“The attack stunned the world because of its blatant and absurd disregard for anything resembling international law, human rights, and diplomatic norms. Its glaring outrageousness stunned, but didn’t surprise, me. It cannot be viewed in isolation. It is another upshot of a dogma long fermenting on Israel’s political landscape. It is a doctrine that lives for itself and off others. It survives by tapping into the subliminal and cognisant levels. It implants into public consciousness a set of tenets that see Israeli’s very existence as eternally under threat, to be defended through any means (preferably through use of force to show the enemy who’s boss).” – Queen Rania on Israel’s attack of the Flotilla and the rise of the Israeli right, in an article in the Independent. [source]
Suffice to say the piece is fairly strong-worded coming out of Jordan and addressing a predominantly western audience. It’s rare to see that kind of commentary emanating from the state and one might wonder why King Abdullah didn’t write it himself, or, in other words, why Queen Rania was given this role to play even though foreign policy isn’t exactly her domain (but pretty much everything else is). Moreover, there is a spark of confusion to consider, as I am personally unable to tell whether Queen Rania is speaking for herself or for the Jordanian state? Such confusion is absent when it is the actual leader of the country who is making a statement the concerns foreign affairs; the line becomes gray when it is the Queen.
Nevertheless, at the end of the day, actions speak louder than words, and if Jordan is genuinely looking to play a role in the faltering status quo that is Gaza, then it must take proactive measures, rather than remain a reactionary state that is forced to write articles on how the rise of the Israeli right wing, with the unloved Netanyahu at the helm, is bad for peace. Moreover, there is still a domestic constituency that once again has been ignored. Such messages are tailored to the western powers, who care little for anti-Israeli sentiments despite their short-lived and ceremonial “uproar” over Israeli crimes against humanity. All the while, here at home, Jordanians hear very little from their leadership regarding said crimes, and more importantly, see very little movement by the state to interfere or play a role that expands beyond the humanitarian.