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October 25, 2014 / 1 Heshvan, 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘Mudar Zahran’

Opinion: Jordan Should Welcome Palestinian Refugees

Thursday, August 29th, 2013

Speaking at the Two States for Two Peoples on Two Sides of the Jordan Conference, Mudar Zahran, a Jordanian-Palestinian pro-democracy activist, proclaimed, “When we talk about the situation, we must go back to the Ottoman occupation.” He explained that the Faisal-Wiesel Agreement of 1919 designated 77 percent of historic Palestine  to the Arabs, and that the remainder  was to become a Jewish state. He explained that by depriving Palestinians of their basic citizenship rights in Jordan, the current Hashemite Kingdom is denying the nation’s very raison d’être, which is to be a state that respects the democratic rights of all its citizens, including the country’s Palestinian majority.

“There was an agreement with the Hashemite to make Jordan the homeland of the Arabs. The Hashemites didn’t keep the promise,” Zahran proclaimed. “After 46 years, we are refugees.” Zahran said that most of the Palestinians living in Judea and Samaria have Jordanian passports, yet are prevented from exercising citizenship rights in Jordan. He noted that it is very difficult for Palestinians living in Jordan to do basic things, such as register the births of their children and get a driver’s license, explaining, “Hamas members have more rights in Israel than I have in my country.”

Zahran stated that if Jordan respects the human rights of its Palestinian citizens and offers Palestinians living across the world Jordanian citizenship, the Palestinian refugee crisis could be solved and a two-state solution that doesn’t jeopardize Israeli security could come into fruition. Israel could hold onto all of the Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria as well as Jerusalem, while stateless Palestinians across the globe could make their home in Jordan. He views the Arab Spring as a catalyst for genuine peace between Israel and the Arab world.

Zahran stated that the Palestinian community in Jordan isn’t extreme and should they succeed in their revolution, they want to focus their emphasis not on building a strong army to destroy Israel, but on eradicating poverty. “We realize that we tried to destroy Israel twice and failed both times,” he said.

Zahran doesn’t believe the prospects for peace will be good if Israel continues to negotiate with the Palestinian Authority, which will “only bring about more violence.”  Zahran asserted that the Palestinian Authority is unstable and that once the elderly PA leader Mahmoud Abbas steps down he will have no replacement. Zahran expressed that Israel should be looking for alternative solutions to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and claimed that Jordan’s Hashemite dynasty is rapidly declining, with the Jordanian king himself predicting his own fall from power within the year. Without the Hashemite dynasty as a “buffer zone” between Israel and the pro-Iranian axis, Israel will clearly need a plan b.

Zahran stated that the Muslim Brotherhood is not popular in Jordan but has excellent media access and financial support. Zahran emphasized that it will be very difficult for the popular secular community in Jordan to win democratic elections without support from “all of those who care about peace in the Middle East.” If secular factions are succesful, Zahran envisions a Jordanian state for all its citizens that will solve the Palestinian refugee crisis and seek peace with Israel.

Currently, Zahran is more concerned that without the West’s support for secular freedom and democracy, Jordan will become “Hamas-stine” rather than Palestine. Furthermore, Zahran added that he could not help but admire the freedom and technological advancement in Israel, stating that someday he hoped his country would become like Israel.

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EU Boycott Will Harm Palestinians

Wednesday, July 24th, 2013

More than one Palestinian has spoken out against the latest EU boycott against Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria, claiming that it harms Palestinian interests. A senior level Palestinian Authority official who preferred to remain anonymous told Israel Hayom, “It’s not just Israeli companies that are going to be hit economically; it’s also going to be disastrous economically and socially for the Palestinian community.” The official added that the EU move will freeze joint projects between the two communities and force Israelis to stop hiring Palestinians.

Approximately 22,500 Palestinians are employed by Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria supporting not only themselves, but also countless members of their extended families. As it stands, unemployment for Palestinians in Judea and Samaria is around 20 percent, according to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics. Should demand for products from Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria decrease due to EU labeling, the unemployment rate among Palestinians is expected to rise. Observers say this will affect young Palestinians under the age of 26 most intensely, who are permitted to work in Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria yet are denied work visas to Israel proper due to security considerations.

Map of Israel

Some Palestinians believe that adversely affecting the Palestinian standard of living will undermine the peace process, which was recently reignited by US Secretary of State John Kerry. Palestinians working in Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria reportedly earn NIS 164 per day, a salary 88.8 percent higher than the average daily wage throughout the rest of Judea and Samaria, enabling countless Palestinians to enjoy a better standard of living.

The EU policy is expected to “affect everyone, whether Jew or Palestinian,”  Sammer Darawsha, who works as part of a joint Israeli-Palestinian agricultural project located near a Jewish community in Judea and Samaria, told Israel Hayom. “If they take away our livelihoods and food, exactly what kind of peace will be here?”

The Palestinian income from working in Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria makes up a critical part of the Palestinian economy, comprising nearly 9 percent of the total PA budget, amounting to $3.1 billion. Additionally, Palestinians working in Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria are exposed to Israeli technologies and meet Israeli citizens, fostering the type of friendships that many observers say are needed to build a peaceful future between these two peoples.

Mudar Zahran

For these reasons, Mudar Zahran, a prominent Palestinian pro-peace and pro-democracy activist from Jordan, is also staunchly against the new EU boycott against Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria.  “The EU is not helping the Palestinians or peace in the region when it chooses to boycott settlement products or any Israeli products,” says Zahran. He notes, “Little did they know that the only people making the most of the economic growth of those settlements are the Palestinians themselves.”

“The majority of the workers at those settlements are Palestinians making European pay standards just a bus ride away from their villages,” Zahran added. Zahran recommends that the EU ”consider a different approach to trying to achieve peace in the Middle Easter other than utilizing flawed outdated concepts.”

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Palestinian Journalist Blames Hamas for Problems In Gaza

Sunday, June 30th, 2013

Palestinian journalist Mudar Zahran claims the Hamas government in Gaza is corrupt, abuses its people and is to blame when Israel is forced to air-strike terrorist targets.

Mudar Zahran, a Jordanian Palestinian political activist and writer who calls for peace with Israel, has emphasized that he believes Hamas is responsible for all qassam rockets fired into Israeli territory, even when the Palestinian Islamic Jihad or another group is the one taking responsibility. While noting that there are disagreements between the Palestinian Islamic Jihad and Hamas, especially in the wake of the present crisis in Syria, Zahran still believes that Hamas permits the Palestinian Islamic Jihad to wage attacks against Israel from Gazan territory for it is in their interest to do so.

“Having a confrontation between Gaza and Israel is good business for Hamas, who makes a lot of money off of the deprivation of average people in Gaza. Hamas is to blame for every thing that happens in Gaza. They don’t care for the blood and humanity of their people,” Zahran claims. “Hamas is creating a situation where scarcity and poverty help make people submit. This is nightmarish. The only job Gazans can have is joining Hamas.”

800px-Yasin_Rantisi_Hamas_Wahlkampf

Yet at the same time, Zahran has emphasized that due to the rise of President Morsi in Egypt and the international political situation, it is better for Hamas if the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and not them, gets the credit for initiating the violence. According to Zahran, “Hamas is not about Islam any more but business and investment. It is a true dictatorship. It is willing to sell its own Islamist values for the sake of money if the right price is offered.”

He continued, “People should realize that Hamas has changed. Hamas now wants interest, whenever they can find it. They will give in for whoever they are getting money. Hamas leaders now have a lot to lose if they are killed or attacked. They have houses, German cars, millions of dollars.” For this reason, Hamas gives the Palestinian Islamic Jihad the green light to operate against Israel, while refraining from taking actions on their own, so all Israeli retaliations will affect the Palestinian Islamic Jihad more than them, while the blockade works to distract the Palestinian people from Hamas’ oppression and to consolidate Hamas rule over Gaza.

Mudar Zahran in a conference

Zahran claimed, “I feel even sorrier today for the people in Gaza as Hamas is pulling a publicity stunt with their blood. Ultimately Gazans are paying the ultimate price for Hamas arrogance, ignorance and stupidity.” He continued, “Every year, Israelis should expect a couple of occasions where Hamas attacks, which shows how little value Hamas has for its own people when Israel counter-attacks. Even if I was an Islamist or pro-Hamas, it would be very stupid to send a rocket that rarely causes damage to receive F-16’s in return. They hide in the bunker and let their own people suffer.”

Zahran concluded, “The world should do something to counter Hamas as it is just like al Qaeda, willing to butcher its own people. I cry for anyone hurt from my people but I take the blame on Hamas and Hamas only.” Zahran believes there is no military solution to the Gazan problem. He suggests empowering moderates in Gaza to overthrow Hamas by getting an outside entity to provide Gazans with jobs and the economic means to throw off the yoke of Hamas. He believes that should this happen, Hamas could be overthrown within a few years.

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

Friday, April 12th, 2013

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.”

Mudar Zahran: King Abdullah Will Be Toppled in 2013

Sunday, June 24th, 2012

Palestinian intellectual Mudar Zahran is a hated man, both in Jordan and in the Hamas and PA governed territories. If you go looking for his picture online, you’ll find almost exclusively grotesque, Photoshopped vulgar depictions of him in all kinds of insulting positions. He strikes a nerve in the Palestinian body politic, as well as in the Hashamite palace. And yet, in conversation, he sounds both lucid and patriotic. He just refuses to cater to anyone’s delusions, be it Arab or Jew.

Blogger Lior Pasternak has just published an interview with Zahran, parts of which I bring here, because on a day when the Muslim Brotherhood has been declared winner of the Egyptian presidential race, I think it’s crucial to seek out sane, honest Arab voices, to balance out the lies we hear from both Israeli and other leaders on the chances for Jewish-Arab peace in the region.

Zahran stated the most important part of his interview at the end, when he predicted that by the end of the year 2013, God willing, King Abdullah, whom he calls “the only non-Palestinian in Jordan,” will be toppled, and at long last the Palestinians will be free to conduct their lives in a democratic manner in their own country.

Yes, if you’ve been following Zahran on this website, you’re not surprised. He is one of the few sane Arab voices who seek to live alongside a democratic Israel in a democratic Palestinian state east of the Jordan River.

Pasternak phoned Zahran in London, where he has sought shelter from death threats he received in Jordan. His first question touched on the two-state solution, or the “Saudi Plan.”

Zahran said: “I would like to say that the two-state solution being advocated for seven decades by now is obviously not going to work. If it was going to work it would have a long time ago. To conclude, I don’t see a future Palestinian state on any part of Judea and Samaria or even Gaza.”

Zahran thanked the Saudis for their concern for the welfare of the Palestinians, but notes that the fact that 10 years have passed since the initial Saudi plan with nothing to show for it speaks for itself.

“It’s very unlikely that all Arab countries will recognize Israel,” Zahran added. “Because all Arab countries need an enemy to focus their people’s anger at and in this case it’s Israel. So if you take away Israel as their scapegoat, who else will they blame?”

Pasternak then asked what alternative solution was there to the two-state solution.

Zahran asked his interviewer to contemplate the possibility that the King of Jordan falls prey to the Arab Spring tomorrow, and in an election the majority in Jordan, who are Palestinian, will elect “a Palestinian president and a Palestinian prime minister, a Palestinian state and a Palestinian army and a Palestinian security agency, all in Jordan,” where 92 percent of the population are Palestinian.

If that happens, Zahran said, we will suddenly have three Palestinian states: The Palestinian state of Jordan, the Palestinian state in Judea and Samaria, and the Palestinian state ion Gaza.

“It took the Jews 3000 years to establish a state, now the Palestinians will be able to establish three states in 70 years,” he said dryly. “That’s a record.”

Zahran contends that the Palestinian state in Jordan will be better functioning, more desirable and more acceptable than the Palestinian entity “which isn’t even an authority, in Judea and Samaria.”

He said he supports his people, but he does not see a future for the Palestinian Authority west of the Jordan River.

It’s hard to find other Arab voices which even take Zahran seriously, much less support his position. But the fact that in a conflict that often appears as if all the statements being made have been conceived years ago and are just being repeated expertly by ever newer actors – his emergence is nothing short of a miracle.

And we shouldn’t scoff at those.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/mudar-zahran-king-abdullah-will-be-toppled-in-2013/2012/06/24/

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