Photo Credit: Yaakov Saar, GPO
King Hussein of Jordan lights P.M.Yitzhak Rabin's cigarette at royal residence in Akaba

Celebrating three years of attacks on Israel’s economy, Jordan’s Boycott, Investments, and Sanctions (BDS Jordan) movement has announced that 11 Jordanian companies have cut ties with British security company G4S, which they accuse of providing equipment and services to Israeli prisons which allegedly use torture, Jordan Times reported Tuesday.

BDS Jordan started in 2014, when 10 Jordanian women came together to “reactivate the boycott weapon,” according to Jumana Ismail, Jordan BDS core member. The group now controls 103 organizations and institutions supporting the movement, Ismail said, adding: “BDS is an influential movement. It performs a sustainable and consistent work.”

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In 1994, the governments of Jordan and Israel signed a historic peace treaty. The treaty normalized relations between the two countries and resolved territorial disputes, such as water sharing. Since then, it is safe to say that the Jordanian BDS activists probably owe their lives to Israel’s good will in allowing Jordan to draw 20 million cubic meters a year from Lake Kinneret. Israel also helps Jordan produce additional drinking water using Israel’s desalination technology.

In 1996, Israel assisted in establishing a modern medical center in Amman. So that if the BDS activists get smacked around by state police, they can go there for emergency treatment.

As a result of the treaty with Israel, Qualified Industrial Zones were developed in Jordan, where companies that use a percentage of Israeli inputs can export duty-free to the United States. As of 2010, the zones have generated 36,000 jobs, and have become the strongest engine for Jordan’s economic growth. providing jobs for thousands of Jordanians – who use their free time to join BDS organizations.

In 2013, Israel facilitated Jordanian trade with Iraq and Turkey by allowing goods to be transported by truck via the Jordan River Crossing near Beit She’an. The goods are taken to Haifa Port and shipped from there to Iraq and Turkey, saving a fortune which Jordan would have had to pay to rout its good through the Red Sea.

In 2014, Israeli and Jordanian officials signed an initial agreement for a 15-year deal in which Israel will supply $500 million worth of gas to Jordan at favorable rates from the Tamar natural gas field in the Mediterranean.

Ismail told the Jordan Times her movement ha launched teams working in media, merchandise, and investments against Jordan’s gas deal with Israel. The anti-gas deal team has organized the “city-wide blackout” campaign, during which citizens and activists switched off the lights for an hour one day a week to raise awareness on the dangers of signing the gas deal with Israel.

Ismail said more than 8,000 households took part in the campaign across Jordan to express their rejection of the gas deal and trade with Israel.

The BDS movement has urged three of the biggest supermarkets in Amman to reject all the Israeli-imported products and to list the source of the merchandise they sell, Ismail said.

Then there’s the Jordan BDS summer camp, organized annually for activists ages 13 to 18, which seeks to “spread awareness on Israel’s apartheid and the role of citizens in fighting occupation.”

Jordan’s annual gross domestic product is $38.65 billion, for a population of roughly 10 million. Israel’s annual GDP is just under $320 billion, with a population of about 8.5 million. Clearly, Israel can afford to lose a little on its deals with Jordan, because it pays off in the long run, both economically and in the fact that Israel’s long, eastern border is as quiet as it has ever been in the Jewish State’s history. Nevertheless, the Jordanian people’s ingratitude is infuriating.

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