Jordan’s Outreach to Iran Threatens Its Longstanding Alliance with Israel

Last week, Jerusalem agreed to sell Amman a much-larger-than-usual amount of water, while easing the way for Jordanian exports to the West Bank. The agreement seems a positive sign, after a crisis in relations this spring. But Edy Cohen sees Jordan going in a very different direction, that makes it an entirely unreliable ally for Israel:

On June 27, 2021, Jordan’s King Abdullah II met with Iraq’s Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi and Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi in Baghdad. All three announced an agreement to cooperate on transporting Iraqi oil through pipelines from Iraq to Jordan to Egypt, from where it will be exported to Europe through the Mediterranean. . . . The Iraqi government is a puppet state controlled by Iran. Exporting Iraqi oil through Jordan to Europe is simply exporting oil controlled by Iran, which rules Iraq through its Shiite militias and controls the country’s resources.

One day after this happened, Jordanian state media began promoting full financial cooperation with Iran. This is as shocking to the Jordanian public as it was to the Egyptian public 40 years ago when then-president Anwar Sadat announced peace with Israel. [The kingdom then] went further, with a monarchy-supported campaign to . . . promote the Shiite faith itself.

[Absent an about-face], it will not take long for Jordan to sink into darkness—just like Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, and Yemen have. As for Israel, there is a fear of [Iran] opening a front from hell, sending drones or even digging tunnels in the areas bordering Jordan, which will be under the control of [the Islamic Republic’s agents].

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Read more at Jerusalem Post

More about: Iran, Israeli Security, Jordan, Middle East

The Arab Press Blames Iran Rather Than Israel for Gaza’s Woes

Following the fighting between Israel and Islamic Jihad over the weekend, many journalists and commentators in Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, and Saudi Arabia didn’t rush to condemn the Jewish state. Instead, as the translators at the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) note, they criticized the terrorist group for “operating in service of Iranian interests and thus inflicting suffering on the Gaza Strip’s residents.” One Saudi intellectual, Turki al-Hamad, wrote the following on Twitter:

It is apparent that, if at one time any confrontation between Israel and the Palestinian organizations would attract world and Arab attention and provoke a wave of anger [against Israel], today it does not shock most Arabs and most of the world’s [countries]. Furthermore, even a sense of human solidarity [with the Palestinians] has become rare and embarrassing, raising the question, “Why [is this happening] and who is to blame?”

I believe that the main reason is the lack of confidence in all the Palestinian leaders. . . . From the Arabs’ and the world’s perspective, it is already clear that these leaders are manipulating the [Palestinian] cause out of self-interest and diplomatic, economic, or even personal motives, and that the Palestinian issue is completely unconnected to this. The Palestinian cause has become a bargaining chip in the hands of these and other organizations and states headed by the [Iranian] ayatollah regime.

A, article in a major Arabic-language newspaper took a similar approach:

In a lengthy front-page report on August 7, the London-based UAE daily Al-Arab criticized Islamic Jihad, writing that “Gaza again became an arena for the settling of accounts between Iran and Israel, while the Palestinian citizens are the ones paying the price.” It added that Iran does not want to confront Israel directly for its bombings in Syria and its attacks on Iranian scientists and nuclear facilities.

“The war in Gaza is not the first, nor will it be the last. But it proves . . . that Iran is exploiting Gaza as it exploits Lebanon, in order to strengthen its hand in negotiations with the West. We all know that Iran hasn’t fired a single bullet at Israel, and it also will not do this to defend Gaza or Lebanon.”

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Read more at MEMRI

More about: Gaza Strip, Iran, Islamic Jihad, Israel-Arab relations, Persian Gulf