A Jordanian columnist is extremely concerned that Arab countries have turned their backs on the kingdom, pushing it straight into Israel’s lap.
In the April 12 edition of the Jordanian daily Al-Dustour, columnist Maher Abu Tair sheds light on what he calls the “sad” contemporary situation in which the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan finds itself.
He accuses Arab countries of turning their backs on Jordan and abandoning it, pushing Jordan totally into Israel’s economic and political lap. Abu Tair calls strongly for a major change that will enable Jordan to find an alternative to relying on Israel.
MEMRI, the Washington, D.C.-based Middle East Media and Research Institute, translated and publicized excerpts of the column, most of which are reproduced here:
“It is very saddening that Jordan has grown so weak that it has completely thrown itself into the lap of Israel, contrary to public sentiment and [at the expense of] its honor… This is the unfortunate reality, and those who follow events can see Jordan’s headlong rush towards Israel and the overlap of [their] political and economic interests…
“Jordan has grown weak to the point of total reliance on Israel, as part of which Israel will sell us the Palestinian natural gas [it has] stolen as an alternative to the Egyptian natural gas that is denied [to us] by the mujahideen [i.e. jihadists] of the [Sinai] desert.
“[Also as part of this reliance, Jordan and Israel have agreed on] the massive Two Seas Canal project and [the issue of] the Aqaba Airport [referring to the issue of the Ramon Airport that Israel is building near Eilat]. In the past, Jordan threatened to oppose [the building of the Israeli airport] but now it has withdrawn its objection on the condition that takeoffs and landings be coordinated [with the Aqaba Airport]…
“The naked truth is that Jordan no longer has any Arab allies, and today its only ally against the entire Arab east is Israel. If the Arabs had wanted a strong Jordan that did not throw itself at Israel, they would not have abandoned it economically and besieged it politically to the point that its foreign policy became fickle. [Nowadays] we go to bed supporting Tehran and wake up opposing it in Yemen.”
“Israel holds the regional keys”
MEMRI explained that early this year, Jordan and Iran began growing closer after eight years of disconnect. However, on March 26, immediately after Saudi Arabia launched Operation Decisive Storm against the Houthi rebels in Yemen, Jordan aligned itself with Saudi Arabia.
“At other times [the Al-Dustour column continued] we are against Istanbul and with Tehran. We go to bed with [the PA in] Ramallah but wake up with Hamas…
“Our relations with our Arab and Islamic neighbors have become based on variables, while those with Israel are based on constants. The relations with Israel are longstanding, and currently take a new, friendlier form in terms of economics, agriculture, and coordination on all levels. It is as if Jordan is saying that it knows who holds the secret key to the regional gates and is turning directly to those who hold the keys to ensuring its existence, namely Israel.
“This correspondence between [our relations] with Israel and Jordan’s existence is dangerous, unsafe, and full of [unpleasant] surprises. We cannot rely on it, even if some in Amman believe that relations with Israel could provide protection against Washington’s and the Arabs’ betrayal.
“Today more than ever in Jordanian history, the relations with Israel are overt, on all levels. There are many reasons for this, but we must find a different formula to protect our existence. Even if all the equations around us are unstable and dangerous, and even if Amman instinctively feels that Israel is its only option, we must find another solution that ensures our ongoing existence but does not entail agreeing to pay Israel the price…
“It is saddening to see that Jordan’s only option today is [the country] to its West [meaning Israel]. We don’t know who to blame [for this]. Should we blame ourselves, for desiring it despite our stated objections? Or the [situation], because the Arabs have left us no other option or because recent history is rife with dangers and turmoil, forcing us to defend ourselves even at the price of dealing with the devil?! The question is open for debate.”