the PA-Jordan agreement and with the aim of circumventing it, and that this move could negatively affect Egypt-Jordan relations.

The agreement, then, does not alter the decades-long status quo, under which the Jordanian Waqf manages the affairs of Jerusalem’s Islamic holy places in coordination with Israel. Nevertheless, the agreement reinforces Jordan’s status in the holy places in a manner that may restrict Israel’s freedom of action in Jerusalem.

As the agreement does not constitute a tangible change to the status quo, what then were the motivations for its signing? This report will review these motivations as presented by Palestinian and Jordanian senior officials, commentators and journalists, and they include the desire to step up Jordanian-Palestinian coordination in order to “save” Jerusalem from “The city’s Judaization and settlement construction within it”; bypass various parties such as Qatar, Hamas and the Islamic Movement in Israel, who are attempting to usurp Jordan and the PA’s role vis-à-vis the holy sites; prepare the ground for a PA-Jordan confederation, and the US intention to reinforce Jordan’s role in future negotiations between Israel and the PA.Read the full report here.


Has the US Administration Decided to Get Rid of Jordan’s King Abdullah?

November 28, 2012

Unless the US clarifies its position regarding King Abdullah and reiterates its full backing for his regime, the Muslim fundamentalists are likely to step up their efforts to create anarchy and lawlessness in the kingdom. Washington needs to reassure King Abdullah and his followers that it will not allow the creation of an Islamic terror republic in Jordan.

Has the US Administration decided to get rid of Jordan’s King Abdullah?
This is the question that many Jordanians have been asking in the past few days following a remark made by a spokesman for the US State Department.
Deputy State Department Spokesman Mark Toner managed to create panic [and anger] in the Royal Palace in Amman when he stated that there was “thirst for change” in Jordan and that the Jordanian people had “economic, political concerns,” as well as “aspirations.”
The spokesman’s remark has prompted some Jordanian government officials to talk about a US-led “conspiracy” to topple King Abdullah’s regime.
The talk about a “thirst for change” in Jordan is seen by the regime in Amman as a green light from the US to King Abdullah’s enemies to increase their efforts to overthrow the monarchy.
The US spokesman’s remark came as thousands of Jordanians took to the streets to protest against their government’s tough economic measures, which include cancelling subsidies for fuel and gas prices.
The widespread protests, which have been dubbed “The November Intifada,” have resulted in attacks on numerous government offices and security installations throughout the kingdom. Dozens of security officers have been injured, while more than 80 demonstrators have been arrested.
And for the first time, protesters in the Jordanian capital have been calling for overthrowing King Abdullah. In an unprecedented move, demonstrators last week tried to march on the monarch’s palace in Amman in scenes reminiscent of anti-regime protests in Tunisia, Libya, Yemen and Egypt.
The Jordanian authorities claim that non-Jordanian nationals who infiltrated the border have been involved in the violence, the worst to hit the kingdom in decades. The authorities say that Saudi and Syrian Muslim fundamentalists are responsible for attacks on government offices and other institutions, including banks.
Some Jordanian officials have pointed a blaming finger at Saudi Arabia and Qatar for encouraging the anti-regime protests and facilitating the infiltration of Muslim fundamentalists into the kingdom.
The officials believe that Jordan is paying the price of refusing to play a larger and stronger role in Saudi-Qatari efforts to topple Syrian dictator Bashar Assad.
The talk about the involvement of Saudi Arabia and Qatar in the recent unrest in Jordan prompted Prime Minister Abdullah Ensour to issue a warning to all the Gulf states that their security would be severely undermined if the Jordanian regime collapsed. Ensour was quoted as saying that the Gulf states would have to spend half their fortune in defending themselves against Muslim terrorists who would use Jordan as a launching pad to destabilize the entire Gulf.
Unless the US clarifies its position regarding King Abdullah and reiterates its full backing for his regime, the Muslim fundamentalists are likely to step up their efforts to create anarchy and lawlessness in the kingdom. Washington needs to reassure King Abdullah and his followers that it would not allow the creation of an Islamic terror republic in Jordan. The Americans also need to put pressure on the Gulf countries to resume financial aid to Jordan, to avoid turning the kingdom into a source of threats against moderate Arabs and Muslims, as well as the West.


Former Jordanian Crown Prince Hassan Bin Talal: The West Bank Is Part Of Jordan

October 13, 2012

Somehow in Prince Hassan’s mind a 19 year occupation of the territory grants the Hashemites sovereign rights, whereas Israel’s 45 years of control means nothing. And who exactly promised Judea and Samaria to the Hashemites?

(Prince Hassan bin Talal[1])

(MEMRI via israpundit.com) In a meeting with Palestinian citizens in Jordan, Prince Hassan bin Talal, Jordanian crown prince between 1965 and 1999, made an unusual statement, saying that the territories of the West Bank are actually part of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. He added that the two state solution is irrelevant in the current stage.
The Jordanian website Almustaqbal-a.com reported that the speech by the Jordanian prince took place at an October 9 meeting with Palestinians from Nablus, members of the Ebal charity organization. The meeting was organized by Jordanian Senate President Taher Al-Masri, who is himself a Palestinian from Nablus. During his speech, Prince Hassan said that he intends to visit other organizations in Jordan that represent West Bank residents.

The report stated that “Prince Hassan stressed that the West Bank is part of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, which included both banks of the [Jordan] River” and added that Hassan “did not personally oppose the two state solution, but that this solution is irrelevant at the current stage.”[2] He later added that even if the two state solution does not materialize, there are other options. According to Hassan, “both sides, Arab and Israeli, no longer speak of a political solution to the Palestinian problem.” He implied that even the Oslo Accords had met their end, and said that Arab losses from the Accords are estimated at $12 billion. The report added: “The attendees understood that Prince [Hassan] is working to reunite both banks of the [Jordan] River, and commended him for it.”
Prince Hassan later added: “The unity that existed between the west and east banks for 17 years… was arguably one of the best attempts at unity that ever occurred in the Arab [world]… I hope that I do not live to see the day when Jordan, or the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, relinquishes the land occupied in 1967 by the IDF, since it would bring us all to witness the humiliating end… These lands, which were occupied as part of the 1967 lands, including East Jerusalem, were promised to us, and nowadays we speak of them as Area C…”
Prince Hassan tried to clarify his statements and said that in terms of sovereignty and law, the West Bank was occupied by Jordan in 1948, and that everyone, including the Palestinians, agrees that Jordanian law is the basis for the demand to reclaim them from Israel. However, he added, Jordan ceased negotiating for these lands with Israel following a request by the Palestinian Authority. Hassan said: “If, God forbid, we were to recognize the Jordan River as a border with Israel, then every element hostile to Jordan – and there are many – could claim that Jordan has failed in its demand [to restore] Arab rights.”
In an attempt to further emphasize Jordanian sovereignty over the West Bank, Prince Hassan said that Ahmad Al-Shukeiri, who founded the PLO in Jerusalem in 1964, was actually “a guest of King Hussein in Jerusalem.” According to Hassan, “it must be clear that Jordanian legal and sovereign responsibility [over Jerusalem] was [decided] by our grandfathers when they fought atop Jerusalem’s walls.”
Prince Hassan stressed that Jordan should be a top priority for Palestine, and Palestine a top priority for Jordan.[3]

Endnotes:

[1] Albaladnews.net, October 9, 2012.
[2] It should be mentioned that other Jordanian websites that reported on Prince Hassan’s speech claimed that he had said: “I personally oppose the two state solution.” However, in a video of Hassan’s speech, he clearly expresses “disagreement with the elimination or disappearance of the two state solution.”
[3] Almustaqbal-a.com, October 11, 2012

if this is so, then I suppose then Jordan can legalize their Palestinians as citizens… right? …not likely

If Israel annexes the territory, the issue of Jordanian citizenship for the Arab residents is a negotiable option, but this certainly would not involve granting the Jordanians sovereignty.


Jordan and the ‘Arab spring’

April 25, 2012
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Missing Peace (h/tDoc)report about the situation in Jordan since the beginning of the uprisings in the Arab world Jerusalem, April 25, 2012 Jordan’s ‘Arab Spring’ protests started as a peaceful small-scale demo against corruption in the town of Theeban in January 2011. Since then the protests have spread out to the outlying governorates, along with the rise of so-called popular movements. However, the unrest never reached the magnitude of the uprisings in countries such as Yemen, Egypt and Libya. As in other Arab countries, protests in Jordan were being led by the Islamist movement, which dominates the political opposition, as well as by the popular protest movement which includes numerous pro-reform organizations. Protests The Jordanians mainly protested against corruption and favoritism. Demonstrators called for investigations into regime corruption at almost all the protests. Later the protests were directed against the worsening economic situation in the country. The deterioration of the economic situation is alarming as it could lead to a full-blown revolution as happened earlier in Tunis and Egypt. Jordanian demonstrators demanded reform and change general in a peaceful way. Lately however, some protests have turned violent. Last week dozens of people were injured during clashes between Salafists and pro-government demonstrators in the city of Zarqa. Compared to the protests in other countries across the region, those in Jordan have been relatively few. This situation can be explained by a lack of organizational skills among the few political parties and an effective security system. In addition, from the outset of the protests consensus existed that political and economic reform – not regime change – were the solution. Palestinians The fact that the Palestinians, who make up almost two thirds of the population, have not joined the protests may explain why there hasn’t been a full-blown revolution in Jordan. However, the Palestinian Arabs in Jordan have good reasons to be angry at King Abdullah and his government. Although the majority of Jordan’s population is Palestinian, they have been discriminated against for decades. This is something which King Abdullah in fact admitted when back in 1999 he called upon his Jordanian (non-Palestinian) subjects to “end class divisions that have marginalized Palestinian citizens of the Hashemite Kingdom”. He also said at the time that “discrimination must end”. This discrimination includes the refusal of the Jordanian Government to let Palestinians actively take part in the governing of the country. For example, the Palestinian majority in Jordan holds only 6 seats in a 120 member Parliament, while in Israel the 20 % Arab minority holds 14 out of 120 seats in the Israeli Parliament. In addition the UN Higher Commission for Refugees confirms that Jordan’s government still treats the majority of its Palestinian citizens as refugees. Human Rights Watch reported in 2010 that King Abdullah’s government has randomly been cancelling passports of numerous Palestinians throughout Jordan, thereby destroying livelihoods and breaking up families. Recently Jordan even revoked citizenship of PLO and PA officials. At the same time a new electoral law sought to limit Palestinian representation in the Jordanian parliament even further. Instead of taking responsibility for his government’s discriminatory actions, King Abdullah has accused Israel of being an ‘apartheid’ state. He made this accusation in an interview with the Washington Post about the failed peace negotiations between Israel and the PA which were conducted in Amman. The king said that “Israel will have to choose between democracy and apartheid”. Reforms From the outset of the revolts in other Arab countries it has been clear that King Abdullah was concerned that a similar revolt could threaten his regime. Therefore he was quick to announce reforms. He has also been trying to divert the attention towards Israel by blaming the Jewish state for the shortcomings and failures of the Jordanian government, just like other Arab leaders have been doing for years. Abdullah also tries to hide his opposition to the Syrian regime because he fears Assad’s repercussions and because the Jordanian economy largely depends on Syria. The majority of Jordanian-produced goods are imported by Syria and Syria also serves as Jordan’s gateway to Lebanon, Turkey and Eastern Europe. If the trade relations between both countries were to come to an end, the already weak Jordan economy would receive a massive blow, which in turn could spark more protests and demands to topple the King and the Jordanian government. One of the reform measures which Abdullah installed included firing the government and replacing it with a new one. Similar actions were undertaken by Saudi Arabia, which uses its oil wealth to keep its citizens quiet. However, the reform measures were not enough to satisfy the protesters and they demanded more extensive changes. Their demands included serious efforts to fight the regime’s corruption, a demand for an elected prime minister (instead of a prime minister appointed by the king), abolishment of the senate (also appointed by the king) or its transformation into a body elected by the people, and a demand to pass a new elections law. In short, the protest and reform movement demand a decrease in the king’s powers and more influence and freedom of action for the parliament. Aggressive The protests continued, becoming more aggressive over time. Some protestors even publicly demanded that King Abdullah step down (there is a law in Jordan which forbids direct criticism of the Royal Family). The tone of the demonstrations changed when the protesters saw that their situation was not really changing for the good. Demonstrators started to display signs with slogans such as “there can be no reform under the current security grip” and “the people want freedom, justice and an end to corruption”. More recently various opposition members and groups have been accusing the King of being an “occupier”. They also accused Queen Rania of ruling the country instead of her husband. In response to the radicalization of the protests, the regime has taken several measures to satisfy the Islamic movement and Bedouin tribes in Jordan. This included attempts to buy them off with money and positions of power. The regime started to show flexibility on several issues which were previously considered sacred. For example, the king now said that he would be willing to curtail his own powers and that there might be talks about a constitutional monarchy. Islamists The regime also tried to pacify the Islamists by starting a dialogue. This move came after it became clear that the Islamic parties were the driving force behind the protests which are taking place in cities all over Jordan almost every Friday. In addition, the regime gave in to demands of the Islamic movement to free prisoners, including the release of 150 Salafi-Jihadist prisoners who were imprisoned for attacking security officers with swords during a rally in the city of Al-Zarqa which took place in April 2011. Furthermore, the regime also announced that it would renew its contacts with Hamas. The relations between Jordan and Hamas were suspended in 1999 because of Hamas’s terrorist activities. Hamas leader Khaled Mashal was expelled from Jordan subsequently, after which he moved to Damascus. In 2006 Jordan blacklisted the organization after an alleged weapons cache was discovered in the country. Now the regime is trying to patch up things with Hamas, in order to satisfy the Islamists in Jordan. Khaled Mashal visited Jordan at the end of January 2012, allegedly to find a new home for Hamas’s headquarters which until then had been located in Damascus. The US government however, immediately made clear that it would not tolerate the establishment of Hamas’s headquarters on Jordanian soil and warned that there would be serious repercussions if the regime did not prevent this from happening. Shortly afterwards the Jordanian regime hurried to make it clear that Mashal’s visit had no “political implications and does not signal a change in Jordan’s political agenda”. Israel In Israel pundits are worried that the Jordanian regime will not be able to hold off the Islamists in the long run. New concessions to keep the Islamists at bay will probably be necessary but could further destabilize the region. These concessions will no doubt include a review of the relations with Israel. Already at this moment it is apparent that Israeli-Jordanian relations are deteriorating. The (failed) Global March to liberate al Quds/Jerusalem (an anti-Israel manifestation that took place at the end of March) was, for instance, prepared at a conference in Amman last January. In the same month Jordanian MP’s called for the expulsion of the Israeli ambassador. Recently a spokesman for the Jordanian government called Israeli actions against the continuing rocket fire from Gaza ‘barbaric aggression’. In the beginning of April Jordanian state TV broadcasted an inciting sermon by imam Khaleb Rabab’a. He told worshippers that “Jordan’s army will destroy Israel and will regain Jerusalem from the killers of prophets”. The survival of the Israeli Jordanian peace treaty is to a large extent dependent upon developments in the relationship between Egypt and Israel. If the new regime in Egypt moves to change or annul the peace treaty with Israel, pressure in Jordan to do the same will follow suit.

The cracks are already showing. when the flood comes from Egypt, Jordan will follow. Now is no time for Bibi to flirt with a Contiguous state when Israel is surrounded by killers. Surrounded by killers and cut in two is stupid.


King Abdullah II says Jordan will never be Palestine

September 17, 2011

(Jerusalem Post / Reuters)
Melanie Philips: …but Jordan is indeed Palestine. As Camie Davis points out, the Arabs themselves repeatedly said so:
Jordanians, for decades, were avid proponents of the ‘Jordan is Palestine’ position. They used that position as justification for the annexation of the West Bank (AKA Judea and Samaria), arguing that Palestine was one single, indivisible unit, and that Jordan was the legitimate governing body of Palestine…‘We are the government of Palestine, the army of Palestine and the refugees of Palestine.Prime Minister of Jordan, Hazza’ al-Majali, 23 August 1959. ‘Palestine and Transjordan are one.’ King Abdullah, Arab League meeting in Cairo, 12 April 1948. ‘Palestine is Jordan and Jordan is Palestine; there is one people and one land, with one history and one and the same fate.Prince Hassan, brother of King Hussein, addressing the Jordanian National Assembly, 2 February 1970.‘ Jordan is not just another Arab state with regard to Palestine, but rather, Jordan is Palestine and Palestine is Jordan in terms of territory, national identity, sufferings, hopes and aspirations.Jordanian Minister of Agriculture, 24 September 1980. ‘The truth is that Jordan is Palestine and Palestine is Jordan.King Hussein 1981. Indeed, until 1970 the Palestine Liberation Organisation conducted terrorist operations against Jordan on the grounds that it was Palestine and the Hashemite minority was ruling the Palestinian majority. It was only after Jordan killed thousands of Palestinians in ‘Black September’ (and who in the west ever cared about that??) that Israel suddenly became the sole historic homeland’ of the Palestinians and Jordan was airbrushed out of the picture — and the fabrication of ‘Palestinianism’ became the accepted truth.


Jordan will vote against a Palestinian Nation?

July 19, 2011

The Guardian reports that the ‘Palestinians’ may be looking for a way out of the ‘statehood’ trap

Some Palestinian observers believe the PA leadership, despite its robust statements committing to the UN approach, may also be quietly seeking a way to “climb down the tree“.

A Kuwaiti paper reported last week that Jordan will vote against the creation of a ‘Palestinian’ reichlet if it comes up for a vote in the UN General Assembly in September.

On the other hand, Jordan is nearing a crossroads in its attitude toward the Palestinians. In my book, The Political Legacy of King Hussein (2004), I analyze the advantages that Hussein could have found in losing of the West Bank to Israel.
First and foremost, Israel would be in charge of resolving the Palestinian issue, and the Palestinians would not be in a position to claim Jordan as a Palestinian state.
In recent months, Israel seems to have divorced itself from its traditional policy of resisting a Palestinian state at all costs.
In the Jordanian mind, this translates to a position that might endanger the very existence of the Hashemite Kingdom, as well as the 1994 Israeli-Jordanian Peace Treaty, and a de-facto abandonment of the traditional friendship between the two countries that has survived many crisis since 1960.
Jordan has tried (and usually succeeded) in letting Israel lead the way against the creation of a Palestinian state. However, Israel is now seen as being too weak to halt a Palestinian independence process. The creation of such a state would put Jordan’s very existence in jeopardy: The PLO is formally and spiritually committed to taking over all of mandatory Palestine – i.e., Jordan, the territories and Israel. Considering that Israel would hold its ground within the 1967 lines, the next target of a small, economically weak, irredentist Palestinian state would be Jordan – a country that has already served as a battleground for the PLO in 1970-71.
If, indeed, this is the current Jordanian reading, it follows that the US and Israel are seen as weak players that cannot be trusted to support the kingdom.
That reading sounds pretty accurate to me. Read the whole thing.

It would be easier for everyone if the Arabs just clarified the words of Mohammad and said Palestine was not the goal. The goal is to kill the Jews in Israel because Islamic texts say that is what will happen.