Three Inside Perspectives on Jordan’s Late Peacemaker King

Oct. 16 2020

In 1962, King Hussein of Jordan, who ruled the country from 1952 until his death in 1999, established a secret radio channel with Israel; eleven years later, on the eve of the Yom Kippur War, he would try to warn Jerusalem of the impending Syrian attack. These early instances of outreach would pave the way to the treaty signed between his country and the Jewish state in 1994. David Makovsky discusses King Hussein’s life and his relations with Israel first with Robert Satloff, and then with Hussein’s grandson, Prince Hassan bin Talal, the brother of the current king. Next Makovsky speaks with Efraim Halevy, who throughout his long career at the Mossad—an organization he would lead from 1998 to 2002—played a key role in communications with the Jordanian monarch. Of particular interest are Halevy’s comments on the tensions between the two countries during the Persian Gulf War, when Hussein and then-Prime Minister Yitzḥak Shamir made Halevy their “trusted intermediary.” (Audio, 43 minutes.)

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Read more at Decision Points

More about: Israel diplomacy, Jordan, Mossad, Persian Gulf War, Yitzhak Shamir

Hamas Is Winning the War for Palestinian, and Israeli Arab, Hearts and Minds

While many in the West seem to think the current fighting in Israel is about housing policy, or human rights, or the selective blockade of the Gaza Strip, the rhetoric of Palestinian leaders and on Palestinian social media makes clear that it is in fact about al-Aqsa mosque. This should come as no surprise: fabricated claims that “al-Aqsa is in danger” have been used to provoke anti-Jewish violence for a hundred years. In this particular case, explains Haviv Rettig Gur, both Hamas and Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah party exploited the claim in their rivalry for Palestinian hearts and minds:

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Read more at Times of Israel

More about: Al-Aqsa Mosque, Hamas, Israeli Arabs, Israeli-Palestinian Conflict