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August 24, 2016 / 20 Av, 5776

Posts Tagged ‘Jordan’

Car Bomb in Jordan Kills 6

Tuesday, June 21st, 2016

A car bomb exploded along the Jordanian-Syrian border on Tuesday morning, according to a Reuters report.

Six Jordanian guards were killed and 14 more were injured in the attack that was a few hundred meters from a refugee camp for Syrian refugees.

The attack comes on the heels of the attack against a Jordanian intelligence office in Amman, which killed 5 people.

The King of Jordan how vowed to hit back at the terrorists.

Jewish Press News Briefs

Jordan: Myths Vs. Shocking Facts

Monday, June 20th, 2016

Many Western and Israeli journalists paint a rosy picture of a Jordan’s “peaceful regime” and “stable throne.” As you will see in the next few lines, those descriptions are very far from the truth.

Even worse, some journalists, do claim “authority” on Jordan’s politics despite failing to do the proper groundwork and research, assuming that spending a week in a five-star hotel in Jordan entitles them to judge the status quo. Some claim authority about Jordan just because they can read Arabic and then translate Jordan’s official state media stories as “exclusive analysis” of their own.

Such practice of deliberate misinformation should worry every American and Israeli, as it does end up feeding wrongful information to the public opinion and eventually influencing decision makers into taking the wrong actions. Therefore, those either uninformed, ignorant or simply sell-out journalists do threaten American, Israeli and Jordanians’ interests.

Here, you will see the pure naked truth presented against the myths that some media people keep misinforming the public with, at best, out of ignorance or, at worst, spreading lies on purpose..

Myth: Israel sees Jordan’s regime as stable and depends on it for security

Fact: A recent Israeli intelligence leak shows that Mossad leadership believes the king and his regime are on their last legs and as such, he will never be able to pass the throne to his heirs. This is one possible reason why Israel is building a $1 billion mega wall across Jordan’s borders. [1]

Myth: Jordan is friendly with all of its neighbors, making it a stable country

Fact: Despite alleged peace with neighbors, Jordan’s king has clearly aligned himself with Syria’s Assad. Why? The King fears that Assad’s fall could bring his own. As a result of his belief, he is close to Assad’s supporter:  Iran. He has also been provoking, antagonizing and disturbing Saudi Arabia and Israel. The King’s official media is in the process of inciting not just a war of words against the countries, but anti-Semitic programs (including the stab-a-Jew go to heaven program).  In fact, an official Israeli statement recently described Jordan as a “major contributor to the unrest in Jerusalem”, through both: incitement and action. [2]

Myth: Jordan has survived the Arab Spring

Fact: Jordan has been in a total chaos and unrest since 2012. As a result, both the US and UK embassies in Amman have elevated their security warnings for travel in Jordan. Additionally, gun battles are happening in the capital Amman and the south, including Petra tourist area – daily. Gunfire is regularly exchanged between the king’s forces and the angry locals many of whom are simply looking for work or food for their families. With that in mind, anti-regime protests have become regular; and although not massive, they still mimic Egypt’s anti-Mubarak protests that proceeded the 2011 revolution, and extended between 2006 and end of 2010. Which means, those could escalate into a full-scale revolution sooner or later. [3] [4]

Myth: The king is revered, loved and respected by his subjects

Fact: The king, who has placed himself above the Constitution and all Jordanian law, is despised by his subjects, controls them with an iron fist and when they oppose him, they are often thrown in jail. They dub him “Ali Baba” which is equivalent to thief. Jordanians of all backgrounds exhibit sincere hatred for him over social media risking server punishment, which shows the actual level of dismay with the king and the royal family is much greater beneath the surface. Hatred for the king comes from all background, “East Bankers” do even exhibit much more vocal hatred -to the Hashemite family- than other Jordanians. In other words, the claim that “East Banker tribes support the Hashemites” is not only outdated, but also laughable.

Myth: The king of Jordan, lives in Jordan. If he ever leaves Jordan there would be chaos.

Fact: The king of Jordan spends more time out of the country than he does in it. In fact, he has been nominated for a Guinness Book of World Records, Record – as the Monarch holding office the longest in a country that doesn’t live in. Even his office is proud he spent 25% of the year abroad in 2015 alone.  This figure does not mention his “undisclosed personal travel”. After careful analysis, with all this time out of the country, one has to wonder how relevant the king of Jordan is to Jordan’s security, not to mention stability.

Myth: The king of Jordan controls the army and intelligence services and therefore he’s an asset to the USA

Fact: Jordan’s king has lost his grip on the army and intelligence. Since the 2012 “November Revolution’, those organizations have become independent and now coordinate directly with the US, UK and Israel. Because of this, the king is irrelevant to Jordan’s security. [5]

Myth: Jordan’s king is fighting ISIL, therefore, he is essential to US interest

Fact: Jordan’s contribution in the war on ISIS has been limited to six F16s and for only three months in 2015, after that UAE’s F16s began bombing from Jordan. Further, recent reports show Toyota trucks captured from ISIL were originally sold to Jordan’s government.  CNN Arabic reported Jordan is one of ISIL’s top oil buyers, and 4,500 Jordanians have managed to cross the borders to join ISIL under the king’s nose. Further, the king harbors and embraces the Muslim Brotherhood, ISIL’s ideological mother foundation. [6]

Myth: The king has outlawed the Muslim Brotherhood (MB); they are his enemies.

Fact: Jordan’s king has been in full cooperation with the MB. Historically, the MB stood up against the November 2012 revolution, crushing it while publically saying: “We won’t allow the king to fall”. The king’s Minister of Political Reform has said on TV: “The MB is a part of the regime”. The king refused Saudi’s, Egypt’s and UAE’s demands to shut down the MB.  Although supposedly vigorously fighting the MB, the king publically licensed 2 new MB organizations in the last few weeks. Despite the king’s claims, MB still operates their TV station, daily paper and a $3 billion trust fund. Further, the king is allowing the MB to patriciate in the upcoming parliamentary elections. [7]

Myth: The king could be a part of the solution to the Palestinian’s cause by taking over the West Bank

Fact: The Palestinians have historically hated the king and his ancestors. Why? Because they have lied to them, treat them as outsiders (see above) and are using them as pawns while the king consolidates power and ravages the country for every dime he can. In fact, if one thinks about it, if the king can barely keep control over Jordan, what makes anyone in the world think he can control the West Bank? Make no mistake about it, the King of Jordan cannot (and will not) bring stability to the country and west bank. [8]

Myth: Israel depends on Jordan’s regime for its borders security

Fact: Israel depends on its own military power and puts little confidence on Jordan’s regime protecting its borders, this is why it is now building a huge wall across the borders and why it has deployed the “Lions of Jordan” brigade across the Jordan valley, our Western sources confirm the IDF has a contingency plan that includes deploying troops across the Jordanian borders if necessary. Further, our inside sources confirm; Israeli drones and F16s are in fact protecting Jordan’s Northern skies, close to Syria and also coordinating with the US Central Command to protect Jordan’s borders with Iraq.

Sources:

1-http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/intel-jordans-abdullah-the-last-hashemite-king/2014/12/25/

2- http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/200941#.V2XhtLgrLIU

3-https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OAfX7y8q8UA

4-https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9k9nEdtpCZg

5-http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_opinion.php?id=16289

6-http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/jordans-king-supports-isis-yes-you-did-read-this-right/2016/01/19/

7-http://www.jpost.com/Opinion/Op-Ed-Contributors/Jordans-king-and-the-Islamists-In-one-boat-332767

8-http://new.jpost.com/Opinion/Op-Ed-Contributors/Is-Jordan-the-Hashemite-occupied-Palestine

Mudar Zahran

Israel Bars Two Arabs From Leaving Country over Security Concerns

Thursday, June 16th, 2016

by Jonathan Benedek

Interior Minister Aryeh Deri (Shas) on Thursday signed an order temporarily preventing two Arabs, Mesbah Mesbah Abu Sabih Sabih and Mohammed Yassin Sabah Yassin, from leaving Israel.

Minister Deri released a statement saying he exercised his authority to prevent these individuals’ exit in light of information he received that their departure would pose a threat to national security. The two Palestinians were allegedly planning to incite violence in Jerusalem as well as to meet with terrorists abroad.

Abu Sabih Sabih, a resident of Jerusalem who is a prominent Hamas activist and a leader of the Al-Shabab Al-Aqsa organization that aims to “defend” the Temple Mount from Jews and other non-Muslims, was planning to travel to Jordan.

As to Yasin Sabih, who is suspected of involvement in terrorist activity, Israeli security suspected that he would present a national security threat outside Israel. There was also concern that his departure from the country would be used to promote unrest in Jerusalem, as well as in Judea and Samaria, via the al-Hirak al-Shabab youth movement.

The ban will hold for at least one month and may be extended to as long as six months.

The Tazpit News Agency

President Rivlin: Israel Is Democratic and Jewish and Tribal, and There Are Arabs, Too

Tuesday, June 14th, 2016

The 16th Annual Herzliya conference opened at the President’s Residence in Jerusalem, with a discussion by Israeli senior ministers and political party leaders on the joint initiative “Shared Israeli Hope.” President Reuven Rivlin opened his keynote address saying Israeli society has transitioned from being made up of a clear majority and minorities into a society made up of four main sectors or tribes, which are becoming more and more equal in size: secular, Modern Orthodox, ultra-Orthodox and Arab.

“We must speak the truth; this is not something that we expected,” he said, noting that many had called him a post-Zionist following his previous Herzliya conference address and questioned, “Is anyone who discusses the issues of Israeli identity, post-Zionist?” He explained that Israel was “Four tribes, four competing, different stories, about who we are, and what we want to be.” He noted that “the headline of the conference should have been, ‘Israeli hope: to be or not to be.’” He said that “a year ago there were those that interpreted my words as yet another typical, joyful presidential call… but first and foremost, my words were intended to serve as a call to wake up to the gaps and inadequacies between the reality of Israeli society and the system of Israeli institutions.” Looking ahead he said, “We are obliged to strive for institutional and systematic changes which must be conducted as a national effort… we must recognize that there are material and structural barriers to forming shared rules of the game for the different sectors… The creation of a shared Israeli identity and a shared Israeli hope is a mighty and noble process which will take a generation.”

One of the main engines for change Rivlin discussed was that of academia and employment. “Academia and the Israeli labor market will become an engine of real change, only when academic institutions and employers view the establishment of the Israeli dream – for a young man from Ofakim, a young woman from Bnei Brak, a young man from Jatt and a young woman from Binyamin – as a national mission of paramount professional and economic interests… Academia and the labor market today cater mainly to two tribes, but there are two more.”

He noted that if Israeli society were willing to embrace the necessary changes, the State of Israel would serve as a model for others, “A Jewish and democratic state; democratic and Jewish is one in the same.”

Following the president’s keynote address, senior ministers and political party leaders were given the opportunity to respond.

MK Naftali Bennett, Minister of Education and Minister of Diaspora Affairs, and Chairman of Habayit Hayehudi party, began his address by taking the audience on a journey to 3,000 years in the past: “We are in a sovereign state. A Jewish State under the rule of King David with great economic and political power.” He traced Jewish history through the periods, explaining how Jews in the Diaspora lived in survival mode, “Zionism was based on survival and security.” He noted that now, back in the Jewish homeland, Jews no longer needed to be afraid and could “break into a new creativity without being afraid,” adding that the new generation of Zionism needed to be based on “destiny.” He stressed that Judaism was a religion focused on contending “with the reality of the world and bringing values into it.”

Directing his address to his role as minister of education, Bennett said, “I am the minister of education of all children in Israel… they are all my children and they are equal regardless of their color, religion, politics or anything else. We express this with an intensity unlike anything else in Israel.” He also noted how his office had adjusted budget allocations to ensure that adequate funds were appropriated to areas in need in Robin Hood fashion: “We take from the strong and give to the week… when I took on my position… per capita more funds were invested in wealthier areas.”

MK Aryeh Deri, Minister of the Interior and Minister of Development of the Negev and Galilee, and Chairman of the Shas Party, said, possibly ignoring the entire books of Numbers and Deuteronomy: “It was never the dream that one [nation] should get rid of the other.” He stressed that the Arab citizens “truly want to integrate within us and be a part and parcel with us… We need to show them that we respect their culture, heritage and history… We have no desire to mix cultures but rather to live together in one state” with full equality and egalitarian rights. Also paying an homage to the man from Sherwood Forest, Deri said, “There are steps, even as painful as they may be, where we will take from the big… and give to the smaller ones.” He added that any “discourse of hatred” needed to immediately be stopped. To a round of applause he stated, “In our state it is prohibited that we should accept any racism or discourse of racism.” He should have possibly share this with the minister of Religious Services from his own party, who announced a while back (I paraphrase) that non-Orthodox Jews are not really Jewish.

MK Ayman Odeh, leader of the Joint Arab List, opened his address noting all the ideals and values that he shared with the president: “Bringing the various populations closer to one another. Advancing the general welfare of all citizens. Building shared citizenship.” But he added that there are “important things that we cannot ignore… The basic thing that guides me in politics is my deep internal conviction that the guiding interests of both people are equal. Everyone wants the blessing of life.”

He emphasized the principles of nationalism: “What does it mean to be a citizen? What does it mean to be a national? We want complete equality on the national level and the civil social level.” He said that it was impossible to only talk about the economy and citizenship without nationalism. He also noted how he was always steered to discuss the future rather than the past: “We have a deep pain. In the heart of every Arab. The injustices of the past. And it hurts me so much when I hear narratives of 3,000, 4,000 years and I am told not to talk about the narratives of 60 years but to look into the future.”

By that narrative, MK Odeh referred to the fact that the Arabs of Mandatory Palestine had a chance to receive two thirds of the land if only they accepted that the Jews could have one third — and they refused. They wanted instead to murder all the Jews of the land with the help of the armies of Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon. They failed and have yet to recover from the shame and disappointment of that terrible failure.

Odeh focused specific attention on the subjects of unrecognized villages and said that it would not hurt anyone for the state to “state recognizes the terrible massacre of Kafir Qasim and the massive injustices and confiscation of land.” He stated that his party’s stance was two states for two people, side by side with complete equality for both but “crimes occurred and we have to talk about that… There are citizens of the State of Israel who are not allowed to return to their land… Will it harm one Jewish person…. If people of Mahalul are returned to Mahalul… To build 80 villages… Will it harm one Jewish person?… We need to talk about civil and national rights for Arabs in Israel and it doesn’t have to harm anyone. The opposite. That is what will heal these two people.”

Naturally, when MK Odeh speaks of two states, he really means four states: three purely Arab — Jordan, the PA and Gaza, and one 20% Arab — Israel.

MK Zahava Galon, Chairman of Meretz, said that the “elephant in the room” was that the Arabs do not have their own state and we are “50 years into the occupation of the territories.” She said that no discussion could take place regarding the demographic question without talking about occupying this nation and controlling their lives.

Taking on the judicial perspective of “Shared Israeli Hope,” Chief Justice Miriam Naor, president of the Supreme Court, noted that “Our image as a democratic society requires a balance between the individual and society.” She said that the legal system plays a role in advancing Israeli partnerships and creating boundaries. “Discrimination undermines social solidarity. The courts are responsible for eradicating discrimination.”

Which is why they are appointing their own judges, evading the control of the legislator on judicial selections — because as soon as you let the people make their own decisions they’re bound to start discriminating.

David Israel

Reports Show 1 Million Gap Between Estimates on Number of ‘Palestinians’

Wednesday, June 8th, 2016

The Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee’s Subcommittee on Civil Affairs and Security in Judea and Samaria on Tuesday took a stab at figuring out just how many Arabs live in eastern Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria, where in the latter two no one has taken a scientific census in ages, and the numbers appear to be skewed according to the political leanings of the different sources.

Lies, Damned Lies, and PA Census Data

The CIA World Factbook, updated July 2015, estimates there are 2,785,366 “Palestinians” living in those three areas, a.k.a. the “West Bank.” The Knesset subcommittee’s discussion suggested this figure is more than a little inflated.

Subcommittee Chairman MK Mordhay Yogev (Habayit Hayehudi) opened the debate saying “this is our second discussion of this issue, and we’d like to focus on data regarding Area C which is our responsibility. When I served as Ephraim Brigade Commander, over a period of one year, we executed an accurate count of all the residents in the sector, including Tulkarm and Qalqilya. The State of Israel possesses the needed means to find out, and the State of Israel must find out what is the number of residents for whom it is responsible, and about whom it would have to reach future decisions.”

Head of the Operations Directorate of the Civil Administration Lt. Col. Eyal Zeevi began his part by stressing that the civil administration does not engage in demographic studies, and that the responsibility for that in all of Judea and Samaria belongs to the Palestinian Authority, according to the 1995 interim agreement between Israel and the PA. In that context Zeevi explained that the PA demographic data does not offer specific Area C-related figures. However, Avi Gur-Ari, Population Administration officer in the Civil Administration clarified that he does maintain reliable testing of the data received from the PA.

This came as a surprise to the chairman, who requested that the entire PA census, including the data for Area C, be given to his subcommittee, noting that since the data includes the names of individual communities it should be feasible to discern those communities that are included in Area C.

Zeevi said it wasn’t as simple as that, because some of the Arab villages are split between Area C and neighboring, PA-governed Areas A and B. Other villages border the Jerusalem municipality. “With all due respect for the chairman, I don’t think it can be done in the suggested schedule. To do this professionally would require time and resources, which the political echelon has not yet decided to allocate.”

Once in the Roll, Always on the Roll

Zeevi shared some of the most common problems with the Palestinian Authority census: for one thing, a resident who leaves the PA remains listed as a resident; and these residents are able to visit, register their children and return abroad. Zeevi estimates that as many as 15,000 residents are added to the PA census this way annually.

“The immigration data presented today is partial and pertains only to the Allenby bridge border crossing into Jordan,” Zeevi added, estimating that “over the past 15 years more than 175 thousand have left through the crossing and never returned.”

According to Zeevi, the registered Arab population who carry Palestinian ID cards in Judea and Samaria, not including eastern Jerusalem, is 2.63 million. He believes that with the current growth rate coefficient in 2020 there will be 3.28 million and by 2030 there will be more than 4 million Arabs in all of Judea and Samaria.

According to Avi Lekach from the Population and Immigration Authority, in eastern Jerusalem there are at least 300 thousand Arab residents. David Koren, a consultant to the Jerusalem Mayor, noted that while there are 316 thousand registered Arab residents in Jerusalem, there may be as many as 60 thousand Arabs from the PA who are seeking residency in Jerusalem as part of family reunions.

Italian-born Israeli demographer and statistician Prof. Sergio Della Pergola told the subcommittee that he believes there are some 2.4 Arab residents in Judea and Samaria today, and that the Jewish majority in all of Eretz Israel is only about 52% — which includes people who identify as Jewish but halakhically are not. In his opinion, the halakhically Jewish majority is long gone.

But former Ambassador Yoram Ettinger cited his own research which found that the birthrate balance has switched and that today’s Jewish birthrate is higher than the Arab. Ettinger also said that his research showed that by the end of 2015 there were only 1.75 million Arabs in Judea and Samaria.

Analyzing PA Eligible Voter Data Implies Even Lower Numbers

Back in 2013, Middle East analyst Dr. Guy Bechor cited the number of eligible PA voters in the 2012 local elections — 515 thousand — setting it as the number of adults 18 and older. If we add to it an identical number of people ages 0-18, we’ll get a little more than one million. Add the maximum figure of eastern Jerusalem Arabs and you’ll get a generous estimate of only 1.4 million Arabs. The number of Jews, incidentally, is comprised of 385 thousand in Judea and Samaria and 300 thousand in eastern Jerusalem, or close to 700 thousand in total.

MK Hilik Bar (Zionist Camp-Labor) said it was shameful that Israel does not know how many Arabs actually live in Area C. “We know how many Syrian tanks there are, but not how many civilians are living under our care,” he said, suggesting that whether Area C becomes part of Israel or is handed over to the PA, “we should know how many potential Arab citizens we’ll have in the state.”

JNi.Media

Palestinians and Jordan: Will a Confederation Work?

Wednesday, June 8th, 2016

{Originally posted to the Gatestone Institute website}

Talk about a confederation between the Palestinians and Jordan has once again resurfaced, this time after a series of unofficial meetings in Amman and the West Bank in the past few weeks. Jordan, fearing that such confederation would end up with the Hashemite kingdom transformed into a Palestinian state, is not currently keen on the idea.

Many Palestinians have also expressed reservations about the idea. They argue that a confederation could harm their effort to establish an independent Palestinian state in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip.

The confederation talk returned during a recent high-profile visit to the West Bank by former Jordanian Prime Minister Abdel Salam Majali. During a meeting with representatives of large Palestinian clans in Nablus, Majali voiced his support for the confederation idea, saying it was the “best solution for both Palestinians and Jordanians.”

The former Jordanian prime minister told some 100 Palestinians who gathered to greet him in Nablus, the largest Palestinian city in the West Bank: “Jordan cannot live without Palestine and Palestine cannot live without Jordan.” Stressing that such a confederation should be created after the establishment of an independent Palestinian state, Majali said that the confederation would mean that Palestinians and Jordanians would have a joint government and parliament.

In a rare moment of truth, Majali admitted that the Palestinians were not “fully qualified to assume their responsibilities, especially in the financial field, in wake of the failure of the Arab countries to support them.” So Majali is basically telling the Palestinians: “You can’t rely on your Arab brothers to help you build a state. Jordan is the only Arab country that cares about you.”

Some Jordanians said this week that Majali was speaking only on his behalf and that his views did not represent those of Jordan’s King Abdullah or the government. They pointed out that the last time Majali met with the monarch was four months ago, when King Abdullah visited him in the hospital where Majali was being treated.

Still, it is hard to believe that such a senior figure as Majali would have advocated the confederation plan without having first received some kind of green light from the royal palace in Amman.

Let us remember that Jordan has a history on this issue. In 1988, the late King Hussein “divorced” the West Bank, announcing that the kingdom was cutting its administrative and legal ties to the territory that had been under its control until 1967. Of course, the king had good reason to renounce any claim to the West Bank: the First Intifada had just begun and the Palestinians in the West Bank were considered “troublemakers” that he did not need in his Palestinian-majority kingdom.

Thus we see why many Jordanians remain opposed to the confederation idea. A study published in 2014 shows that the Jordanian public was against the idea.

According to the study, the Jordanian public is totally opposed to the idea, even after the establishment of an independent Palestinian state in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem. The Jordanians fear, among other things, that the confederation would lead to the “dilution” of the Jordanian identity, create instability and undermine security in the kingdom.

Jordanian columnist and political analyst Fahd Khitan echoed this fear by declaring that the confederation idea “means suicide for the Hashemite kingdom.” Noting that many Palestinians were also opposed to the idea, even after the establishment of an independent Palestinian state, Khitan said that mutual confidence between the Palestinians and Jordanians has deteriorated, particularly in wake of the recent controversy over the installment of security cameras at the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.

Under a U.S.-brokered plan, the Jordanian government was supposed to install the cameras at the holy site as a way of easing tensions between Palestinians and Israel. The controversy had erupted over Jewish visits to the Temple Mount. However, the Jordanians were forced a few weeks ago to abandon the plan after Palestinian opposition and threats. The Palestinians claimed that Israel would use the cameras to arrest Palestinians who are stationed at the Temple Mount with the mission of harassing Jewish visitors.

“The Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip are not just residents who can be incorporated into this or that country,” Khitan explained in his rejection of the confederation idea. “The Palestinians are a people who have their own land and Jordan is a country that is now celebrating its 70th anniversary.” So this Jordanian analyst is telling the Palestinians: “We love you and you are wonderful people, but we prefer that you stay away from us.”

While most Jordanians seem to be strongly opposed to the idea of adding another three or four million Palestinians to the kingdom’s population, Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip appear to be divided over the idea.

The Palestinian Authority (PA) leadership, which by all accounts has failed to lead its people towards statehood because of its incompetence and corruption, has yet to spell out its position regarding the proposed confederation with Jordan.

There are, however, signs that a growing number of Palestinians are beginning to entertain the idea of being part of Jordan. A recent public opinion poll published by An-Najah University in Nablus found that 42% of Palestinians favor the confederation idea. The poll also found that 59% of Palestinians do not believe that a Palestinian state would be established within the pre-1967 lines.

This means that a majority of Palestinians have lost confidence in their leaders’ ability to achieve an independent Palestinian state. One of the main reasons is the ongoing power struggle between the PA and Hamas. It is a conflict that has divided the Palestinians into two separate cultural as well as geographic entities, in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The reality on the ground is that the two-state solution has already been fulfilled: in the end, the Palestinians got two mini-states of their own — one governed by the Palestinian Authority and the second by Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

Another sign of growing Palestinian support for the idea can be found in the Hebron area, where leaders of large clans have also begun campaigning for the implementation of a confederation with Jordan. It is estimated that nearly one million Hebronites live in Jordan and the West Bank, and this statistic is also driving support for the idea.

In recent weeks, several Hebron clan leaders visited Jordan as part of an effort to muster popular support for the confederation idea. A prominent member of the Jordanian parliament, Dr. Mohammed al-Dawaymeh, lately visited Hebron, where he met with the heads of the city’s large clans to promote the idea. Again, it is unlikely that the member of parliament was acting without the backing of King Abdullah or the Jordanian government. But his visit to the West Bank, like that of Majali before him, has sparked a new wave of speculation among Palestinians that something is being “cooked up” to enable the confederation plan to take place.

What is notable is that the confederation idea seems to be gaining support among Palestinian clans in a society that is largely a tribal one. Both Hebron and Nablus consist of large clans, and it makes sense that the two senior Jordanian figures chose to concentrate their efforts there. If you manage to convince the clans to support the idea, that approval, they believe, would create pressure on the Palestinian leaders to follow suit.

Also intriguing is that some prominent Palestinians seem to have endorsed the confederation idea — again due to their having lost confidence in their leaders’ ability to move forward and bring them a better life.

Two of these Palestinians are Ghassan Shaka’ah, a former mayor of Nablus and a prominent PLO leader in the West Bank, and Professor Sari Nusseibeh, a respected pragmatic academic and former president of Al-Quds University.

The renewed talk about a confederation between the Palestinians and Jordan underscores the Palestinian leadership’s failure to convince many Palestinians of its ability to lead them towards statehood. It is also a sign of the revival of the role of Palestinians clans in the Palestinian political arena. For the past two decades, the power of the clans has been undermined, thanks to the presence of central governments — the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank and Hamas in the Gaza Strip. But the weakness of these two governments has prompted clan leaders to take matters into their hands and renew talk about a confederation with Jordan.

A confederation between the Palestinians and Jordan may seem to be a good idea in the long term. But for now, it is hard to see how Jordanian leader would agree to turn millions of Palestinians into citizens of the kingdom. It is also hard to see Jordanians agreeing to absorb either Hamas or the Palestinian Authority and share power with them. Still, the talk about a confederation between the Palestinians and Jordan shows that under the current circumstances, the two-state solution (a Palestinian state alongside Israel) is no longer being viewed by Palestinians as a realistic solution that will bring their people a better life.

Jordan is not the only Arab country that does not consider the Palestinians trustworthy partners. The Jordanians still have painful memories from the early 1970s, when the PLO and other Palestinian groups tried to establish a state within a state inside the kingdom, and thus threatened Jordan’s security and stability. Today, there is only one solution: maintain the status quo until Palestinian leaders wake up and start working to improve the living conditions of their people and prepare them for peace with Israel.

Khaled Abu Toameh

Jordan Arrests Terror Suspect in ‘Individual and Isolated’ Attack on Intelligence HQ

Tuesday, June 7th, 2016

A suspected terrorist has been arrested by Jordanian authorities following Monday’s attack on the nation’s secret police headquarters in northern suburb of Amman.

Three intelligence officers, a secretary and a guard were murdered early Monday morning at the site, located in Baqa’a, home to 100,000 people. Baqa’a is located 21 kilometers (13 miles) north of Amman.

According to Jordanian government spokesperson Mohammad al-Momani, initial investigation reports indicate the murders were an “individual and isolated act.” Momani offered no further details.

The population of Baqa’a, often referred to as a “refugee camp” is comprised mostly of Arabs who fled Israel during the 1948 War of Independence and their generations of descendants, all of whom have to this day insisted on continuing to register with the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) as “refugees” – nearly 70 years later.

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/jordan-arrests-terror-suspect-in-individual-and-isolated-attack-on-intelligence-hq/2016/06/07/

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