Author Topic: Jordan:  (Read 18506 times)

Crafty_Dog

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Crafty_Dog

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Re: Jordan:
« Reply #102 on: December 02, 2019, 02:56:49 PM »
In response to my asking for his assessment of this, an Isreali friend of left-center orientation and serious IDF intel experience comments:

"Relationship between the two countries as at an all time low (since the peace agreement).

"We recently had to give back 2 small areas which were rented to us for a limited time. While agreed upon in the peace agreement, people in Israel were quite angry about this.

"Considering Bibi's legal situation, and the very real thought that he would start a war, any war, to protect his seat, I can see the concern in Jordan. The two plots of land could potentially be used as excuse. It's also important to mention that Bibi did nothing to prevent this, even though he could have negotiated the issue before hand with the king. As always, Bibi creates conflict that he then claims he is the only one who could solve. This just might be a drawer plan for such times.
This is the extreme, yet every possible scenario. The other option is historical. They might have been doing this exercise every year and never bothered to rename it.

"But considering our volatile situation, I would look past my first option.

"In all honesty, things are very complicated around here at the moment, even for very politically aware people like myself. I am afraid to say that the very existence of Israel as a democracy is at stake right now."


Crafty_Dog

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Stratfor: Trump's plan risks pushing Jordan away
« Reply #104 on: January 30, 2020, 07:33:06 AM »
Trump's Pro-Israel Peace Plan Risks Pushing Jordan Away
Ryan Bohl
Ryan Bohl
Middle East and North Africa Analyst, Stratfor
8 MINS READ
Jan 30, 2020 | 11:00 GMT

An image of the Jordanian flag. Jordan's dependence on U.S. aid will constrain its ability to respond to Israeli actions in the West Bank. But it's only a matter of time until Washington's regional strategy forces Jordan to diversify its foreign ties.

(Shutterstock)
HIGHLIGHTS
The U.S. Middle East peace plan has emboldened Israel's nationalist push to expand its control of the West Bank, which includes annexing the Jordan River Valley.
Jordan will take symbolic acts of retaliation against Israeli annexations to appease the kingdom's own growing nationalist demands for an independent Palestinian state. 
Such provocations against Israel will tempt the United States to use its considerable economic and military leverage to force Jordan to support its peace plan.
But in the long term, Jordan's increasingly divergent views on Washington's regional strategy will drive the kingdom to seek out new ties with other nations, such as the United Kingdom and Russia.
By placing Israel's strategic goals first, the United States has placed its other ally Jordan in a tight spot. Washington's newly unveiled Middle East peace plan strongly indicates that the Palestinian state envisioned by many Jordanians will not come to fruition. Fears of backlash at home will compel Jordan to rebuke Israeli annexations in the West Bank. Though in doing so, Jordan will have to tread lightly, given the United States' track record of strong-arming allies to support its foreign policy goals.

With billions of dollars worth of U.S. exports, financial aid and military support on the line, Jordan's actions against Israel will likely remain more symbolic. But even if Jordan is able to evade U.S. retaliation, the new peace plan has made it clear that empowering Israel as much as possible is now one of Washington's major priorities. And this reality will ultimately drive Jordan to follow the footsteps of other U.S. allies, such as Turkey and Qatar, who have begun diversifying their foreign ties to break free of a U.S. regional policy they feel no longer prioritizes their concerns.

The Big Picture
The United States and Jordan are close regional allies, but Washington's unilateralism in regards to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is drawing criticism from Jordan. As Jordan considers its own counters to imminent further Israeli annexations in the West Bank, its most potent response will be to embark on a search for new allies that can help offset the country’s dependence on the United States.

See Rebalancing Power in the Middle East
Nationalist Movements at Odds
As outlined by the two countries' landmark 1994 peace treaty, the Jordan-Israeli relationship is underpinned by a mutual desire to avoid conflict, maintain friendly ties with the United States and build trade ties between one another. But Jordan and Israel's relations have been slowly declining in recent years under the weight of contradictory political forces in each country. In Israel, a growing nationalist movement has pushed for expanded control of the West Bank, including the annexation of the Jordan River Valley. These nationalists are increasingly a swing vote, which has made their interests heavily courted by Israel's top contenders for power in the country's recurrent elections. Indeed, both Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his main political rival, Benny Gantz, have now promised to annex the Jordan River Valley to strengthen their hand ahead of Israel’s third national election in less than a year on March 2.

A map showing the White House peace plan's proposed Israeli-Palestinian territories.
Israeli control of the valley, however, would make any future Palestinian state entirely dependent on Israel for trade and border security, undercutting its sovereignty. Further annexations of territory within the West Bank would also complicate the free movement of goods and people throughout a Palestinian state and make it virtually indefensible from Israeli incursions.

And in Jordan, this prospect is deeply unpopular among ordinary citizens — and in particular, the country's strong Palestinian and Arab nationalist political base, which wants to see the West Bank eventually turned into an independent state. These nationalists are hostile to Israeli policies that make these aspirations less likely, and typically expect the country's monarchy to champion their cause. And with Jordan’s economy undergoing a challenging transition, the support of these nationalists has become all the more important for the monarchy's legitimacy than in previous years.

Jordan's Political Plight
The potential annexation of the Jordan Valley — combined with the promise of the new U.S. peace plan — has, in turn, placed Jordan's leaders in a difficult position. On one hand, the kingdom wants to maintain ties with Israel for pragmatic security, economic and diplomatic reasons. But at the same time, it must also ensure Arab nationalist pushback inside Jordan does not reach a level where it could threaten the stability or legitimacy of the monarchy. Within this context, Jordan will likely pursue a calculated Israel policy designed to show its displeasure with Israeli annexation, while still remaining far away from upending the two countries' 1994 peace treaty.

Specifically, Jordan may choose to further downgrade its relations with Israel through an array of symbolic diplomatic and economic maneuvers. This could include expelling the Israeli ambassador (Jordan already withdrew its ambassador to Israel over the arrest of two Jordanians in 2019); lodging further diplomatic protests with the Arab League and United Nations on behalf of the Palestinians; tightening border crossings to slow trade and interfere with tourism (a key consideration for Israel, which prizes access to Christian holy sites controlled by Jordan as part of its tourism industry); escalating its anti-Israel rhetoric in public; or renewing public displays of hostility to Israel (such as running war games that are implicitly aimed at the country). But any action Jordan decides to take will come up against a very close U.S.-Israeli alliance — one in which both President Donald Trump and Netanyahu see strong domestic political value in defending many of each other's policies.

Facing Washington's Wrath
Should Jordan take action to downgrade its ties with Israel, the United States will consider its own response, raising the risk that U.S. officials decide to take a stronger stance than Jordan is prepared or able to withstand. The United States has already established a consistent pattern of leveraging its substantial economic and aid to bring allies in line with U.S. goals. The Palestinian Authority, for one, has recently seen its roughly $4 billion of U.S. foreign aid frozen in a bid to force its support of Washington's new peace plan (though so far unsuccessfully). And late last year, the United States also froze security aid to Lebanon, as well as imposed unprecedented sanctions on some Lebanese banks, as it debated how to pressure Iranian-allied Hezbollah forces in the country.

For now, Jordan's dependence on U.S. aid will constrain its ability to retaliate against Israeli annexations in the West Bank. But it's only a matter of time until the kingdom is forced to find new friends.

When it comes to Jordan, the United States has multiple economic levers at its disposal to retaliate against Amman's provocations against Israel. In 2017, the United States sent some $1.3 billion in bilateral assistance to Jordan, as well as another $1.1 billion to help Jordan manage the economic onus of its large Syrian refugee population. This aid could be suspended, delayed or even canceled to pressure Amman to change its position. The United States has also helped Jordan gain access to loans as recently as 2013-14. And as Jordan restructures its own economy to improve employment and cut down on state spending to reduce its economic risks, such aid may be needed again, giving the United States an opening where it could again pinch Jordan’s economy.

Jordan's crucial trade ties with the United States may also be at stake, should the White House decide to ramp up pressure. Washington could slap Jordan with higher U.S. tariffs, or may even threaten to pull out of the two countries' free trade agreement signed in 2000. Such trade salvos would hit Jordanian exports hard, as the United States accounts for some 22 percent of the country's goods. Being iced out from the massive U.S. clothing market would take a considerable toll on Jordan's large textile industry, in particular.

In addition to economic threats, the United States could also weaponize Jordan's reliance on many different aspects of U.S. military support. Specifically, Washington can interrupt or change Jordan's military aid, which has totaled about $1 billion since 2015 (accounting for roughly 40 percent of Jordan's 2015 military budget). It could also delay, deny or change the military training, weapons and defense equipment support Jordan's armed forces receive under the U.S. Foreign Military Financing program. Jordan is also a key intelligence and military partner and hosts a number of U.S. forces as part of the counterterrorism fight against the Islamic State. But such cooperation may also be at risk if the United States decides it needs to get Jordan in line with its Israel policy.

The Hunt for a Plan B
The United States remains interested in keeping Jordan as a strong regional partner. But domestic political considerations — especially with a presidential election in November — will tempt the White House to retaliate, should Jordan's actions against Israel appear too strong. But even if Jordan's actions against Israel don't prompt U.S. retaliation, the predicament in which Jordan has been placed has nonetheless illuminated just how dependent Jordan is on Washington for so much of both its economic and physical security. In the long term, this reality will spur Amman to consider diversifying its defense and economic ties to ensure it's less vulnerable to such U.S. pressure tactics in the future.

The former British territory will look to its former mandate holder, the United Kingdom, as well as Russia and the Gulf Arab states, to find back-ups to U.S. aid in case Washington decides Jordanian stability is not as paramount as it was in the past. Such reinforcements will not replace Jordan's massive levels of U.S. support anytime soon. It will, however, compel Amman to join Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates on the growing list of U.S. regional allies who are searching for new economic and military partners to build up their independence.


Crafty_Dog

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Re: Jordan:
« Reply #106 on: March 22, 2020, 01:31:07 PM »
The blonde seems really stupid to me (what does she think would happen to Israel if the Palestinian population were to take power?!?)  but the larger question about the Hashemites on top of a majority Palestinian state remains:

https://israelunwired.com/jordan-is-the-real-palestinian-state/ 

Crafty_Dog

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Glick: King Abdullah's Empty Threats
« Reply #107 on: May 19, 2020, 11:57:56 AM »
https://www.israelhayom.com/opinions/king-abdullahs-empty-threats/

King Abdullah's empty threats
Abdullah will not cancel his kingdom's peace deal with Israel because the peace treaty guarantees the survival of his regime.
 By  Caroline B. Glick  Published on  05-19-2020 09:27 Last modified: 05-19-2020 09:27
Should Jordan's King Abdullah have veto power over Israel's plan to apply its sovereign laws to its cities, towns and villages in Judea and Samaria and to the Jordan Valley, in accordance with the Trump peace plan? Monday morning, senior leaders of the Blue and White party began making noises to that effect.

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In an interview with Germany's Der Spiegel last Friday, King Abdullah threatened, "If Israel really annexes the West Bank in July, it would lead to a massive conflict with the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan."

News updates Monday morning reported that "senior officials" from Blue and White were working to condition Israel's implementation of the sovereignty plan on securing prior approval from Jordan.

Later Monday morning, during the ceremony at the Foreign Ministry marking the arrival of incoming Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazy, Ashkenazy said that Israel will implement the Trump peace plan "in dialogue with our neighbors, [and while] preserving of the peace treaties and the State of Israel's strategic interests."

Taken together with the morning news updates, Ashkenazy's remarks raised the prospect that he and his partner, Defense Minister and alternative prime minister Benny Gantz see Abdullah's threat as a justification for abandoning their support for the sovereignty plan. It bears recalling that during the negotiations leading up to the formation of the unity government between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Likud and Gantz and Blue and White, Netanyahu made Blue and White's support for the sovereignty plan his only substantive condition for signing the deal.

Abdullah, of course, will never approve the sovereignty plan. So giving him a veto means shelving the plan. This raises the question of whether there is any reason to give the head of the Hashemite clan that sort of power? Can he cause Israel harm so grave that it should abandon the sovereignty plan to appease him?

The Der Spiegel reporters asked Abdullah if he would suspend Jordan's peace treaty with Israel in retaliation for an Israeli decision to apply its sovereignty to the areas.

He responded, "I don't want to make threats and create a loggerheads atmosphere, but we are considering all options."

In plain English, that means that he is absolutely not considering suspending the peace deal. He's bloviating. And he has good reason to both keep the peace deal and to bloviate.

Abdullah will not cancel his kingdom's peace deal with Israel because the peace treaty guarantees the survival of his regime. Israel provides Jordan with an economic lifeline by supplying Jordan with water and gas. The US, for its part, protects and sustains Abdullah and his kingdom by stationing US forces in the kingdom and by providing Jordan with $1.8 billion in economic assistance annually.

If Jordan abrogated the peace deal, Israeli water and gas transfers would obviously cease. And since Israel's sovereignty plan will be undertaken in the framework of the US peace plan, it is hard to imagine that US support for the kingdom would be unchanged in the event that Jordan abrogated its peace deal in retaliation for Israel's move.

All this is not to say that Israel's relations with Jordan are stable. Anti-Semitism is almost universal in Jordan. And support for the peace with Israel is non-existent. The Hashemite monarchy itself is deeply unpopular.

It is possible that one day, with his back to the wall, Abdullah will abrogate the treaty. It is equally possible that one day he will be overthrown and that the successor regime will abrogate the peace treaty with Israel.

Facing this state of affairs, Israel's proper response is not to set aside the sovereignty plan, which among other things, secures Israel's long border with Jordan by applying Israeli sovereignty to the Jordan Valley. The proper response to Jordan's enormous hostility – a state of affairs that existed long before the sovereignty plan and the Trump plan were conceived – is to draw up detailed contingency plans for the day after the Hashemites are overthrown or the peace treaty is abrogated.

In his remarks at the Foreign Ministry, Ashkenazy rightly praised US-Israel relations. "The United States is Israel's closest ally and the State of Israel's most important friend," he said.

During his visit with President Donald Trump in the White House in January, according to a senior American official, Gantz committed himself to implementing the Trump peace plan, including the sovereignty plan.

To preserve US-Israel relations, Ashkenazy and Gantz need to uphold that commitment. Failure to do so is liable to undermine Israel's credibility as a stable ally among administration leaders and other friends of Israel in Washington.

Ashkenazy acknowledged that through his peace plan, President Trump, "presents us with a historic opportunity to shape Israel's future and its borders."

Israel mustn't permit King Abdullah, and his empty threats stand in its way to seizing that opportunity now.



Crafty_Dog

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Jordan bans Muslim Brotherhood
« Reply #110 on: July 21, 2020, 02:07:54 PM »
More Countries Ban Muslim Brotherhood
by Hany Ghoraba
Special to IPT News
July 21, 2020
https://www.investigativeproject.org/8483/more-countries-ban-muslim-brotherhood


Crafty_Dog

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Stratfor: Jordan- a crackdown risks backfiring
« Reply #112 on: August 04, 2020, 11:29:57 AM »


In Jordan, a Government Crackdown on Civil Dissent Risks Backfiring
4 MINS READ
Aug 4, 2020 | 10:00 GMT

The arrests of teachers union leaders in Jordan risks fueling unrest in the typically politically stable country against a government the United States relies on for its regional counterterrorism efforts. On July 25, Jordanian security forces arrested over a dozen key members of the Jordanian Teachers Syndicate and charged them with corruption, incitement, financial irregularities and criminal activities. Forces also raided the union’s offices and shut them down for two years. Nasser Nawasreh, acting head of the Teachers Syndicate, was charged with incitement specifically over a speech he gave on July 22 that sharply criticized Prime Minister Omar Razzaz’s government. A government spokesman said that the arrests were conducted to prevent the union from staging planned sit-ins and demonstrations that risked harming “the state’s essential services and their functioning.” On July 29, some teachers protested the arrests and office closures in downtown Amman, prompting another crackdown by security forces. Small demonstrations are also likely to continue to pop up in Jordanian cities.

The boldness of the powerful teachers union will test the Jordanian government’s established strategy of proactively quelching unrest by containing powerful political opposition groups. The crackdown by security forces could itself be a trigger for social unrest, given the union's size and popularity. The Jordanian government’s forced closure of the union’s offices is intended to serve as a message that Razzaz’s government has the power to force the union, as well as any other opposition group perceived to be a threat to political stability, in line with the government.

Jordan’s government has previously shut down political offices of movements it deems threatening by being able to potentially extract costly political or economic concessions. In July, Amman forced a full dissolution of the Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood after shuttering the transnational Islamist movement’s office in 2016.

With over 100,000 members, the Jordanian Teachers Syndicate is a key civil society group that has proven capable of starting disruptive unrest. The union also has alliances with the most vocal political opposition groups in Jordan, including the Islamic Action Front, and has led some of the largest protests in the country since the Arab Spring.

The arrests of teachers union leaders in Jordan could eventually jeopardize U.S. counterterrorism efforts in the region, should it fuel unrest that successfully prompts political change.

Jordan's poor economic situation, however, will not only drive further teacher demonstrations but challenge the government’s ability to crack down on them. Pandemic-related austerity measures enacted in recent months have exacerbated simmering tensions between the union and Amman, as public sector workers (including teachers) did not receive promised bonuses
According to the International Monetary Fund, Jordan’s economy is expected to contract this year for the first time in decades due to pandemic-related losses in tourism and services revenue.

The Teachers Syndicate claims Amman has not honored a deal it negotiated in October for a 50 percent pay raise. Without such a pay raise, the union has argued that the cost of living in Jordan has become too high for teachers — a trend that will only worsen amid the country’s deepening economic crisis.

While unlikely to snowball into unmanageable levels of unrest, such protests have the potential to immediately disrupt U.S. regional policy should it successfully prompt political change.

Jordan is an established, critical counterterrorism partner to the United States, as well as a major recipient of U.S. economic and security aid. Washington also uses its strong bilateral relationship with Razzaz’s current administration and the monarchy to conduct intelligence operations across the region.

The Teachers Syndicate, however, has increasingly voiced its dissatisfaction with Omar Razzaz’s government, arguing it has prioritized the needs of the United States and its other external allies over the needs of Jordanians.