web analytics
July 23, 2014 / 25 Tammuz, 5774
Israel at War: Operation Protective Edge
 
 
At a Glance
News & Views
Sponsored Post
IDC Advocacy Room IDC Fights War on Another Front

Student Union opens ‘hasbara’ room in effort to fill public diplomacy vacuum.



Concern Grows Over Jordan As Possible Next Casualty Of Arab Spring

King Abdullah of Jordan

King Abdullah of Jordan

Bordering Israel, Syria, Iraq and Saudi Arabia, Jordan is sometimes overlooked by the media and policy experts because of its peace treaty with Israel, its alliance with the United States, and its relatively liberal socio-economic system.

Underneath this façade of stability, however, is a country plagued by a number of economic and social issues that threaten to plunge it into the chaos of the “Arab Spring” upheavals.

“If…there is to be a new country in play [in the Arab Spring], it is most likely Jordan,” said Dr. Daniel Pipes, president and founder of the Middle East Forum.

Jordan was established by Great Britain from the original Palestine Mandate. In return for the support of Ali bin Hussein, leader of the Hashemite tribe from the cities of Mecca and Medina, during the British-led Arab Revolt against the Ottoman Empire in World War I, the Brits installed his sons, Abdullah and Faisal, as kings of British-controlled Transjordan (later Jordan) and Iraq.

But when Transjordan was formed in 1922, the country was largely desolate, populated by Bedouin or “East Bank” tribes. With British support, King Abdullah formed a close alliance with those tribes, an alliance that became the foundation of the modern state of Jordan.

According to Professor Asher Susser, a senior fellow at the Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern Studies at Tel Aviv University, it is this history that has given Jordan’s monarchy more ethnic stability and legitimacy than some of its neighbors, like Syria, that have been ravaged by the Arab Spring.

“First of all the country in religious terms has a relatively homogenous population, unlike neighboring countries like Syria, Iraq and Lebanon that are deeply divided on a sectarian basis,” said Susser. And the Jordanian monarchy “has a certain level of legitimacy as descendants from the Prophet Muhammad. Also, the idea of hereditary rule is something that is quite customary in the Middle East. These people have more legitimacy than military or republican regimes.”

Jordan’s Hashemite monarchy has been able to maintain power for nearly a century while governments in Egypt, Iraq and Syria have fallen numerous times. The stability has persisted despite the large influx of Palestinian refugees from various Arab-Israeli wars, including Jordan’s illegal occupation of the West Bank and east Jerusalem between 1948 and 1967.

Since then, the Palestinian situation has festered as a perplexing problem for Jordan’s monarchy. Unlike many neighboring Arab countries, Jordan has granted citizenship and rights to its Palestinian community. But the Palestinians have long been treated as second-class citizens and viewed with suspicion by Jordan’s tribal community, who control many important state institutions, including the military and domestic security forces.

Tensions between Jordan’s native East Bank tribal community and the urban Palestinian community have been exacerbated by economic and political reforms undertaken by King Abdullah over the past decade, as well as the instability of the Arab Spring, which has plunged Syria into chaos and resulted in a flood of Syrian refugees into Jordan.

“[The] East Bank elite relied on the government for jobs and wealth, while the Palestinians have long been disenfranchised from this system,” said Susser. “However, ironically, the Palestinians’ wealth is growing from private sector and the economic reforms. This has caused great resentment from East Bankers, many of whom feel Abdullah lacks the legitimacy of his father King Hussein. He is less trusted among East Bankers.”

The deterioration of support for the monarchy among the traditionally stalwart East Bank tribal community disturbs Pipes as well.

“The problem, from the point of view of the monarchy, is more the tribes than the Palestinians, who simply are not disruptive in the way they were in the past,” Pipes said.

The growing distrust among the East Bank tribes, coupled with an emboldened Islamist Muslim Brotherhood opposition (which draws considerable support from the Palestinian community), presents one of the most difficult challenges facing the monarchy.

Jordan faced widespread protests in November 2012 over cuts to fuel subsidies as part of a loan program from the International Monetary Fund. Many analysts at the time speculated that this would lead to a popular revolt. But after a relatively benign government crackdown (by Middle East standards), the protests quickly dissipated.

The Muslim Brotherhood, meanwhile, boycotted Jordan’s most recent elections and continues to trouble the regime. But Susser pointed out that the Muslim Brotherhood’s initial appeal, which followed the first Arab Spring protests, has declined in Jordan due to the current chaos in Egypt and Syria.

About the Author:


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Concern Grows Over Jordan As Possible Next Casualty Of Arab Spring”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
The new peace partners; Hams leader Khaleed Meshaal (L) and Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas
Khaled Mashaal Rejects Ceasefire and Says Israel Must Disarm for Peace
Latest News Stories
The new peace partners; Hams leader Khaleed Meshaal (L) and Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas

Abbas adopts Hamas as peace partner, big brave Kerry scurries out of Israel despite FAA ban and Mashaal goes off his rocker.

Non-anti-Semitic flag in Auckland, New Zealand

Yet again, non-anti-Semitic ‘pro-Palestinian’ demonstrators can’t quite seem to break free of anti-Semitic jargon.

Tomer Sargon of Netivot heard that IDF soldiers haven’t been able to bath in days, for lack of water and showering facilities out in the field. So he took it upon himself to help, by driving down to the Gaza border with a truck filled with huge water containers, just so the soldiers could have […]

Hundreds of Arabs gathered near Kever Rachel (Rachel’s Tomb in Bethlehem) Wednesday to attack IDF soldiers with stones and firebombs. Riots were also reported in Beit Omar, near Hebron.

Shots were fired outside the Hadar Mall in Talpiot, Jerusalem Wednesday. One individuals opened fire from a moped outside the mall this evening. No injuries or property damage was reported. Police said Wednesday night that a man suspected of having staged the attack was arrested in the Gilo section of south Jerusalem. Police have determined […]

Hamas terrorists fired mortar rounds Wednesday at an IDF field hospital on the Israeli side of the Gaza border, according to a report on Israel Radio. The Israeli army set up the hospital last week to treat Palestinian victims of Hamas’ “human shields” policy, but the report indicated that the terror gang has prevented wounded […]

The Al-Wafa hospital located near Shajuayia in Gaza City was a Hamas military compound.

US extends ban on flights to Israel despite lack of such precaution in similar or worse situations.

Hamas terrorists took over Waffa hospital in Gaza and were using it as a terror base. The IDF communicated with the medical staff to ensure no patients or staff were inside before blowing it up.

Hamas lunched a new massive barrage or rockets and missiles at southern Israel and as far north as Kiryat Malachi, near the southern edge of metropolitan Tel Aviv, shortly after 6 p.m. (11 a.m. EDT) Wednesday. The Iron Dome shot down two rockets aimed at Kiryat Malachi, which has a large industrial area. Sirens also […]

Did El Al intentionally spike prices, or was the sudden jump in air fares the normal function of airline economics?

Military spokesman: We’ve been trying for years to deal with tunnels, with no success.

Chicago 18-year-old to enlist in IDF; New Jersey woman to marry IDF Paratrooper fiance

IDF soldiers are receiving care packages from citizens all over Israel.

More Articles from Sean Savage
Narendra Modi

While traditional Israeli allies in Europe remain in economic stagnation and produce increasingly hostile rhetoric toward the Jewish state, Modi’s election may further elevate Israel’s bond with the world’s largest democracy.

An Israeli soldier wounded by a roadside bomb while patrolling the Golan Heights is brought to a hospital in Haifa. Three other soldiers were wounded in the explosion. Israel retaliated with artillary fire on Syrian army positions.

Despite the massive humanitarian toll and the use of chemical weapons against his own people, over the past year Assad has seen his fortunes improve as Western and Arab countries, unsuccessful in ending the conflict diplomatically, have been unwilling to directly intervene.

Caught between the larger Sunni-Shi’a battles for supremacy in Syria, Christians are forced to contemplate an uncertain future as Western powers debate action against the government of Bashar al-Assad.

The Irish and the Jewish people share a common history of both suffering cruel persecution and achieving national redemption against immeasurable odds. But today Ireland is one of Europe’s fiercest critics of Israel. The Irish government and prominent Irish NGOs frequently condemn Israel for its treatment of Palestinians, and they are pushing a boycott of the Jewish state.

Bordering Israel, Syria, Iraq and Saudi Arabia, Jordan is sometimes overlooked by the media and policy experts because of its peace treaty with Israel, its alliance with the United States, and its relatively liberal socio-economic system.

    Latest Poll

    Israel's Iron Dome Anti-Missile System:





    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/middle-east/jordan/concern-grows-over-jordan-as-possible-next-casualty-of-arab-spring/2013/05/29/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: