Tribe threatens to disown Jordan's Israel envoy

Obeidat tribe condemns diplomatic appointment of Walid Obeidat, dubbing it a "provocation" that brings "disgrace to his nation."

(photo credit: REUTERS/Gil Cohen Magen)
The tribe of a Jordanian diplomat who was appointed last week as the ambassador to Israel is threatening to disown him if he accepts the job.
Jordan’s powerful Muslim Brotherhood organization has also come out against the appointment of a new ambassador to Israel, dubbing it a “provocation.”
Representatives of the Obeidat tribe, one of the most powerful clans in Jordan, condemned the appointment of Walid Obeidat as “a despicable act that contradicts the positions of the tribe and its successive generations.”
The tribe’s representatives met earlier this week to discuss the issue after the Jordanian government announced the appointment of the ambassador.
Following the meeting, the tribe issued a statement in which it threatened to “disown” Obeidat for agreeing to “shake the hand of those who usurped the land, killed and displaced Palestinians and desecrated Islamic holy sites.”
The tribe warned the ambassador that he would be “crossing all red lines and bringing disgrace and harm to his nation and clan” if he agreed to take the job.
It said that the Jordanians had never accepted the peace treaty with Israel, which it denounced as a “stain of shame.”
The tribe announced that it remained committed to “liberating all Palestine, from the river to the sea.”
Jamal Obeidat, a former parliament member and member of the tribe, told AFP that efforts were underway to persuade the ambassador to reject the appointment.
Jamal said that a delegation representing the tribe met last weekend with the ambassador and his father and demanded that he reject the appointment.
The former parliament member said that Walid Obeidat responded by saying that as a public servant he was unable to reject the appointment.
But Walid’s father, Khaled, a former Jordanian ambassador to Algiers and Qatar, announced his support for his son’s appointment.
According to the former parliament member, more than 400 members of the Obeidat tribe have expressed their opposition to the appointment of one of their sons as ambassador to Israel.
“This job causes grave damage to the Palestinian cause and does not serve Jordan’s interests because Israel does not honor any agreements,” he charged. “Israel only believes in settlements and seizing holy sites.”
Samih Mayata, spokesman for the Jordanian government, defended the appointment of the new ambassador, calling it a “natural process.”
Sources in Jordan said that former prime minister Ahmed Obeidat, who is one of the leaders of his tribe, has yet to announce his position regarding the appointment of the ambassador.
The Muslim Brotherhood condemned the appointment of the ambassador as a “big sin” and called on the government to respect the feelings of the people. The organization also called on Walid Obeidat to reject the appointment.