Saturday, May 21, 2011
We in the west have generally been respectful to the Jordanian government for a long time, just as we have been as respectful to the Saudi government. Yet both are clearly bad news in the long term and for the exact same reason. They are traditional aristocracies shored up by the bought support of a minority, just as
. That support is stable because the
alternative is to hang together. Iraq
The sudden discovery here is that the removal of the Hashemite kingship by a Palestinian based majority rule that then provided a Palestinian homeland East of the
for all Palestinians could
well totally defuse what has now lasted for sixty years. The writer makes the argument that this is
the natural solution and it may well be. Jordan
The write also makes the argument that the natural boundary needs to be the
. He also makes the point that this is likely
to be welcomed by Jordan West Bank residents provided
they do not face removal as would occur if a war broke out.
A Voice of Reason from an Arab Dissident
Posted by Yoel Meltzer on May 6th, 2011 and filed under Daily Mailer, FrontPage. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.
Introduction: The following is an interview with Mudar Zahran, a Palestinian Jordanian and former political insider who fled
Jordan and currently resides in .
In an open and honest manner, Mudar briefly discusses the current unrest in
Jordan, the various players in Jordan and their links to Islamic groups, his
vision of a Palestinian state in Jordan as opposed to the two-state solution,
his attempts at effecting change and the subsequent threats against him. England
Yoel Meltzer: Like most Arab countries, protests are also taking place in
According to what I’ve read the king is claiming that the Muslim Brotherhood
(MB) is responsible for the protests. Is this true? Jordan
Mudar Zahran: Not at all. A story was reported in the
Post and it
dismissed such a claim. The organizers of the events are mostly tribal
Jordanians calling for less power for the king. Jerusalem
YM: So the MB is not involved at all?
MZ: The MB represents just a small fraction of the protesters. Most of those involved are tribal elders or people representing tribal factions and very, very few Palestinians. What the king is doing is exactly what Colonel Gaddafi is doing. Just as Gaddafi is claiming that he is fighting Al-Qaeda when he is actually fighting rebels who hate his oppressive rule, so too Abdullah and his media, and lately his prime minister, are all insisting the protesters are MB members.
YM: But I thought the Bedouin tribes were allies of the king?
MZ: They are. Yet he has fed them and empowered them to the point where they do not want him any more. They want a constitutional monarchy as was referred to in a 1920 convention. In that year King Abdullah’s grandfather met with tribal leaders of what was then
Eastern Palestine and agreed with them to mutually rule
the country. They want that restored so that they become partners in his
rule, or nearly rulers themselves. If not, they shall revolt. They
have been saying that openly.
already a constitutional monarchy? Jordan
claims to be a constitutional monarchy while it is by all means a
dictatorship. A constitutional monarchy is where the king reigns but does
not run the country, as is the case in the Jordan UK,
others. In Norway
the king has all the authority with zero accountability. Jordan
is a dictatorship headed by a slick-dressing dictator who speaks perfect
English, as opposed to Saddam’s military uniform or Assad’s bad English. Jordan
YM: Regarding the current protests in
, are they being attended by
large crowds or do most people choose to stay away? Jordan
MZ: Most Palestinians, who are the majority, are too afraid to get involved. Even the Washington Institute and the
Post have confirmed that most
Palestinians are not participating. While in other Arab countries the
protesters are facing their own cousins behind the police guns and clubs, in Jerusalem
the Palestinians would be facing the ruthless Bedouins who have been
terrorizing them since 1970. Jordan
This is mainly an affair between the king and the tribes.
YM: In your opinion, will the changes that the tribes are requesting have a positive effect on the Palestinians?
MZ: Just read their statements. The latest one was signed by 36 of their leaders calling for the expelling of the Palestinians or taking away their passports. Some even called for repossessing the property of Palestinians and several called for “re-establishing
as an enemy state.” Israel
YM: Are they more anti-Israel than the king?
MZ: You bet. The king is just a puppet in their hand and that is why he has been taking an anti-Palestinian and an anti-Israeli stance since he came to power.
YM: So which would you prefer, the king continuing as is or the changes that the tribes want?
MZ: The king cannot continue and the tribes will oust him sooner or later. His father remained their king only because he fed them so much and gave them unbelievable privileges even according to American standards. The present king does not have the money to do this and their numbers have exceeded the country’s resources. Economically speaking
Jordan, which heavily depends on excessive
taxation of its Palestinians, will not have the resources to pay any more of
the privileges and benefits the tribesmen get in . So sooner or later
they will oust him, probably sooner more than later. The result will be
hostile uncontrollable tribes in Jordan who are playing with the
country in an unruly manner just like their ancestors did for thousands of
years. In the Bedouin culture stealing someone else’s wealth and land is
not a shame, in fact it is a matter of honor…they call it Ghazou and Khawa. Jordan
YM: Almost sounds like Afghanistan
MZ: Very much so, only the Bedouins in
are well armed and well
trained with fine American weapons. For some unknown reason Jordan spends
40 percent of its budget on military and building an army. Jordan
YM: Are the tribes close to the MB or to other groups outside of
such as Al-Qaeda or Hezbollah? Jordan
MZ: The MB’s leadership is mostly tribal. Its senior leaders are Zaki Bani Rushaid, Salim Flahat and Abdul Majid Thubnibat. Each one of them is a Bedouin and not a Palestinian and each one was present at the last protest which ended up violently. Zaki Bani Rushaid, who is the strongest leader within the MB, was a former office manager of Khaled Meshaal (the political leader of Hamas).
The southern part of
is closely and heavily connected to Al-Qaeda. Many tribesmen believe in
Salafi methodology and lately they have been parading around the southern city
of Jordan , a
tribal stronghold, waving their own flags and walking around with their fine
M-16s. Yet for some reason none of this has made it to the western media. Maan
YM: What is “Salafi methodology”?
MZ: Salafi methodology is the orthodox denomination in Islam. It is the ideology that Osama bin Laden belongs too as did Zarqawi, a Jordanian terrorist who was the chief Al-Qaeda operator in Iraq until shortly before he was killed. Also connected to Salafi was Hammam al-Balawi, the suicide bomber who killed 7 CIA officers in
in the 2009 Khost
Trying to Establish Peace in the Wrong Geographical Location
YM: As you know, later this year the Palestinians intend on declaring a state. Although personally you believe that
Jordan should be this Palestinian state, Abbas
is pushing for a Palestinian state in Judea and . What do you think about this? Samaria
MZ: I believe
is the eastern side of Palestine and that the
Jordan River should be a good fence between Israel
What Abbas is going to do is comedy evolving into Saturday Night Live sponsored
by the UN. What state Mr. Abbas? What state when most Palestinians,
including 70 percent of Palestinians in Jordan ,
would rather be under Israeli rule? Mr. Abbas is repaying those Arab
states who finance his authority and who do not want to see the Palestinians
and the Israelis enjoying peace. Jerusalem
The question is, are the Israelis that weak? In any normal country the Itamar massacre would send shock waves of reality. Have I seen any Israeli politician, even so-called right-wingers like FM Lieberman, speak openly of putting the Palestinians back in their homeland?
YM: Your words are very powerful. The problems in
and complex. Putting them aside for a moment, the current problem is that
Abbas going to the UN has serious repercussions. Whether it’s approval
from the Security Council or from the General Assembly, either way it’s
something that carries a lot of weight. From there it might be relatively easy
to call for sanctions against Israel Israel
if it fails to comply and remove its citizens and army from the new Palestinian
state in Judea and . Samaria
MZ: It seems that Mr. Abbas’s adventures will lead the region into a massive war. Although I doubt the
and Israel’s other friends
would approve a UN resolution calling for sanctions against Israel, nonetheless there will be more headaches
and more trouble for .
More importantly, I believe all of this is the result of trying to establish
peace in the wrong geographical location. Imagine if the pressure had
always been to share historical Israel
where we get two thirds and you get one third – us across the river and you on
the other side. Palestine
Abbas’ statehood stunt is reckless and will eventually lead the region into a massive war that might even produce WWIII.
Such a move is also harmful to the Palestinians since it can give
every legitimate reason to sever ties for good with the Palestinians. Israel is the
only country that allows them to accept and take jobs and it is their
transportation and trade outlet. Only Abbas will benefit from such a
move. He is following in the footsteps of Hamas who only wanted to rule
and didn’t care if the Palestinians starved. The same is going to happen
with Mr. Abbas. Israel
By the way, his seeking a state is also against the
agreement. Hence it’s about time
gets real and revises its agreement. Israel needs to decide that the
Palestinians can establish their own state across the river since any Palestinian
statehood between the sea and the river will only lead to more wars and more
However, keep in mind that all of this is happening because one family, the Hashemites, want to keep controlling
This is absurd.
YM: I’m not sure if it’s only because of the Hashemites but that certainly is part of it. Whatever may have been in the past, today most of the world “buys” the Palestinian story and
is increasingly being
slandered as a “horrible occupier.” Just recently was the 7th annual “ Israel
Apartheid Week” in colleges throughout the West. Can the trend of the
world be changed in order to stop, as you said, “trying to establish peace in
the wrong geographical location”? Israel
Efforts to Change the Entrenched Point of View
MZ: True, it is not only because of the Hashemites yet it certainly is partly due to their presence. Were the Hashemites not ruling the eastern part of
Palestine then the
Palestinians already would have had a country for sixty years and nobody would
to give away its land. Yet this is not the case and the Hashemites are
ruling the place and constantly telling the Palestinians they are merely