Allowed but Unwelcome: the Jews of Jordan

Unlike most countries in the Middle East, Jordan has diplomatic relations with Israel and allows Israeli citizens to enter its borders. Jordanian law, however, prohibits Jews from becoming citizens or owning property. A handful of Jewish students and aid workers do currently live there, but they keep their Jewishness secret. Avi Lewis writes about their lives:

Jordanian society has a peculiar attitude when it comes to Jews. Walking through Amman, one can find copies of Hitler’s Mein Kampf and the notorious Protocols of the Elders of Zion, translated into Arabic and proudly adorning the windows of bookstores and street newspaper vendors. . . .

Moshe Silverman [a pseudonym] . . . encountered overt anti-Semitism—not directed at him specifically but as a general antipathy to Jews that engendered a sort of camaraderie among people as it unified them in acrimony toward Jews. . . .

Silverman related a conversation he took part in at the local gym, which he visited regularly. He and the gym owner had become quite close, trading jokes and spotting one another at the lifting station. “One day I asked him what would happen if he saw that a Jew had joined his gym . . . ,” Silverman told me.

“He responded that, ‘if I meet a Jew in the gym, I will drag him out into the street and beat him to a pulp’—and he said it in such a friendly way, as if this was a perfectly normal thing to say.”

Read more at Times of Israel

More about: Anti-Semitism, Arab anti-Semitism, Israel-Arab relations, Jewish World, Jordan, Protocols of the Elders of Zion


President Biden Should Learn the Lessons of Past U.S. Attempts to Solve the Israel-Palestinian Conflict

Sept. 21 2023

In his speech to the UN General Assembly on Tuesday, Joe Biden addressed a host of international issues, mentioning, inter alia, the “positive and practical impacts” resulting from “Israel’s greater normalization and economic connection with its neighbors.” He then added that the U.S. will “continue to work tirelessly to support a just and lasting peace between the Israelis and Palestinians—two states for two peoples.” Zach Kessel experiences some déjà vu:

Let’s take a stroll down memory lane and review how past U.S.-brokered talks between Jerusalem and [Palestinian leaders] have gone down, starting with 1991’s Madrid Conference, organized by then-President George H.W. Bush. . . . Though the talks, which continued through the next year, didn’t get anywhere concrete, many U.S. officials and observers across the world were heartened by the fact that Madrid was the first time representatives of both sides had met face to face. And then Palestinian militants carried out the first suicide bombing in the history of the conflict.

Then, in 1993, Bill Clinton tried his hand with the Oslo Accords:

In the period of time directly after the Oslo Accords . . . suicide bombings on buses and in crowded public spaces became par for the course. Clinton invited then-Palestinian Authority chairman Yasir Arafat and then-Israeli prime minister Ehud Barak to Camp David in 2000, hoping finally to put the conflict to rest. Arafat, who quite clearly aimed to extract as many concessions as possible from the Israelis without ever intending to agree to any deal—without even putting a counteroffer on the table—scuttled any possibility of peace. Of course, that’s not the most consequential event for the conflict that occurred in 2000. Soon after the Camp David Summit fell apart, the second intifada began.

Since Clinton, each U.S. president has entered office hoping to put together the puzzle that is an outcome acceptable to both sides, and each has failed. . . . Every time a deal has seemed to have legs, something happens—usually terrorist violence—and potential bargains are scrapped. What, then, makes Biden think this time will be any different?

Read more at National Review

More about: Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, Joe Biden, Palestinian terror, Peace Process