Long Live the King

The following is purely my own opinion, no more and no less. It is not necessarily in defence of the His Majesty so much as it is in defence of the Kingdom of Jordan from those who try to bring us down. It is part commentary and part rant.

A few pieces of news have surfaced lately about Jordan from within the Israeli borders.

Yair Naveh of the IOF claimed recently….

that at least 80 percent of Jordan’s citizens are Palestinian and said that, due to regional threats including Hamas’ rise to power, King Abdullah is liable to be the last Hashemite monarch to lead the kingdom. He also warned of the creation of an “Islamist axis” that could topple the regime.

Basically what is being said here is that because the majority of citizens in Jordan are Palestinian an impending revolt is forthcoming. And not only are Palestinians in Jordan a threat but also Palestinians on the other side of the border: Hamas.

I went to check the calander on this one because this comment felt like it came out of the early 70’s but to my suprise the year happens to be 2006. Go figure. We are at a point in time when Jordan is pushing social and economic boundries. When Palestinians and Jordanians are becoming more or less a single entity (a good example of that would be His and Her Majesty, the latter of whom is originally Palestinian). In Jordan, Palestinians don’t live on the east end and Jordanians on the west end; there is no wall that seperates them.

What I find strange about such comments though is that the assumption that the entire country is anti-King. But suprisingly anytime there is a protest of some sort in defence of the nation people take to the streets carrying the King’s picture and cheering his name. Am I to assume only Jordanians do this?

I think most people get the impression that because the King was not elected that he is therefore disliked by all, or to be specific, he is disliked by the Palestinians and therefore the majority of the country. I think these are the same people who have never really made contact with the people on the streets of Jordan to discover how much he is loved.

But moving on to the frying of bigger fish…

An article yesterday in the Jerusalem Post caught my attention as it addressed some of the most recent happenings in Jordan. It was entitled: “And the Oscar goes to – King Abdullah” by Michael Freund, an aide in the Prime Minister’s Office to former premier Binyamin Netanyahu. I’ll just provide some excerpts that I’d like to comment on as I feel they are unjust. It is of course (as you may have guessed) an anti-King Abdullah article.

“Extremism,” he opined, “is a political movement under religious cover. Its adherents want nothing more than to pit us against each other, denying all that we have in common.”

Too bad it was all an act.

FOR IF recent events in Jordan are any indication, Abdullah’s words are as empty as the vast deserts which dominate most of his homeland. Indeed, on the day before the king’s memorable performance in Washington his parliament back home was busy discussing whether to tighten Jordanian law in order to ensure that no Jews could ever buy land in the kingdom.

…It’s a good thing Jordan is holding the fort against extremism, isn’t it? When his government is not busy discriminating against Jews on racial or religious grounds, the king’s men are, of course, trying to confront the “cartoon controversy” roiling throughout the Middle East.

But while Abdullah was off in Washington extolling the virtues of freedom of the press, his regime back in Amman was unabashedly trampling on it. Just ask Jihad Momani or Hashem Khalidi, the editors of two Jordanian weeklies indicted by the king’s government for republishing the Danish cartoons deemed offensive to Islam.

…the US State Department’s International Religious Freedom Report for 2005 noted, “anti-Semitic editorial cartoons, articles and opinion pieces, usually the expressions of political columnists,” appeared in at least two Jordanian newspapers, but they were met “without government response.”

Just another example of that moderation that Abdullah was busy touting in Washington, I guess.

…A few days ago he hosted in Amman radical Shi’ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, whose militia followers have attacked US and coalition troops in Iraq.

And last week Jordan announced that it had extended a formal invitation to Hamas leaders to pay a visit to the kingdom….Abdullah is openly lending a helping hand to the Palestinian terrorist organization.

…With a track record like this Jordan deserves to be shunned, its regime worthy of pariah status, even if it is not as bad as its Syrian or Saudi neighbors

I am even more suprised. Since when have Jordanians, or better yet, Palestinian-Jordanians been allowed to buy land in Israel? Gee, I mean we could solve so many of our problems if Jerusalem was up for sale couldn’t we?

To be accurate, it took more than half a century for Israel to allow Arabs to buy land in Israel: but only if they were citizens of Israel. There are a bit over 1 million Arab citizens of Israel. Funny. I’ve never heard of a Jordanian Jew.

Moving along to Jihad Momani and Hashem Khalidi. Let us be fair here. Is it possible for a newspaper editor in Jordan who knows full well the laws of the country, to print in his respective paper an editorial about the cartoons without actually displaying them and offending people? Thousands of newspapers all over North America have been doing exactly that, including most campus papers, and heck if a journalism undergrad has the common decency to discuss an issue without pictorializing it to offend the readers then I think these 2 guys who have had some experience in the industry can figure it out. They knew the law and they broke it. Simple as that.

As for “anti-semitic” cartoons in Jordan. Wait, isn’t a semite originally an Arab? It seems these days that there is confusion not only over the actual definition of the term “semite” but also that if anyone dares to criticise Israel they are therefore being anti-semetic. So be warned people, don’t talk about Israel or you’re an anti-semite. They can crush homes, build walls and kill civilians; but don’t question it or you’re an anti-semite.

Did someone fail to tell this guy that Hamas just won an election and is now basically the representation of the Palestinian people and government? What is Jordan supposed to do here? Shut our borders in protest to the results? Give me a break. This is more or less the same thing Israel was calling the PA before it eventually started dealing with them. Russia should be shunned for extending the same invitation to Hamas.

In the past few years it seems his majesty King Abdullah has been the only one running around trying to revive the peace process while Israel continues it’s onslaught of Palestinians and caging them in with a giant wall.

One thing is for sure, I’m sick of the hypocricy.

It seems Israel would rather see King Abdullah gone. I can’t help but wonder what alternative they had in mind? I’m guessing they want an ultra-conservative anti-Israeli ruler living next door. Maybe they’d rather a second a Palestinian state so that all the Palestinians living in the West Bank and Gaza can be relocated?

Do we really want to get into discriminatory policies? Let’s talk about the Apartheid wall. Let’s talk about illegal Israeli settlements in the West bank. Let’s talk about all the Palestinian homes demolished to make room for those illegal Israeli settlements. And since 80% of Jordanians are Palestinian then let’s talk about the 3,774 of their relatives in Palestine who have died in the past 4 years alone

The list is just too damn long.


  • Naseem,

    Israel never honours its allies, let alone friends, let alone neighbours. The South Lebanon Army is all too close to remember – after a 20 year service, it was abandoned overnight.

    It is far safer for us to put our bets together as Arabs/Muslims and Palestinians/Jordanians – set aside beliefs, even logically. This should be done at the individual level, regardless of what our leaderships think of each other.

  • Thanks Nas!

    I have several close friends who are Jordanians of Palestinian origins (and so is my mother), and all of them are loyal to Jordan and have a favorable view of the king and the royal family.

    I was going to comment about the greatly exaggerated figure regarding Jordanians of Palestinian origins (80%), but you know what, I don’t care! If it makes them happy, let them assume that 99.9% of Jordanians are of Palestinian origins! It won’t make a difference because the vast majority of Jordanians will defend their country against those who would hope to see it plunged into instability, and see its people divided according to origins.

  • First, I don’t think that Israel prefer that the King is to be removed at all, the opposite is so true!

    Second, it is so wrong to mention, especially today, any differences between Jordan-Palestinians and Jordan-Jordanians, because simply there isn’t any…

    Third, the number 80% is a little too huge to be true.

    Fourth, about the example of the unity between palestinians and jordanians through King Abdullah and Queen Rania, it is wrong, simply because the King isn’t Jordanian.

    Fifth, some truth, I am a so-called Jordanian-Palestinian, to be clear; every palestinian I know dislikes the King, while every Jordanian I know worships the King.

    Sixth, many people, I deal with everyday, use the massive support of King Abdullah as an icon for being an original Jordanian, just like the red scarv(al Hatta)

    Seventh, it does not mean at all that those who dislike the king will not spare their lives for Jordan with a smile on their faces, and maybe more they would for Palestine.

  • Omar,

    first, about your fourth, the king is about as Jordanian as any Palestinian is a Jordanian or a Jordanian is a Jordanian.

    second, about your fifth, most of the palestinians I know in jordan like the king so im guessing either one of us or both of us havn’t spoken to every palestinian. it is subjective.

    third, about your sixth, the Hashemites pretty much established modern day Jordan so they are pretty much a symbolic icon of the country.

    fourth, about your seventh, I never said otherwise.

    fifth, about all your other numbers, those were part of the article which i did not write 😀

  • Omar: “every palestinian I know dislikes the King”

    I’ll take your word for it, but you realize of course that you haven’t met every Palestinian (or Jordanian for that matter).

  • guys..I realize that I’m only talking about people that I know, and not about every palestinian in Jordan, it’s only that this is what I see with my own eyes everyday, it represents only a percentage of palestinians whether it is huge or tiny..

    now Nas- I must rephrase some points..what I meant by that some Jordanians use a massive support to the King is that it is used in a racist way just like some uses the red scarf in a racist way, the other way is true also, that is, some palestinians dislike the king for that he represents something to Jordanians…and by the way, I also realize that the 80% is not your number 🙂 it’s a comment man, that’s all.

    one thing needs to be said; the relationship between Palestinians and Jordanians cannot be subjected to racism, we cannot even call them as two seperate nations, any argument that is trying to question that is silly, the unity needs no examples, and the brotherhood is natural

  • Hi all, I’m Alessandra from Italy and, as Western, I would like to express my admiration to King Abdallah and to Queen Rania as you can see:) BUT, there is a BUT I’m so shocked about the behaviour of Jordanian Governament about Al-Momani and Al-Khalidi.
    I can understand that maybe their choise to publicate the cartoons “about Muhammad”, can have hurted someone, but I really hope that the process will have an happy end for them, in order to demonstrate that Islam is a religion of peace and tolerance as ALWAYS the king and the queen go on to repeat and to demonstrate that Jordan is really a moderate kingdom.
    And then I think it’s dangerous that King Abdallah trusts Hamas: he should PRETEND that it recognise the right of Israel to exist and it stop with terror. Just in this way, I think, Yair Naveh, won’t be right and I really hope he’s wrong. I have seldom appreciated Arab and Islamic leaders like Hashemites, so …long life to them.
    Bye to all, from an Italian girl:)

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