Tuesday, January 28, 2014
Unrest in Jordan on the background of Kerry's initiative
Kerry's initi ative to solve the Palestinian problem is giving a role also to Jordan. Jordan is required to participate in keeping the security in Jordan River, to have a role in the administration of Aqsa mosque and to participate in solving the refugees' problem. All those are very sensitive issues that have potentiality of internal explosions.
As for the issue of Jordan river- as a matter of fact there is now excellent cooperation between IDF and the Jordanian army. The problem is that the Jordanian army wants to keep it un-declared and not obliging in formal contracts. The Jordanian soldiers are proud Bedouins. They cannot accept a formal description of their duty to protect the safety of Israel. They do the job as disciplined soldiers to protect the borders of Jordan- but they will not accept the notion that they protect Israel.
In addition, the Bedouin soldiers hate the Palestinians and do not trust them. They cannot cooperate with them along the borders because in Jordanian internal perspectives they are enemies that threaten the current hegemony of the Bedouins in Jordanian domestic life. They can suspect that a PLO/Fatah force joining the security arrangements will exploit it to submerse inside Jordan.
This takes us to the other issue – the refugees: Jordan is hosting the major bulk of "1948 refugees" and gave citizenship to all that asked for it- which is almost all pf them. But in the course of time the Bedouins developed rejection to their presence in Jordan and conceived the peace process as an outlet to send them back to Israel or the West Bank. Kerry's ideas are talking in terms of the east Jordanians absorbing them amongst them and this is unacceptable to them completely. As a result there is an activity inside the ranks of the Bedouin polity to insert into the constitution the cut-off from the West Bank. The Bedouin elite expressed last week almost unanimity about rejecting Kerry's ideas that is tying the king's hands in cooperating with Kerry.
Another concern can be perceived in the renewed motion to confiscate Jordan citizenship from citizens that are of Palestinian origin. A former attempt to do it before the Arab Storm erupted caused the Palestinians in Jordan to join Moslem Brothers activity to topple this policy that after internal problems in Jordan has been stopped. Now, as Kerry's energetic activity may demand Jordan to make decision about the future of Palestinian presence – the motion may resume—it already started.
While the east Bankers are mostly concerned with the status given to the Palestinians as part and parcel of future Jordanian society – the Moslem Brothers with the future of Jerusalem. They are not ready to let Israel have any part in Jerusalem. So, much like other Moslem Brothers movements across the region—they also put Jerusalem and leading slogan.
So far Moslem Brothers' activity is limited in scope and spread. But once Kerry will prove to be determined to put a paper that will not be acceptable to both Moslem Brothers and the Bedouins- Jordan may be drifted to another round of problems.