46% of Jordanians say Israel is greatest threat to Arab world

81% oppose the normalizations of relations between other countries and the Jewish state.

 Jordanians carry flags and placards as they demonstrate against the declaration of intent for water-for-energy deal signed by Israel, Jordan and the UAE, in Amman, Jordan. (photo credit: MUATH FREIJ/REUTERS)
Jordanians carry flags and placards as they demonstrate against the declaration of intent for water-for-energy deal signed by Israel, Jordan and the UAE, in Amman, Jordan.
(photo credit: MUATH FREIJ/REUTERS)

Nearly one in two Jordanians (46%) think Israel is the country posing the greatest threat to the Arab world, followed by the US and Iran at 10% each, according to a survey conducted by the Center for Strategic Studies at the University of Jordan.

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And they rank Israel as the country that most threatens Jordan’s national security, chosen by 32% of respondents followed by the US and Iran at 5% each.

The survey, the most comprehensive to measure Jordanian citizens’ attitudes and knowledge regarding their country’s foreign policy, was conducted throughout the kingdom during February 15-22, 2022, on a national sample representative of all provinces, age groups, and education.

Only 25% of Jordanians are interested in politics, while 33% are interested in local news, according to the study.

A large majority of Jordanians (77%) consider the Palestinian issue the most important political problem facing the Middle East, while only 12% believe the Syrian crisis is the most important political problem in need of a solution.

Protesters hold placards and Jordanian national flags as they take a part in a human chain during a sit-in against the annexation of parts of the West Bank by Israel, in Amman, Jordan, June 27, 2020. (credit: REUTERS/MUHAMMAD HAMED)Protesters hold placards and Jordanian national flags as they take a part in a human chain during a sit-in against the annexation of parts of the West Bank by Israel, in Amman, Jordan, June 27, 2020. (credit: REUTERS/MUHAMMAD HAMED)

Israel is the country most responsible for the instability in the region, according to 48% of the respondents, followed by the US (11%) and Iran (10%).

For Jordanians, Saudi Arabia is Jordan’s most important ally in the region, followed by Qatar and the United Arab Emirates. Saudi Arabia shares the most with Jordan as far as foreign policy interests are concerned, followed by Egypt and the UAE, the survey reported.

The US is Jordan’s most important ally in the world, followed by Britain, the respondents said. They also said the US is the non-Arab country with which Jordan shares the most foreign policy interests, followed by Britain.

Turkey is the country that Jordanians most want to deepen cooperation with 20%, followed by the US (11%), Saudi Arabia (9%), Qatar (5%), and the UAE (4%).

More than a third of respondents (39%) say Jordan’s position is neutral on the war in Yemen, the repeated Houthi attacks on Saudi Arabia and the UAE, and the situation in Iran.

Almost half (47%) described Jordan’s position on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict as “on edge.”

The vast majority (81%) support Jordan playing an active role in regional and global efforts on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and the Syrian crisis. The majority want Jordan to play a secondary (neutral) role in the war in Yemen, the crisis in Sudan, and the Russian-Ukrainian tension.

Almost half of Jordanians (48%) describe recent Jordanian-Israeli relations as good, and the majority (53%) believe it is in the kingdom’s interest to maintain a minimal relationship with Israel. The vast majority (81%) of Jordanians oppose the normalization of relations between Arab countries and Israel.

Almost half of Jordanians (44%) support the two-state solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict − the state of Palestine alongside the State of Israel on the pre-1967 lines, and 42% think that this solution is the most realistic, while 13% think there will never be a solution to the conflict.

Although a vast majority of Jordanians (81%) believe that Jordanian-American relations are good, an even greater share (88%) are dissatisfied with US policy toward the Arab-Israeli conflict, and only 13% believe that the United States is serious about finding a solution to it. However, 55% of Jordanians support strengthening Jordanian-American relations.