The new Jordanian ambassador to Israel, Walid Obeidat, was sworn in Monday
before King Abdullah after rejecting threats from his powerful clan not to
accept the job.
The ceremony was attended by Jordanian Foreign Minister
Obeidat chose to ignore his family’s threats that they would
“disown” him if he agreed to serve as ambassador to Israel. Last week the clan
issued a statement strongly denouncing Obeidat’s appointment and calling on him
to turn down the offer.
The family considers the appointment of one of
their members as ambassador to Israel “disgraceful and an insult to the clan’s
reputation and history.” It tried to persuade Obeidat to reject the appointment,
but to no avail.
Sources in Jordan said that a wealthy member of the clan
offered to pay the new ambassador five million Jordanian dinars in return for
rejecting the appointment.
The sources said that the family’s heads also
offered to nominate Obeidat as their candidate in the upcoming parliamentary
election – an offer that was also turned down by the new
Jordanian columnist As’ad al-Azouni said that Obeidat’s
insistence on taking the job would cost him a heavy price.
“He will live
the rest of his life ostracized and humiliated,” Azouni said. “And his children
and grandchildren will inherit this from him, as well as his wife. There’s
nothing more difficult than having your clan disown you.”
appointment of an ambassador to Israel after a two-year lull, Judeh said that
all the ambassadors who went to Israel belonged to respected clans.
said that the appointment was a “sovereign decision” and that Obeidat will
assume his new job on October 17.
The appointment was aimed at serving
the interests of Jordan and not at appeasing Israel, Judeh stressed.