The Jordanian game

At the very least, we should be able to expect a bit less ingratitude from a family that, to a large extent, owes its life to us.

By
December 12, 2016 21:21
3 minute read.
KING ABDULLAH reviews the honor guard during the opening ceremony of the first ordinary session of 1

KING ABDULLAH reviews the honor guard during the opening ceremony of the first ordinary session of 18th Parliament in Amman. (photo credit: REUTERS)

 
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The best-known example of Israel saving the neck of the Jordanian monarchy was in 1970.

The Palestinians were attempting to overthrow King Hussein, and as if that wasn’t enough, the Syrians had launched an invasion in the north of the kingdom. Just when it seemed the king was about to lose his ninth life, the “enemy” to the west, Israel, stepped in and came to his rescue. And that wasn’t the only time.

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There isn’t the slightest doubt that without us, the Hashemite royals, who might be seen as human versions of the Aristocats, would have fled to London long ago and taken up residence in one of the palace refuges they purchased for a rainy day. In the Middle Eastern jungle, the Jordanian monarchy is like a purebred Siamese cat that has managed to survive by feeling its way carefully among the predators, keeping on everyone’s good side and scratching a little when it’s cornered.

Peace with Jordan is important for us. Our coordinated intelligence efforts are of considerable strategic value. In closed discussions, the Jordanians say what they really think about the Palestinians, and it’s not much different from what the Saudis and Egyptians think. The Egyptian president once called Yasser Arafat “a dog” in front of the cameras. The Syrian defense minister was even less restrained, dubbing him “the son of sixty thousand whores.” Even if they won’t admit it on the record, the Jordanians would much rather share a border with us than with the Palestinians, and they have very good reason.

So far so good. The problem is that Jordan strikes out at us in international forums. It attacks Israel at the UN again and again, automatically supporting anti-Israel resolutions put forward by the Palestinians (the same people who tried to topple the king), and makes much ado about nothing over any reference to the Temple Mount.

From our perspective, the resulting diplomatic damage and the added pressure regarding the Palestinian issue balance out the benefits of the Jordanian monarchy. When you look at the whole picture, it’s easy to understand why some people can’t stop thinking that the most suitable place for a Palestinian nation is the country where they constitute the majority of the population, that is, Jordan. Having another hostile border isn’t our fondest wish, but there would be a great advantage to this twist in the Palestinian plot. There would also be a large measure of historical justice.

In 1922, the Land of Israel was divided into two parts, the west and the east, or the Transjordan. Our western section is only a quarter of the total area. Why should it be divided again? The Palestinians would get three-quarters of the territory of the British mandate. Isn’t that enough? After all, we Jews deserve a little something too, don’t we? Personally, I’m not a fan of royal families. There’s something degenerate about them. Here’s a family that originated in the Arabian peninsula (Saudi Arabia today) and was brought in by the British and handed a kingdom to preserve British interests in the region, and they act as if their power is some divine right. They would be better off treating us with a little respect and common courtesy.



At the very least, we should be able to expect a bit less ingratitude from a family that, to a large extent, owes its life to us. And if they don’t want to do it to show their gratitude, then they should do it just to make sure we don’t get an idea in our heads that’s actually quite logical.

Translated from the Hebrew by Sara Kitai, skitai@kardis.co.il.

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