web analytics
May 24, 2015 / 6 Sivan, 5775
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post


Jordan’s King Abdullah Needs to Wake Up – Fast


.

Facing growing criticism over lack of reforms and transparency, Jordan’s King Abdullah has announced an unprecedented crackdown on corruption, sending a number of his former top government officials to prison.

But the clampdown has only increased the appetite of the Jordanians, who continue to press for harsher measures against senior officials suspected of embezzling public funds and abusing their powers.

The king’s hitherto unsuccessful attempts to appease the protesters are designed first and foremost to prevent the Arab Spring from infiltrating the kingdom.

For the past several months, Jordan has witnessed weekly demonstrations calling for far-reaching reforms and an end to financial corruption. Most of the protests have been initiated by the kingdom’s powerful Muslim Brotherhood organization.

At the beginning, King Abdullah did not take the protests seriously. But when some Bedouin tribes who were known for their loyalty to the monarchy started joining the protests, the king finally began to realize that the situation in the kingdom is much more serious than he had thought.

Over the past year, King Abdullah has dismissed two governments in a bid to calm the situation, but to no avail. His recent decision to appoint Awn Khasawneh, a respected judge of the International Court of Justice, as prime minister, has also failed to put an end to the growing protests.

Although most of the protesters in Jordan have thus far avoided calling for regime change, a former parliament member broke the rules by publicly calling for toppling the monarchy.

The man, Ahmed Abbadi, was last week arrested by Jordanian security forces and is now facing up to 15 years in jail if convicted.

Abbadi hails from a powerful Jordanian tribe and his arrest has triggered street clashes between his supporters and police forces in the capital Amman.

Members of Abbadi’s tribe have vowed to stage more protests until the former lawmaker is released.

Political analysts in Amman point out that the king is desperate to restore calm and order that he has gone as far as ordering his security forces to arrest some of his most trusted and loyal officials, including the former mayor of Amman, Omar Maani, and the ex-chief of General Intelligence, Mohammed Dahabi.

The two men were arrested on suspicion of financial corruption as part of the king’s efforts to show that he is serious about reforms and transparency.

Some former prime ministers and cabinet ministers are also being questioned about their role in various corruption scandals over the past decade.

Yet all these measures have failed to convince the demonstrators that the king is indeed serious about improving the situation.

Each arrest and questioning has been followed by more demands from angry Jordanians.

Now many protesters are demanding that the king arrest Bassem Awadallah, one of his closest friends and a former minister of planning and head of the Royal Court, on graft charges.

A Jordanian journalist said that if the king continues to succumb to public pressure, “in the end he will have to fire himself.”

True, King Abdullah has taken a number of measures to fight corruption in his little kingdom. But at the end of the day, Jordan is still far from becoming a democratic country.

This is a country where the king can appoint and fire prime ministers and governments and dissolve an elected parliament any time he wishes. And this is a country where the prime minister — with the approval of the king, of course — appoints newspaper editors and senior journalists.

King Abdullah’s efforts to improve his image were recently marred by the sentencing of an 18-year-old activist to two years in prison for setting fire to a picture of His Majesty King Abdullah II.

The young man, Uday Abu Issa, was tried before a military state court, which found him guilty of “undermining the king’s dignity.”

The king would do well to realize that in the age of the Arab Spring, sending a young man to prison for burning the picture of an Arab leader will only add fuel to the fire. He also needs to understand that the rule of totalitarian autocrats in the Arab world is no longer acceptable.

If King Abdullah wants to survive, he must cede some of his powers, allow free and democratic elections for parliament and government and stop suppressing his critics. If he fails to wake up, Jordan could soon be taken over either by Islamists or the Palestinian majority.

About the Author: Khaled Abu Toameh, an Arab Muslim, is a veteran award-winning journalist who has been covering Palestinian affairs for nearly three decades.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

2 Responses to “Jordan’s King Abdullah Needs to Wake Up – Fast”

  1. Eugenio A. Alonso says:

    Another artificially created Arab state that is going kaput.

  2. Dick Farrel says:

    Not to Worry…Abdullah has a very close ally who’ll make sure he’s always in power…ISRAEL

Comments are closed.

Current Top Story
Tzipi Hotovely, new Deputy Foreign Minister.
Foreign Minister Hotovely: Tell the World ‘God Gave Israel to the Jews’
Latest Indepth Stories
Harris-052215

We take a whole person approach, giving our people assistance with whatever they need.

Shalev and Rabbi Levinger

During my spiritual journey I discovered G-d spoke to man only once, to the Jewish people at Sinai

MK Moshe-Feiglin

20 years after the great Ethiopian aliyah, we must treat them like everyone else; no better or worse

Sprecher-052215

Connecting Bamidbar&Shavuot is simple-A world without Torah is midbar; with Torah a blessed paradise

Many Black protesters compared Baltimore’s unrest to the Palestinian penchant of terrorism & rioting

She credited success to “mini” decisions-Small choices building on each other leading to big changes

Shavuot 1915, 200000 Jews were expelled; amongst the largest single expulsions since Roman times

Realizing there was no US military threat, Iran resumed, expanded & accelerated its nuclear program

“Enlightened Jews” who refuse to show chareidim the tolerance they insist we give to Arabs sicken me

Somewhat surprisingly, the Vatican’s unwelcome gesture was diametrically at odds with what President Obama signaled in an interview with the news outlet Al Arabiya.

The recent solid victory of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party produced something very different.

The reaction is so strong that nine times out of ten, parents engage in some form of coping mechanism before arriving at a level of acceptance of a special-needs diagnosis.

“…his neshamah reached out to us to have the zechus of Torah learning to take with him on his final journey.”

The gap isn’t between Israeli and American Jews-it’s between American Jews and the rest of the world

More Articles from Khaled Abu Toameh
US has no problem with Egypt's bombing hundreds of homes of Gaza civilians but can't stand to see Israel destroy a terrorist's home.

Egypt has been more effective against Gazan smuggling tunnels than Israel’s military operations

This masked "soldier" carrying a machine-gun is not part of a terrorist organization, according to the European Court of Justice.

Hamas is continuing to prepare its next war against Israel instead of improving conditions in Gaza

Riot started when Muslim students wore the Pal. kaffiyeh and Druze students demanded them removed

Kerry and Obama must start listening to what Palestinian leaders are telling their people in Arabic.

Adult activists who send and encourage children to take part in violence should be held accountable.

To flee Gaza, Palestinian migrants reputedly paid $1000s to Hamas officials and Egyptian smugglers.

Fatah: Hamas stole relief aid for Gaza and distributed it amongst its followers in mosques.

Arab leaders who want the US to stop Islamic State are afraid of being dubbed traitors and US agents

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/analysis/jordans-king-abdullah-needs-to-wake-up-fast/2012/02/13/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: