The quarter-century mark of the Israeli-Jordanian peace treaty has passed with little fanfare, as key constituencies in both countries question its core premises. The Trump administration’s policies and peace plan sharpen doubts. Reviving the 1994 deal’s spirit is important for Israel, Jordan and the region.
Originally published in The New York Review of Books
Tensions between Jordan and Israel persisted. Jordan early Jan received first delivery of Israeli gas under new deal. Protesters 3, 10 and 17 Jan took to streets in capital Amman and other cities calling on govt to cancel deal. Parliament’s lower house 19 Jan passed law to ban Israeli gas imports. In Saudi capital Riyadh, Jordan and seven other countries on Red Sea and Gulf of Aden 6 Jan established regional alliance to ensure maritime security. After release of U.S.’s Israeli-Palestinian peace plan 28 Jan, dozens protested at U.S. embassy in Amman and thousands protested across country 31 Jan.
As the Syrian regime masses its forces to recapture the country’s south west from the opposition, another humanitarian disaster looms. The U.S., Russia and Jordan, which brokered a south-western ceasefire in 2017, should urgently extend that truce in preparation for a broader settlement.
The season of Arab uprisings has not engulfed Jordan, but nor has it entirely passed the nation by. Pillars of the regime are showing cracks, and it ultimately will have to either undertake sweeping change or experience far-reaching turmoil.
A refugee crisis was feared before the coalition invasion of Iraq in 2003, but it came later than anticipated, and on a greater scale.
The horrifying 9 November 2005 suicide attacks against three hotels in Amman – with a toll of 60 dead and over 100 wounded – drove home two important messages.
This briefing is one of a series of occasional ICG briefing papers and reports that will address the issue of political reform in the Middle East and North Africa. The absence of a credible political life in most parts of the region, while not necessarily bound to produce violent conflict, is intimately connected to a host of questions that affect its longer-term stability:
In successive incidents over eight days in November 2002, the city of Maan in the south of Jordan was the scene of intense armed clashes between security forces and elements of the Maani population.
Jordanian and Israeli elders are sounding the alarm, hoping current coalition formation talks in Israel would decisively redraw the direction and rescue the [1994 peace] treaty.
We are seeing a dramatic crisis between Jordan and Israel which makes de facto joint management [of the Holy Esplanade in Jerusalem] much more complicated.
Originally published in allhayat
Originally published in Le Figaro