Israel-Jordan Relations in The Wake of The Gaza Conflict — World Points

Opinion by Alon Ben-Meir (big apple)Friday, December 01, 2023Inter Press Service

Underneath Prime Minister Netanyahu’s management, Israel-Jordan relations have hit a brand new low. Sadly, after 30 years of peace, there may be deep sullenness and disappointment between the 2 international locations. The aspiration for strategic partnership has fallen quick, apart from safety collaboration. Jordan’s King Abdallah and Netanyahu don’t see eye-to-eye on many points.

The King views Netanyahu as notably liable for the deterioration of the connection between the 2 international locations. Of particular concern to Jordan is the Israeli authorities’s brutal remedy of the Palestinians within the West Financial institution, its worries about any change in its standing because the guardian of the holy Muslim shrines (Haram al-Sharif), and its issues over the bounds of the bilateral financial relations.

What has added vital insult to the already injured relationship is the tragically inadvertent carnage and destruction being inflicted on the Palestinians in Gaza because of the Israel-Hamas conflict.

For Jordan, the long run decision to the Palestinian battle is essentially the most contentious as a result of no matter occurs to the Palestinians, particularly within the West Financial institution, has a direct and oblique influence on Jordan’s safety, economic system, and demographics resulting from its proximity and in addition as a result of half of the inhabitants is of Palestinian origin.

Netanyahu made hardly any effort to deal with King Abdallah’s justifiable worries concerning the quickly deteriorating safety situations within the West Financial institution. For the reason that Israel-Hamas conflict started on October seventh, almost 220 Palestinians have been killed within the West Financial institution as of this writing, and there’s no signal that the violence will abate any time quickly.

Certainly, the absurdity right here is that on condition that Jordan has been at peace with Israel since 1995, its proximity to Israel, and its mutual issues over the area’s stability, the necessity for full cooperation on intelligence sharing, business ties, and nationwide safety grow to be ever extra essential.

However then, Netanyahu has taken Jordan with no consideration when, the truth is, Amman remained trustworthy to its collaborative efforts with Israel and continues to play a essential function in monitoring and securing the roughly 300-mile-long border with Israel to stop the smuggling of weapons and infiltration of terrorists into Israel correct and the West Financial institution.

The Israel-Hamas conflict has enormously modified the political dynamic of the Jordanian-Israeli relationship. Though Jordan expressed sympathy towards the Israelis for the unimaginable butchery that Hamas inflicted on harmless Israeli civilians, Israel’s invasion of Gaza and the horrendous destruction and loss of life have enraged the Jordanians to a degree unseen between the 2 international locations since they signed a peace treaty in 1994.

Greater than 50 p.c of the Jordanian inhabitants are of Palestinian origin and have a powerful affinity to their brethren wherever they reside. The loss of life of greater than 14,000 Palestinians in Gaza, together with almost 6,000 kids and 4,000 ladies, induced an unparalleled stir in Jordan, damning Israel and demanding an instantaneous finish to the hostilities. In actual fact, out of sympathy and solidarity, many Jordanian youth have chosen to undertake “Hamas ideology.”

The UN Jordanian delegation offered a decision to the United Nations Common Meeting (UNGA) calling for an “speedy, everlasting, and sustainable humanitarian truce resulting in a cessation of hostilities,” which was adopted by 120 international locations. On November 1st, Jordan’s International Minister Ayman Al-Safadi recalled Jordan’s Ambassador to Israel, saying that his determination was an “expression of Jordan’s rejection and condemnation of the raging conflict in Gaza, which is killing harmless individuals and inflicting an unprecedented human disaster.”

Jordan considers the compelled evacuation and displacement of Palestinians in Gaza as equal to a conflict towards civilians that may essentially shake the bilateral Israeli-Jordanian relations, primarily as a result of Jordan has the biggest Palestinian refugee inhabitants of some other nation, which makes it terribly sympathetic and delicate to the Palestinian trigger.

Of specific concern to the Jordanian authorities is that the Netanyahu authorities is set to disclaim the Palestinians the correct to statehood, which can have a big influence on Jordan domestically. What worries the Hashemite Kingdom is that some ministers within the present Israeli authorities are resuscitating the notion that Jordan is Palestine by their actions within the West Financial institution.

Though Netanyahu is aware of how delicate the Jordanian authorities is about this momentous concern, he has completed nothing to assuage the Jordanians’ rising anxieties that the West Financial institution Palestinians can be totally pushed into Jordan.

Amman can play a big regional diplomatic function in stemming the escalation of the battle, particularly within the West Financial institution, earlier than it spins uncontrolled. Jordan, essentially the most steady nation with average political management in a area reddened with violent conflicts, has and continues to serve together with Israel because the cornerstone of the US-Center East safety partnership, which each international locations should guard with zeal.

There are a number of obligatory measures that the Israeli authorities should take to alleviate and mend previous and current Jordanian grievances and restore and additional enhance their bilateral relationship, which might finest serve their nationwide pursuits.

First, given Jordan’s direct and oblique involvement with the Palestinians, Israel should not ignore Jordan’s issues over the violent clashes between the Israeli settlers and safety forces and the Palestinians. Not too long ago, the rising violence within the West Financial institution compelled Jordan to strengthen its border safety to stop the escalation of violence from spilling over into its territory.

Nonetheless, it may precipitate an inflow of Palestinians into Jordan, which Amman needs to keep away from. Israel should restate in an unmistakable tone that it respects Jordan’s sovereignty, and any decision to the Israeli-Palestinian battle can be separate and aside from and wouldn’t infringe in any approach on Jordan’s independence, which Israel acknowledges.

Second, Israel should decide to persevering with water and gasoline provides to Jordan with out interruption. That is essential for restoring Jordan’s confidence in any Israeli authorities, which has been dangerously eroding beneath Netanyahu. The “Blue and Inexperienced Prosperity” undertaking, financed by the UAE and signed in August 2023, permits the alternate of Israeli desalinated water for Jordanian photo voltaic vitality. It is a vital undertaking for Jordan and have to be guarded and absolutely carried out beneath any circumstance.

Third, though the collaborative safety ties and intelligence sharing between Jordan and Israel stay shut, the Israeli authorities should guarantee their safety collaboration stays intact and strong. Israel should additionally fastidiously handle Jordan’s distinctive safety wants given the persevering with regional stress and the threats of extremist militant teams, in addition to its issues over Iranian threats, which Israel shares. Amman must really feel assured that Israel has Jordan’s again.

Fourth, Israel should guarantee Jordan that certainly not wouldn’t it search or facilitate any change within the custodianship and the executive accountability of Jordan over the Muslim holy shrines (Haram al-Sharif) in Jerusalem. From the Jordanian perspective, the present association offers it a strategic foundation that permits it to have a say in any future settlement with the Palestinians in reference to Jerusalem. Though Saudi Arabia aspires to imagine that function, Israel ought to honor its settlement with the Hashemite Kingdom from the time Israel annexed East Jerusalem in 1967.

Fifth, Israel must strengthen its financial ties with Jordan by increasing the import-export of products and companies, encouraging Israelis to put money into Jordan, particularly within the technological sector, and rising tourism as soon as the Israel-Hamas conflict involves an finish and the anti-Israeli Jordanian public sentiment subsides.

The present Netanyahu or any future Israeli authorities should cease wanting nothing to safeguard its ties and consistently enhance its relations with Jordan—Israel’s most necessary Arab ally, associate for peace, and its closest neighbor. Since they’ve a powerful mutual nationwide safety curiosity and strategic alliance, Israel ought to work hand-in-hand with Jordan within the seek for a decision to the Israeli-Palestinian battle as a result of it should straight have an effect on Jordan’s nationwide curiosity on each entrance.

To make certain, given the Israel-Hamas conflict, which makes it inconceivable nor fascinating to revive the established order ante, it’s now extra pressing than any time earlier than for Israel and Jordan to mitigate their variations, strengthen their strategic alliance, and discover widespread floor on the right way to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian battle.

For extra data on how a sustainable peace settlement based mostly on a two-state answer may be reached, please check with my essay in World Affairs, “The Case for an Israeli-Palestinian-Jordanian Confederation: Why Now and How?”

Dr. Alon Ben-Meir is a retired professor of worldwide relations on the Heart for World Affairs at NYU. He teaches programs on worldwide negotiation and Center Japanese research.
[email protected]

IPS UN Bureau

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© Inter Press Service (2023) — All Rights ReservedOriginal supply: Inter Press Service

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