A Jordanian on a tourist visa attacked and stabbed an Israeli officer in Jerusalem on 13 May 2017. The officer neutralized him and a very shocking video of the incident shows the attacker was relentless in trying to kill the Israeli. Nonetheless, Jordan’s government shocked the world by blaming Israel for what happened.
Jordan’s king’s close advisor and his spokesperson, Mohammad AlMomani, said what happened was a “heinous crime” and “Israel is to blame because it is the occupying force”.
This has driven Israeli Prime Minister to forgo his silence about Jordan, officially making a statement himself: “”It’s time Jordan stopped playing both sides of the game,” he said. Adding that: “It is outrageous to hear the Jordanian government’s speaker support the terror attack which occurred today in Jerusalem’s Old City.”
Not fully lowering his guard of diplomacy, Netanyahu’s statement was not just a mere reaction out of outrage. In fact, the very statement he said, “Playing both ends of the game,” is exactly the problem that Israel, US, and some Arab countries have been seeing from Jordan’s regime in the last decade.
For a starter, the attacker in here was not the first one of his kind. In fact, last September, a Jordanian tourist, who is also a Jordanian government official, Saeed AlAmer, attacked Israeli borders police with two knives. After he was neutralized, AlAmer came from a small southern town called Kerak. That town is known to be the most loyal to Jordan’s king. Its natives make up the king’s air force, special forces and have control of the national police force.
From Kerak also, came Jordanian Mohammed Makhamreh, who was a student there at Jordan’s military university, Mutah, dubbed “Jordan’s West Point.” Makhamrah and his cousin opened fire in an Israeli restaurant in June 2016 killing four people. Israeli prosecutors confirmed: “He was exposed to ISIS teachings while in Jordan.”
Terrorists coming from my country, Jordan, are not limited to attacking Jews. In fact, a recent congressional report confirmed more than 4,000 Jordanians were fighting with ISIS. The question is this: In a country where people gets banned from traveling for not paying a phone bill, how could all those travel to ISIS.
The problem with Jordan is the fact that radicalization in Jordan is manufactured, incited, aided, and promoted by the regime itself.
Let’s see how.
For the last decade, Jordan’s state-owned and controlled media has been inciting terror and hatred to both the US and Israel. Calls for stabbing Jews began before the ongoing ‘knife-Intifada.’ Jordanian journalist Yasser Zaatreh, published an article in a state-owned daily calling for stabbing Jews. The Israeli embassy protested, Nonetheless, anti-Israeli incitement has not stopped. This is in a country where the king’s press office controls even the social media. “Liking” an anti-king page on Facebook could land you in jail for a year or more.
The king himself is not shy about inciting against Jews. In 2015, he appeared on state TV wearing his fully military uniform, said: ‘There is Zionist radicalism. We cannot build a coalition to fight terror while Israel is killing our children every five minutes in Gaza and Jerusalem.’
But, why is the “moderate” king of Jordan promoting ruthless incitement against Jews and even the US at times?
The answer is simple: The king has been systematically radicalizing the Jordanian public and openly empowering the Islamists and the Muslim Brotherhood for one reason: Making himself the only acceptable choice to ruling Jordan.
In short, the king is playing both ends against the middle. And yes, just like PM Netanyahu said: “Jordan is playing both ends of the game”.
The king’s “game” doesn’t stop with inciting against Israel verbally. In fact, it goes way beyond that. Last year, media reports confirmed Jordan’s regime was stealing US and British weapons intended for “moderate Syrian rebels” and selling those to ISIS. One of those weapons was bought by a senior Jordanian counter-terrorism officer, which he used to kill two American military trainers.
Further, CNN Arabic has confirmed Jordan’s government was the second largest ISIS oil customer. Even worse, Russian media confirmed 4,500 Toyota trucks bought by Jordan’s government have all ended up in ISIS hands.
All of this has been documented, and is a Google search away for everyone to view.
Again, this all plays into the role the regime is playing: Firing up everyone and everything around it to make the king of Jordan appear as the only logical and viable option.
This dangerous game has managed to buy Jordan’s regime some time. Despite endless internal unrest, the regime has survived the Arab Spring Tsunami. Nonetheless, countless intelligence reports have been leaked showing Jordan\s regime is imminent to fail. True or not, the fact remains: No Arab regime is fall-proof today. And the king of Jordan is playing on stalling by pushing Jordan’s public into radicalization.
An example of this is the hero’s welcome given by the Jordanian government to Ahmad AlDagamseh- the Jordanian soldier who killed 7 Israeli girls- upon his release. The king even sent an envoy from his Ministry of Interior to congratulate him for his release!
A more distributing case we have at hand is that of 2001 Sbarro-restaurant co-bomber, Ahlam Tameemi, whom Jordan’s government still refuses to extradite to US to face trial for killing two Americans in the attack.
Tameemi is not the only killer-of-Americans under Jordan’s protection. Last November, a Jordanian airman opened fire, unprovoked, killing three US Green Beret. Jordan’s regime defended him, blamed the victims, and even praised the killer as “having 14 years of service”.
The Jordanian regime is playing a very dangerous game of radicalizing the Jordanian public and then promoting itself as the only viable option. This has bought the king more time in power but will eventually turn Jordan into a terror hive across Israel’s longest borders. When that happens, the king would not care because he could flee to his retirement mega-mansion in France and watch Jordanians, Palestinians, Israeli and Americans dying on TV from the safety of his living room.
It is time all of us consider a Plan B for Jordan before it is too late.