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
PM Omar Razzaz’s comment on one-state solution for Israel-Palestine conflict sparked public outcry, while teachers late July took to streets in capital Amman. After Jordan, Egypt, France and Germany in joint statement 7 July warned Israel that annexing portions of West Bank would have implications for bilateral relations, PM Razzaz in interview with British newspaper 21 July said Jordan would consider “one-state democratic solution” to Israel-Palestine conflict. Largest parliamentary bloc al-Islah 23 July condemned PM’s statement and called for his dismissal; King Abdullah 22 July met United Arab Emirates’ Crown Prince Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed al-Nahyan, reaffirming country’s commitment to two-state solution. Meanwhile, police 25 July raided offices of opposition-run Jordan Teachers Association (JTA) and arrested senior members on corruption charges, including union’s leader who was charged with incitement following his 22 July speech critical of govt; move comes after JTA threatened to stage protests over salary dispute that triggered month-long strike in Sept 2019. Attorney general 25 July suspended JTA’s operations for two years while placing gag order on media coverage of situation. After teachers 29 July took to streets in Amman to oppose union leaders’ arrest, clashes with anti-riot police erupted; several demonstrators reportedly injured and dozens arrested. State media 29 July announced parliamentary elections to be held 10 Nov. Jordan’s Court of Cassation 15 July ruled that country’s Muslim Brotherhood branch has no legal standing and should be dissolved; Brotherhood 23 July questioned decision’s timing, given prospective Israeli annexation of portions of West Bank, and declared its intent to appeal.
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