Photo Credit: The Royal Hashemite Court
Jordan's King Abdullah II, a licensed helicopter pilot, is rumored to have personally taken part in air strikes against ISIS.

Jordan’s King Abdullah II dissolved his country’s Parliament by royal decree on Sunday, and accepted the resignation of Prime Minister Abbdullah Ensour.

Reuters reported it was the end of the legislative body’s four-year term. But the move also had the effect of breaking week-long protests, and riots on Friday by hundreds of residents in the ancient city of Petra — a major tourist attraction — where Jordanians allegedly were rampaging over “fraudulent investments,” according to the English-language Jordan Times.

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Veteran politician Hani Mulqi was appointed to become Jordan’s new prime minister, and charged by King Abdullah to set up new elections in October.

The decree came barely a week after an extraordinary session in which the Jordanian Parliament voted to allow Israeli companies to invest in the country. At the time, the king endorsed the decision and issued a decree to end the session at the end of last week, according to Albawaba. The vote was considered very controversial and there was widespread public outcry following the session. Specifically, the Jordanian Parliament voted not to exclude Israel from its National Investment Fund.

Originally, last Sunday morning (May 22) Parliament members had voted to exclude Israel from the Jordanian Investment Fund. But in the evening session, a re-vote was called, and the majority of parliament members instead voted to allow Israeli involvement.

“In a particularly shocking turn in the struggle over the new investment law, several vocally pro-Palestine politicians voted in favor of trade with Israel,” Albawaba reported.

“Among them was Rodaina Al Ati, a member of Jordan’s Palestine Committee who has made a name for herself by supporting the Palestinian cause. Jordan’s Arab Progressive Baath Party expelled Al Ati for her vote, and social media users launched a campaign of ridicule and criticism against her.”

The Jordanian Investment Law establishes the Jordan Investment Fund, which oversees development projects and those which foreign funds can invest in. The decision to allow Israel to participate in the fund was seen as a blow to the BDS (boycott, divest and sanctions) movement.

The primary opposition to the monarchy in Jordan is that of the Muslim Brotherhood movement.

However, according to Reuters it was tribal lawmakers who has dominated the last parliament, resisting any change that might have undermined their influence or sabotaged their ability to control the legislative body. The system favors those tribal regions which are sparsely populated and which benefit most from state patronage, and the support of the monarchy, Lebanon’s Daily Star newspaper pointed out.

The reversal of the original decision has provoked outrage in Jordan, inasmuch as it also enables foreign companies to invest in Jordan.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.

11 COMMENTS

  1. Israeli Investments, operative word here INVESTMENTS" in Jordan. Objecting to Israeli investments would be Jordan's great loss.

    Jordan Economy 2016
    http://www.theodora.com/wfbcurrent/jordan/jordan_economy.html
    SOURCE: 2016 CIA WORLD FACTBOOK AND OTHER SOURCE

    Jordan's economy is among the smallest in the Middle East, with insufficient supplies of water, oil, and other natural resources underlying the government's heavy reliance on foreign assistance. Other economic challenges for the government include chronic high rates of poverty, unemployment, inflation, and a large budget deficit.

  2. It is time to build an alliance between the two countries. I see this move as a step forward. I do not have any idea how long there will be a monarchy in Jordan. But, the present King has the people in mind, rather than having them serve him.
    The Parliment is a bunch of elected officials, representing a small group, and having a vested interest in that group only. They do what their representative group wants them to do. But, the reality is, the country is at a crossroads, and to survive, must grow, and that requires building bridges. Perhaps they can see this point now, and after an initial rejection, have reconsidered what is best for their country.
    Of course, this all may be another pipe dream. Who knows what they want?

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