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Jordan’s Secular Opposition: Plan B for Jordan

For the first time, the Palestinians engaged fully in the protests, calling for toppling the regime.
Can King Abdullah II of Jordan be saved?

Can King Abdullah II of Jordan be saved?

PROTESTS IN JORDAN

For the last two years, Jordan has been witnessing regular protests calling for reform, with some demanding the king give up his powers. [1] On November 15, 2012, massive protests broke out in Jordan after the Jordanian government, in compliance with the requirements of the International Monetary Fund, raised fuel prices. Protests, as The Independent noted, swept the country, “with most chanting for toppling the regime” despite the fact that protesters had previously “rarely targeted the king himself.”[2]

For the first time, the Palestinians engaged fully in the protests; As Al-Jazeera reported, Palestinians, including those from refugee camps, have been fully involved, [3] calling for toppling the regime in most of their major residential areas, including the Al-Baqqa refugee camp [4], the Al-Hussein refugee camp, close to downtown Amman [5] Douar Firas [6], Jabal Al-Nuzha, [7], and the Hitteen refugee camp [8].

The Palestinians’ full engagement “came as a surprise” according to Al-Jazeera [9], which noted that protests have swept “across the width and the length of the country,” with “most chanting for toppling the regime.”

Tensions were also high in Jordan’s Northern regions and the Southern tribal city of Kerak. [10]. Protesters broke down taboo barriers and even went as far as calling for toppling the regime right at the gate of the king’s palace, as a video aired by Aljazeera shows. [11].

JORDAN’S MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD

The Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood limited its participation to a single protest, [12] organized in their stronghold city of Rusifah, in which, without any criticism of the king, they demanded that fuel prices go down. Further, on November 20, while protests were still raging, the Muslim Brotherhood’s most senior leaders held a public conference [13] to discuss “reform″; as Zaki Bani Rushied–leader of the Islamic Action Front Party—the Brotherhood’s political arm—told the media: “The people of Jordan have chosen to reform the regime; people can choose to topple the regime or reform it, and here in Jordan we have chosen to reform the regime.”

On November 18, the news website, Al-Sawt, published an article entitled, “Will the Muslim Brotherhood get the price for its realism and positivity during the fuel-prices protests?” [14]

Al-Sawt claimed that the Hashemite regime had “an arrangement with the Muslim Brotherhood not to surf the tide of the protests, and to keep their demands fixed on peaceful reform of the regime.”

The Muslim Brotherhood’s candid support for the regime should not be much of a surprise: the Hashemite regime has supported the Muslim Brotherhood for decades, allowing it to operate freely, to run charitable organizations and youth movements, and to recruit members in Jordan.[15]

In 2008, the Hashemite regime introduced a new Political Parties’ Law, retroactively banning any existing political party unless it had five hundred members and offices in at least five Jordanian counties; therefore, most Jordanian political parties were dissolved, leaving the Muslim Brotherhood’s political party even stronger [16]

On 26 December 2012, CNN Arabic website published the contents of leaked Muslim Brotherhood internal document, exhibiting “deep divisions, weakness of political performance and ethnical political polarizing –Jordanian vs. Palestinian–all simultaneous with internal efforts for restructuring the leadership committees” [17].

Although denied by the Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood, CNN Arabic quoted Jordan’s experts as saying that the document foretold an oncoming “explosion” that would lead into establishing “a new frame – for the Muslim Brotherhood — which is not now influential with the public.”

Even though it seems that the Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan is not as popular as many might assume, and does not have control over angry Jordanian protesters, nevertheless the Brotherhood remains the most financed and organized political faction in Jordan. Therefore, those concerned for peace and stability in Jordan should find ways to support the Jordanian secular opposition or else see a situation where the Muslim Brotherhood takes over Jordan if the king falls.

The Muslim Brotherhood is, at the moment, aligned with the king. In fact, the Muslim Brotherhood has historically been at the receiving end of extensive tolerance and support from the Hashemite regime. [18]. Until the Arab Spring started, in fact, Jordan was the only Arab Country that had the Muslim brotherhood recognized as a “not-for-profit organization,” even before King Abdullah came to power. [19]

The Muslim Brotherhood is, therefore, the only financed and organized group to win any future elections. Even if the Brotherhood does not win a landslide victory, it will be the group most able to influence Jordanian politics, and might well forge ties to Iraq and Iran – both anti-Israel and anti-West – an event that would not be a help in stabilizing the region.

International media sources, such as those mentioned above, suggest the Jordanian secular opposition is popular and has more dominance over the protests than the Muslim Brotherhood and the Islamists, nonetheless, the seculars in Jordan lack the financial and media power enjoyed by the Islamists.

THE RISING SECULAR OPPOSITION

Several media outlets have confirmed Jordan’s protests were led by non-Islamist, or “secular” forces. The New York Times reported that the crowds in Amman “appeared to be largely middle class and led by organizers from the secular opposition;” [20] however, the New York times noted, however, the protesters were “palpably more timid than the mobs that ultimately brought down other Arab autocrats.”

Even though The Independent [21] reported that “The protesters…were led by activists that included the secular Hirak Shebabi youth movement, the Muslim Brotherhood, and various nationalist and left-wing groups,” even before fuel prices were hiked, “a mother of all protests” took place in downtown Amman on October 5, 2013, in which the Muslim Brotherhood was one of 78 other factions taking part in the protest. [22] – an item indicating that the Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood is a part of the opposition and not “the opposition.”

In a recent report, the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace noted the significance of the secular opposition in Jordan, adding that it “yet has to build the critical mass of public support necessary to truly challenge the king.” [23].

“Building support” is what the secular opposition in Jordan is trying to do. The Associated Press reports that “The opposition, which also includes Arab nationalist, communists and the largely secular Hirak movement of mostly young Jordanians, has seized on popular anger over the government’s decision Tuesday to raise prices for cooking and heating gas by 54 per cent in a bid to woo more of the population into its camp.” [24]

JORDAN’S PEACE WITH ISRAEL IN JEOPARDY?

The Hashemite regime has kept Jordan’s borders with Israel calm for the last four decades; in addition, Jordan is one of only two Arab nations to have signed a peace agreement with Israel. Will peace at the borders hold if the Hashemite regime falls?

The answer most likely depends on who will come to power after Jordan’s king steps down.

If the secular opposition in Jordan does not receive help, the Jordanian Revolution, if and when it happens, will be hijacked by the Islamists, as happened in Tunisia and Egypt.

CAN THE KING BE SAVED?

On October 23rd, 2012, Jordan’s king publicly acknowledged there were calls for toppling his Hashemite regime, [25] claiming those were made by “few”.

Evidence suggests those making the calls are not “few” [26]; and that calls for toppling the king’s regime are widespread.

Although Jonathan Schanzer, vice president for research at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, provides his suggestions for saving the king — by pressing him “to enact meaningful reforms,” “ensuring that international donor funds continue to flow,” and “providing security guarantees that he will not go the way of former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak” — these proposed steps may not be easy to execute. The king has been promising reform, but delivering it far below the opposition’s expectations as, in 2011, a Brooking Institute report stated. [27].

At the same time, the US does not seem sympathetic to the King’s economic woes. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stated that Jordan’s austerity measures, which included a dramatic hike of fuel prices, were “a necessary pain.” [28]

The king’s rich Arab allies from the Gulf States also do not seem willing to bail him out. As a recent Reuters report notes, “With protesters baying for his overthrow, Jordan’s King Abdullah might be wondering why his fellow-dynasts in Gulf Arab states are not providing the cash that could calm the trouble.[29]

Moreover, on November 15th, Mark Toner, deputy spokesperson for the US Department of State told the media, “There are concerns, economic and political concerns, and aspirations by the Jordanian people. We believe that King Abdullah’s roadmap for reform addresses these, but certainly, as we’ve seen elsewhere, there’s a thirst for change.” [30]. These messages, obviously, do not provide guarantees to the King that he will not go down the same path as Mubarak.

Also, Toner’s acknowledgement that the Jordanians’ concerns were not strictly economic was confirmed by a BBC report the following day, [31] and signified that the King’s problem went beyond just fiscal concerns.

TIME IS CRITICAL

With no signs of financial help for Jordan’s troubled economy; the king’s lack of reforms, and protests not declining in numbers or frequency, the situation in Jordan is likely to become even tenser, and escalate in the foreseeable future into a revolution.

In an interview with the BBC on 14 November 2011, the king said, “I believe, if I were in his [Assad’s] shoes, I would step down…. and make sure whoever comes behind me has the ability to change the status-quo that we’re seeing.”[32]

A report of a 2002 workshop (organized by the American Friends Service Committee and the Regional Human Security Center at the Jordan Institute of Diplomacy) [33] states that Jordanian tribes, “living near and crossing national borders to Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Syria, the West Bank and Israel are known to have traditionally lived with small arms for self-defense purposes.”

The report adds: “As a result, it is believed that a large number of unregistered weapons exist [sic] in rural areas. Often the weapons held for traditional purposes help to fuel larger scale violence, such as tribal vendettas, hostage taking, and even outright civil war.”

The report states that Jordan’s Public Security Directorate [the police force] confirms there was a lack of precise statistics for unlicensed weapons in Jordan. However, for the year 2000, it does provide statistics, “showing a total number of 125,312 registered pieces and estimated 80 per cent of weapons remain unlicensed.”

Further, in 2010, Jordanian journalist and former Washington Institute researcher Samer Libdeh estimated that an average of five Jordanians were getting killed every week due to tribal unrest. [34]

It is therefore not out of the question that tensions in Jordan could evolve into armed clashes between the regime and the opposition, as in Syria — a situation the king has already acknowledged would lead him to step down.

There might be little time left for both those who want to support the king and those who want to make sure Jordan’s secular opposition –and not the Islamists–gains power should the monarchy come to an end.

JORDAN’S ARMY

The Egyptian army’s decision ultimately to back the revolution played a major role in making the Egyptian revolution mostly non-violent; will the Jordanian army do the same? One thing the Egyptian and Jordanian armies have in common is generous American financial support: since 1979, the Egyptian army has received $13 billion USD in US military aid. [35].

While the Jordanian army has been receiving substantial US military aid according to a recent US Congress report [36] US military aid to Jordan was $300 million for 2010 and $299.4 Million for 2011.

The same report also reveals that, “The US and Jordan cooperate closely on military and intelligence issues”.

The Jordanian military’s close ties to the US intelligence and military institutions might serve in neutralizing potential unrest between the King’s supporters and the opposition. Such measures, if supported by the US government, would make a regime change in Jordan quicker and least violent, thus helping to securing the region’s stability and security.

JORDAN’S COALITION OF OPPOSITION AND REVOLUTIONARY FORCES

In the wake of the ongoing uprising that started on 15 November, 2012, several leaders of the non-Islamist opposition agreed to form the Jordanian Coalition of Opposition and Revolutionary Forces (JCORF).

JCORF’s main aim is replacing the Hashemite regime, and its symbols and pillars of support, in order to establish a civil state on the basis of “democracy, equality and justice to all Jordanians and securing Jordan’s sovereignty and regional stability.”

There is also The Syria National Coalition of Opposition and Revolutionary Forces, which had 63 members until recently [http://syrie.blog.lemonde.fr/2012/11/12/composition-de-la-coalition-nationale-des-forces-de-la-revolution-et-de-lopposition-syrienne/], who represent 23 million Syrians; thus, each member represents approximately 365,000 Syrians.

JCORF has 16 members, who represent 7 million Jordanians, thus each member represents 473,500 Jordanians.

JCORF’S MANIFEST

Below is a translation of the JCORF’s manifest:

I-Establishing a democratic civil state which sustains equality and brotherhood for all citizens, based on the values of freedom, equality, justice and observation of human rights.

II-Upholding Jordan’s identity and unity over its soil, including the maintenance of the nation’s name “Jordan,” and its geographic borders as known within the current borders, without any additions or dedications, maintaining the current flag. (This point is meant to eliminate the fears of some East Bankers and West Bankers that Jordan would become Palestine).

III-The future Jordanian state will be committed to the welfare of its citizens and their prosperity as far as food, housing, education and medical care are concerned, all on the basis of equality and observing human dignity. European countries’ models will be used as guides to achieve this goal. The JCORF is convinced Jordan’s resources can be sufficient to meet such commitments towards the Jordanian people; eliminating corruption and the royal family’s lavish expenses would sustain the state’s financial revenues.

IV-The Jordanian state is committed to all international treaties and agreements previously signed by Jordan, all in a manner that secures Jordan’s interest and sovereignty, as well as the independence and security of its soil and the best interest of its citizens. (This article is meant to provide that Jordan’s peace agreement with Israel will be secured as well as Jordan’s military and intelligence cooperation with the West).

V-Establishing an interim government the day the Hashemite regime falls. That interim government will run the country for an interim period, and will constitute electoral laws for the parliamentary elections and the presidential elections, and will introduce a new constitution. The Parliamentary electoral law will come as a temporary law by which the parliament members are to be elected, and they can vote on the parliamentary temporary law to either amend it and/or approve it as a permanent law. A constitution drafting commission will be established and the draft constitution will be held for referendum. The presidential elections will be held after the parliament has been elected, and the president is to be elected by public vote.

VI-The president is to be elected by direct public vote; all Jordanians from both genders are eligible to run for president regardless of ethnic or sectarian background, given that they have not been convicted of a misdemeanor or above.

VII-Parliamentary seats will be raised to 400 [from the current 150] in order to secure a sufficient increase in representation for all Jordanians based on their population concentration and geographic distribution; thus, the number of parliament members for each governorate will increase to the level of their counterparts in established democracies. The Parliament will have the right to revoke presidential decisions with a two-thirds vote.

VIII-Establishing a welfare system by which each unemployed individual receives the equitant of 30 US Dollars per week, as well as 30 US Dollars per week for each member in his or her household, thus a family of five will receive a total of 150 dollars per week, a total of 600 dollars per month. JCORF believes this welfare system will be feasible considering the country’s resources and the billions of dollars granted to Jordan annually, of which no impact is seen filtering down to the Jordanian people.

IX-No public servant or military personnel members are to be dismissed from their positions, regardless of their military ranking or their level of public service; those who have held jobs under the Hashemite regime will be able to keep their jobs, and acts of bureaucratic revenge against those will not be allowed. [This is to assure public servants that they will not lose their livelihoods under the new regime]

X-A Counter-Corruption Commission will be established as a legal entity specialized with detecting and punishing corrupts from the former regime, its tasks will include the redemption of all stolen state money in Jordan and abroad. The Counter-Corruption Commission will include launching investigations and confiscations of assets of corrupt officials inside and outside Jordan in addition to handing corrupts to prosecution, terminating their employment from public service and banning them from holding public office for life.

XI-Restoring the ownership of all tribal lands and property that have been confiscated by the Hashemite regime and providing financial compensation to those who can prove their personal interests have been compromised by the confiscations that have taken place at the hands of the Hashemite regime. [This secures an advantage for the Bedouin tribes whose lands were confiscated by King Abdullah II]

XII-Establishing a compensations fund for the political activists who have peacefully taken part in the revolution against the Hashemite regime. The fund will secure that money allocated to the activists will be more than the unemployment allowance. Additional funds will be allocated to activists who have suffered physical and emotional harm due to their political activism.

XIII-Issuing an act by which racial discrimination is criminalized and punishable by law. Acts of discrimination will be legally recognized as a misdemeanor or even a felony if an act of discrimination results in physical harm or destruction of property.

XIV-Issuing a new act by which the General Intelligence Department is de-commissioned, and a new intelligence agency is established under the name: The Jordanian Intelligence Agency, which will be committed to securing Jordan from external threats, and, as is the case with the CIA and the MI6, it will be banned from interfering with the country’s internal affairs.

CAN THE JCORF BE SUPPORTED?

In November 2012, the Syrian opposition in exile formed the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces with the aim of “replacing the Assad government and its symbols and pillars of support within days, it received recognition from the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf.” [37], the Arab League [38] the EU [39] and the US.[40].

This international recognition will help the NCSRO in forming an interim government once Syria’s Bashar Al-Assad falls; JCORF is seeking the same line of support to replace King Abdullah if or when he falls.

International recognition for the JCORF might not come as quickly as was the case for its Syrian counterpart, because the King of Jordan is still in power, unlike Assad who has lost control over massive parts of Syria [41].

Nonetheless, the international community might start looking for an entity to talk to once the king begins to lose control over Jordanian towns. Therefore, those concerned for Jordan’s stability should secure support methods for JCORF now as a “Plan B” for when/if Jordan’s king falls, in order to give the JCORF the advantage over the Muslim Brotherhood.

THE INTERIM GOVERNMENT IS THE WINNER

Forming an interim government after the King falls is what the JCORF is aiming to achieve, this is a following of the Syrian opposition’s model as the Syrian National Collation of Opposition and Revolutionary Forces is already creating a government in exile that might serve as an interim government if the Syrian regime falls. [42] The Syrian National Collation for Opposition and Revolutionary Forces has been empowered to take this step by the US recognition of it which followed a British recognition; Foreign Secretary William Hague said the UK has decided to recognise the Syrian opposition coalition. [43]. President Barack Obama said the US now formally recognises Syria’s main opposition coalition as “the legitimate representative” of the Syrian people. [44].

The recognition of the UK and then the US was followed by recognition from more than 100 countries. [45]

The international support for the Syrian National Collation of Opposition and Revolutionary Forces is what grants its legitimacy and prominence. Despite the fact that there are many opposition players on the ground in Syria.

It might be beneficial for JCORF to follow its Syrian counterpart’s model. Nonetheless, the situation in Jordan is not as intense as that of Syria; therefore, the international recognition process might take some time. Still, international powers will have JCORF to talk to once the regime begins to fall.

Those concerned for Jordan’s stability and peacefulness should seek to promote the JCORF with international powers in the West.

Once JCORF is situated in an interim government, it will have access to state funds and bureaucracy which will enable it to build credibility with the public and rally the support for the secular opposition’s member needed for it to win presidential and parliamentary elections.

Once in an interim government in Jordan, JCORF intends to take the following steps to establish a stable, democratic and peaceful Jordan:

I. To establish a constitution drafting committee that will put a constitution into referendum. The draft constitution will be aimed at securing human rights and dignity for Jordanians and establish a civil state.

II. Running Presidential elections where the president is elected by public vote.

III. Introducing a temporary electoral elections law by which the new Jordanian parliament is to be elected.

IV. Introducing a counter-terrorism act, by which anyone inciting terrorism verbally will be charged with a misdemeanor. Charges can be elevated to felonies if the offender’s incitement has led to terrorist acts or physical harm or property destruction either in Jordan or abroad. The counter terrorism act will bring tougher punishment for convicted terrorists and will have a status of limitations of 25 years. Such an act will secure Jordan and ban hate-preachers and terrorism inciters from running for office as they are guilty for their actions and statements, including those made in the past. Thus, many Islamist leaders will not be able to run for president, parliament or even hold government position.

V. The Interim government will be keen not to make the convicted terror preachers and inciters look as victims of government oppression, therefore it will create a soft justice system for those not involved in bloodshed. For example, halfway houses will be introduced and probation programs will be available for non-serious offenders.

POTENTIAL FOR BRITISH INVOLVEMENT

In September 1922, the Emirate of East Jordan was recognized by the League of Nations and remained under British supervision until 1946, and British military force protected King Abdullah I from local rebels and foreign intruders until 1946. [46] Therefore, the United Kingdom has had an established history of involvement in Jordan.

Furthermore, the British Government has been exhibiting a very supportive attitude towards the Arab Spring revolutions; British Prime Minister David Cameron introduced himself to a group of students in Abu Dhabi as a supporter of the Arab Spring [47].

In fact, according to the Guardian, British forces –with US blessings–played the key role in operations in Libya to oust Qaddafi. [48], a role Prime Minister Cameron seems to cherish as he told the annual meeting of the United Nations General Assembly world leaders should be prepared to intervene again to stop slaughter. [49].

Therefore, the UK government might play a significant role in stabilizing Jordan in cooperation with the US, especially that the examples given above show the UK is taking direct approach of intervention with the Arab Spring.

Connecting the Jordanian secular opposition to the decision makers within the UK government might be a good approach to securing a stabilized Jordan if King Abdullah II falls.

LAUNCHING A CONFERENCE

Before gaining legitimacy and prominence, the Syrian National Coalition of Opposition and Revolutionary Forces held several conferences. Its first major conference took place in June of 2011 in Turkey [50]. Conferences held by the Syrian National Coalition of Opposition and Revolutionary Forces were sponsored by host countries like Turkey and Qatar.

At a point when the Jordanian regime exhibits confirming signs of its ending, the JCORF should be enabled to hold a launching congruence through which it introduces itself to the world. The conference must bring about a declaration of JCORF’s goal of replacing the current regime as an interim government representing all Jordanians, which is the same goal of its Syrian counterpart.

JCORF can turn an initiation conference into a major political and media event that attracts global attention and Jordanian public confidence.

Such conference can be organized in any major European city as most JCORF members live in exile. A total of 20 hosted attendants can be invited. Non-financially sponsored Invitations must be extended to the both the Western and Arab Media as well as all of those interested in Jordan’s future.

SECURING THE MEDIA’S ATTENTION

The on-going Jordanian protests have received little attention according to a report by Brookings Institute-Doha [51]. While the atrocities taking place in Syria and the unrest in Egypt are taking the center stage; major media players seem to have been reporting little on Jordan, Al-Jazeera in particular has not been passionate about covering Jordan’s revolution.

Providing the exposure for JCORF and connecting it to the Western media could be very helpful in promoting the JCORF as alternative leadership to the Muslim Brotherhood when/if Jordan’s king falls.

The JCORF can utilize existing Arab TV networks to promote its cause and defend its case. Several Arab networks provide air time for guests and targeted coverage of events in exchange of financial “donations” given to them.

A famous London-based TV anchor who works for a well-known Arab TV station confirmed to the author that guests can buy up to “one hour of airtime in the form of an interview for $1,000-$1,500 donation,” and the TV network would present “the donor” as “a political guest being interviewed.”

JCORF estimates it will need a total of 30 TV appearances for its members to gain the proper exposure and encounter the Muslim Brotherhood’s capable media arms such as the London-based Al-Hewar TV network with a base of more than two million viewers [52] and Al-Yarmouk TV, owned and operated by the Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood [53]

PROVIDING INTERNET ACCESSIBILITY

The internet and social media have played a major role in the Arab Spring. The significance of those stems from their ability to bring together distant groups and unifying the public. [54].

Social media networking can also lead to further global media attention; according to a Freedom House report: “The Egyptian revolution received widespread media coverage during the Arab Spring not only because of Egypt’s position as a main political hub in the Middle East and North Africa, but also because activists were using different forms of media to communicate the events of the movement to the world. While the Egyptian government employed numerous tactics to suppress the uprising’s roots online—including by shutting down internet connectivity, cutting off mobile communications, imprisoning dissenters, blocking media websites, confiscating newspapers, and disrupting satellite signals in a desperate measure to limit media coverage—online dissidents were able to evade government pressure and spread their cause through social-networking websites”.[55]

Economically challenged, JCORF activists are in need of s secure communications method and a connection to the internet such as laptops and/or smartphones.

A significant advantage of smartphones is the fact that they can capture videos and images of the events and upload them to the internet, thus establishing the significance and sustaining the presence of for JCORF and the secular opposition in general.

References: [1] Mudar Zahran, ” More Trouble in Jordan” Gatestone Institute, New York, N.Y., November. 23, 2012. [2] The Independent, November. 15, 2012. [3] Al-Jazeera (Doha), November. 15, 2012. [4] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=19kG2ZtkfGc, November. 16, 2012. [5] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i1lj-fPmtsE&feature=share], November. 18, 2012. [6] Awa2el., November 15, 2012. [7] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F9KUyUQXQoE, November . 16, 2012 [8] Mudar Zahran, ” More Trouble in Jordan” Gatestone Institute, New York, N.Y., November. 23, 2012. [9] Al-Jazeera (Doha), November. 15, 2012. [10] Mudar Zahran, ” More Trouble in Jordan” Gatestone Institute, New York, N.Y., November. 23, 2012. [11] Al-Jazeera (Doha), November. 16, 2012. [12] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WG2QFt1i7qk&feature=share], November. 16, 2012 [13] Ammon News, November 19, 2012. [14] Alsawt News, November 18, 2012. [15] Awni Jadu al-Ubaydi, Jama’at al-Ikhwan al-Muslimin fi al-Urdunn wa-Filastin, 1945-1970 (Amman: Safahat Ta’arikhiyya, 1991), pp. 38-41. [16] Mudar Zahran, “Jordan Is Palestinian” Middle East Quarterly, Winter 2012, pp. 3–12 [17] CNN Arabic, Dec. 26, 2012. [18] Mudar Zahran, “Jordan: In Bed With Islamists” Gatestone Institute, New York, N.Y., Jan. 31, 2011. [19] Awni Jadu al-Ubaydi, Jama’at al-Ikhwan al-Muslimin fi al-Urdunn wa-Filastin, 1945-1970 (Amman: Safahat Ta’arikhiyya, 1991), pp. 38-41. [20] The New York Times, Nov. 16, 2012. [21] The Independent, Nov. 16, 2012. [22] Mudar Zahran, “Is Jordan the Hashemite-Occupied Palestine?” The Jerusalem Post, Oct. 22, 2012. [23] David Fox and Katrina Sammour, ” Disquiet on the Jordanian Front” Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Washington, D.C., Sept. 27, 2012. [24] The Washington Times, Nov. 15, 2012. [25] Sky News Arabia, Oct. 23, 2012. [26] Mudar Zahran, ” More Trouble in Jordan” Gatestone Institute, New York, N.Y., November. 23, 2012. [27] Courtney Freer and Shadi Hamid, “How Stable Is Jordan?” Brookings Doha Center, Doha, Qatar., Nov. , 2011. [28] AFP, Nov. 16, 2012. [29] Reuters, Nov. 16, 2012. [30] The US Department of State, Nov. 15, 2012 [31] BBC, Nov. 16, 2012. [32] BBC, Nov. 14, 2011. [33] Quaker United Nations Office, “Traditional Cultural Practices and Small Arms in the Middle East: Problems and Solutions.”, Geneva, Nov., 2002. [34] Samer Libdeh, “The Hashemite Kingdom of Apartheid?” The Jerusalem Post, Apr. 26, 2010. [35] WikiLeaks, “Secret US Embassy Cables”. 2010. Retrieved Jan. 1, 2013. [36] Jeremy M. Sharp, “Jordan: Background and U.S. Relations”. Congressional Research Service, Oct. 3, 2012. [37] al-Arabiya News, Nov. 12, 2012. [38] CNN, Nov. 13, 2012. [39] Aljazeera English, Nov. 19, 2012. [40] The Wall Street Journal, Nov. 12, 2012. [41] The Week, Dec. 13, 2012. [42] The Guardian, March 18, 2013. [43] BBC, Nov. 20, 2012. [44] BBC, Dec. 12, 2012. [45] Fox News, Dec. 11,2012. [46] Kamal S. Salibi, The Modern history of Jordan, 1945-1970 (Macmillan, 1998), p. 104. [47] Reuters, Nov. 5, 2012. [48] The Guardian, Sep. 2, 2011. [49] The Guardian, Sep. 22, 2011. [50] The Wall Street Journal, June 2, 2011. [51] Courtney Freer and Shadi Hamid, “How Stable Is Jordan?” Brookings Institute Doha Center, Doha, Qatar., Nov. , 2011. [52] Elizabeth Blade, “The Muslim Brotherhood – Israel and Europe, Beware!” Israel Today, Nov. 1, 2012. [53] Ammon News, May 21, 2012. [54] Andy Williamson, “Social Media and the New Arab Spring“, Hansard Society, London, UK, [55] http://www.freedomhouse.org/report/freedom-net/2012/Egypt

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About the Author: Mudar Zahran is a Palestinian writer and academic from Jordan, who now resides in the UK as a political refugee.


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3 Responses to “Jordan’s Secular Opposition: Plan B for Jordan”

  1. this is an important document

  2. Marty Mensch says:

    This is very promising. I would like to see him repace the PA & Abass, which is not working. & than take all those that do not want to live in a Jewish State with us to Jordan with him. We should help with in Jordan. He sounds that he just might be the one that will bring real Peace to the entire region with our help.

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In the Thirties it was common for anti-Semites to call on Jews to “go to Palestine!”

Obama never hid his contempt for the Israeli government or the majority of Israel’s voters.

“This arbitrary ban is an ugly stain on our democracy, and it also undermines the rule of law.”

We take US “aid” for psychological reasons-if we have an allowance, that means we have a father.

ZIM Piraeus isn’t Israeli-owned or flagged, incidentally, it is Greek operated.

Foolish me, thinking the goals were the destruction of Hamas thereby giving peace a real chance.

The free-spirted lifestyle didn’t hold your interest; the needs of your people did.

And why would the U.S. align itself on these issues with Turkey and Qatar, longtime advocates of Hamas’s interests?

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Permitting the niqab in the British legal and educational systems not only further legitimizes Islamist fundamentalism, but also opens the door for enforced apartheid.

Can King Abdullah II of Jordan be saved?

For the first time, the Palestinians engaged fully in the protests, calling for toppling the regime.

Hamas has brought misery, pain and destruction to Gaza, so Hamas’s alleged involvement in narcotics trafficking should not come as a shock to anyone.

Far from being the guardians of modesty and public morality, the Islamists are the worst offenders of sexual deviance and inappropriate public behavior.

With both Pakistan’s strongmen and its Islamist forces ready to take anti-Western action, the U.S. and the West must reconsider the amount of attention they pay to Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal.

Last week, protests broke out in Jordan after a government decision to raise fuel prices.

It might be helpful now to start wondering what sort of ideas Jordan’s Muslim Brotherhood, and its leader, Controller General Sheikh Hamam Sai’d, will advance if they seize power in Jordan — possibly with the blessing and encouragement of the United States.

Sheikh Khalid Abdullah, an Egyptian Salafist and TV personality, aired a show more than a week ago about a film called “The Innocence of Muslims,” which reportedly slanders Islam’s prophet Muhammad. Although the video has been online since July with not much attention, Abdullah, after airing clips from the online video, called for its maker to be executed. Abdullah’s popular talk show on Al-Nas satellite TV which has been described as having “long prided itself on baiting liberals, Christians and Jews.”

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