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Israel Sees Jordan: Things are Not All Quiet on the Eastern Front

A recent Jordanian-Arab Palestinian agreement to prevent the Judaization of Jerusalem, and an overwhelming majority of the Jordanian parliament urging prison release for the mass murderer of Israeli schoolgirls, reveal things are not all quiet on the Eastern front.

Jordanian-Israeli ties fading?

Jordanian-Israeli ties fading?

With the cold but steady peace between Israel and Egypt growing ever shakier, at least there is still a rock solid peace treaty between Israel and her esteemed neighbor to the East, Jordan.

We hope.

Several fissures have appeared in that rock solid relationship of late, and they are troubling.

For example, late last month the acting leader of the Palestinian Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, and Jordan’s King Abdullah II signed an agreement they described as one to jointly defend Jerusalem “from Israeli Judaization attempts.”

According to The Jerusalem Post, the Israeli Prime Minister, Benyamin Netanyahu, “would not comment on the agreement.”

But someone else with a strong interest is willing to comment.

Mudar Zahran is a Jordanian living in exile in London.  Zahran has been described as the leader of the Jordanian Opposition (or “Dignity“) movement, and he is also known for backing a “Jordan is Palestine” plan.

Zahran responded angrily to the public deal entered into by Abbas and Abdullah, penning an article published in Gatestone, “Abdullah and Abbas Playing the Jerusalem Game.”

Abdullah and Abbas claimed that Jordan’s role as custodian of the Muslim holy shrines in Jerusalem, as set out in the Israeli-Jordanian peace accords, gave Abdullah the legal right to prevent the Judaization of Jerusalem.

Zahran says the exact opposite is true:

The “Judaization” of the British Mandate for Palestine was the very thing the Hashemites were committed to support, in exchange for establishing an Arab state under Hashemite rule. The terms of the agreement were clear: Jews were to settle in the British Mandate for Palestine with no exclusion of Jerusalem.

In addition, as Zahran logically points out, how could a diplomatic agreement between two countries, Israel and Jordan, be the basis for the right of one to deny the rights of the other, in concert with a third entity not a party to the agreement?

So what is the Hashemite king doing?

Zahran, who has long advocated for a Jordanian future shorn of Hashemite control, believes the two Arab leaders, Abdullah and Abbas, are both in political trouble and hope that an alliance will increase their strength.  But the Jordanian in London believes it is more likely that the two will end up pulling each other down, as both are in precarious positions already.  Not only that, but it is the Arab Palestinians in Jordan whom Zahran believes will finally help deal the death blow to Abdullah.

RELEASE JORDANIAN MASS MURDERER OF YOUNG ISRAELI GIRLS?

Even more recently than the Abdullah-Abbas anti-Judaization agreement, it was revealed that 110 of the Jordanian Parliament’s 120 members  just signed a petition to release one of the most heinous Jordanian murderers of Jews in recent memory.

On whose behalf is the Jordanian legislators lobbying?

Jordanian Army Corporal Ahmed Daqameseh who, in 1997, opened fire on 8o Israeli middle school girls from the AMIT Fuerst School.  Seven girls were murdered, and five others and a teacher were injured when Daqameseh grabbed a fellow soldier’s M-16 and began firing at the girls from a guard tower.  He clambered down the tower and ran down a hill chasing after them.  It happened when the junior high school girls were on an annual school field trip to the “Island of Peace” (Naharayim) site.

The tourist site, approximately 2 hours north of Jerusalem, had been captured by Israel during the 1948 war, but the Jewish State handed it over to Jordanian control following the 1994 Jordanian-Israeli peace accord.

At the time of the massacre, Jordanians were genuinely contrite.  It was Daqameseh’s fellow soldiers who, screaming “madjoun” (mad man), overpowered him when his gun jammed.

King Abdullah II’s father, King Hussein, traveled to Israel to pay condolence calls to the grieving families, and the Jordanian military tribunal sentenced Daqameseh to life in prison, doing hard labor.  The prisoner was spared the death penalty because at the time he had been adjudged mentally incompetent.

But over time, Daqameseh was treated less as a pariah.  In February, 2011, Jordanian Justice Minister Hussein Mjali,  called Daqamseh a hero and added that “if a Jew murdered Arabs, they [the Israelis] would build him a statue.”

And now the overwhelming majority of the elected government of Jordan have concluded that this mass murderer of young Israeli girls should be free.

According to a 2011 report, Jordan’s powerful Islamist movement and the country’s 14 trade unions have repeatedly called for Daqameseh’s release.

In 2001, Daqameseh’s mother publicly announced on an al Jazeera talk show, “I am proud of my son and hold my head high. My son did a heroic deed and has pleased Allah and his own conscience. My son lifts my head and the head of the entire Arab and Islamic nation. I am proud of any Muslim who does what Ahmed did… My son told me he has no regrets.”

In just over a decade it seems that the Jordanian parliament has come to agree with the mother of the mass murderer.

Somehow Israel’s southeasterly front looks far less stable than it has in a long time.

About the Author: Lori Lowenthal Marcus is the US correspondent for The Jewish Press. She is a recovered lawyer who previously practiced First Amendment law and taught in Philadelphia-area graduate and law schools.


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10 Responses to “Israel Sees Jordan: Things are Not All Quiet on the Eastern Front”

  1. Samuel Ramos says:

    Unfortunately the brief sunburst of a "rapprochement" between the less hardline Arab countries in the middle east and Israel appears to be fading…This is most unfortunate because it seems to be fueled by a more conservative and militant wave of clerical politicians as opposed to moderate secularist groups.

  2. Felix H. AlOmar says:

    Que mal…wao!….Have a nice weekend Samuel..

  3. Samuel Ramos says:

    Shabbat Shalom, Felix!

  4. Eliyahu Enriquez Rivera says:

    Just viewed an article chronicling the life of Angelita Valdes Dublin of Yerushalayim. I see Yesha, including Yarden, as an opportunity to grow from decay to fruitful maturity: "For the first time in generations, we have active borders with neighborly upheaval." ~ Moshe.

  5. Eliyahu Enriquez Rivera says:

    It is my novice contention that the sun, as per Malachi ha'navi rises further east than the Hashemite Kingdom {neighborly upheaval should be considered a timely generational op for K'lal Yisra'el Hashleima}: "The shift from nationalist to religious disposition has realigned alliances, in some cases severing historic ties, between states and within." ~ Moshe

  6. The truth is that Jordan has been hostile from day one. It is still a death penalty offense to sell land to Jews in Jordan. That law has never changed.

    Jordan comprises 77.5% of our lands – and they survive on international aid only. They are welcome to it – but they need to take their colonists back to their own lands.

  7. Tensions on the Korean Peninsula and in Gaza are once again on the rise. Month by month, and week by week the middle east spins more out of control. Iran continues unwavering on it’s march in the development of nuclear weapons and Assad the dictator of Syria is still in power. Current intelligence seems uncertain of when Iran will get the bomb and Israel cannot afford to gamble with this. Assad of Syria looks like he may be willing to use weapons of mass destruction against his own people and against near by nations as well. If this situation does not drastically change soon for the better, I believe the war in Isaiah Chapter 17 will likely take place. Damascus Syria would be destroyed. The worlds economy would likely collapse as a result and could usher in a one world government movement. I wrote a small 6 page book that outlines what I believe the Bible states will take place soon as well as the potential trends I see at this time. I don’t accept donations and it’s free. It’s a short read. I encourage you to have a look: http://www.booksie.com/religion_and_spirituality/book/richard_b_barnes/after-the-rapture-whats-next.

  8. Yehuda Cohen says:

    We have a securlar non Torah following PM that frees Arab murderers of Israeli school children and we have a national Jewish Press media that supports Isalm which wants to take over the world; so, the standards/signals have been sent world wide that other countries will do the same. Hashem has set Israel and the light unto the world for setting moral standards; so, if we in Israel don't it, who will?

  9. Charlie Hall says:

    FWIW, Jordan has never recognized Israeli sovereignty over East Jerusalem. In fact, no country in the world does.

  10. Charlie Hall says:

    Have you read the Torah? "Ever HaYardein" — across the Jordan — is not part of the biblical land of Israel; two tribes were severely criticized for wanting to settle there and the rabbis concluded that is why they were the first to be exiled by the Assyrians.

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