Internal Tensions in Jordan Are Growing, and a Renewal of the Peace Process Could Make Them Worse

For nearly its entire history, the kingdom of Jordan has been riven by the division between its Palestinian and Bedouin populations. In recent years, hostility to the ruling dynasty has grown among the Bedouin, who were once reliably and almost uniformly loyal; a number of Bedouin religious leaders even pledged allegiance to Islamic State. Daniel Siryoti writes that the anticipated U.S. peace proposal for Israelis and Palestinians could further disrupt Jordan:

The Bedouin in Jordan see themselves, justifiably, as the pillar of their nation, whereas the Palestinians are considered guests. But while most Bedouin income comes from public service, the Palestinians are mostly concentrated in Amman and the other large cities and do well in the private sector. The Bedouin tribes and clans continue to seethe as they watch their Palestinian “guests” flourishing and accumulating wealth and status.

[This] inherent tension between the Bedouin and the Palestinians in Jordan is made more complicated by its religious aspect. While the Muslim Brotherhood movement in Jordan is made up mainly of Palestinians, the Jordanian arm of the Muslim Brotherhood (which is in effect the movement that oversees Hamas) is walking a tightrope and being careful not to put Palestinians in top roles, preferring religious figures from the Bedouin sector. [Moreover], one reason the kingdom has managed to remain stable through the events of the Arab Spring and the Islamic winter that followed is that it enjoyed sweeping, albeit secret, support from the Muslim Brotherhood. . . .

Various reports claim that Donald Trump’s “deal of the century” will probably include the establishment of a pan-Arab Islamic council, led by Saudi Arabia, to manage the local waqf—the entity that oversees the Temple Mount. For the Jordanian royal family, that means it would be booted out of its exclusive role at the holy site.

In response to this threat, Siryoti concludes, Jordan has reshuffled the waqf leadership—and the new leaders are likely responsible for the recent disturbances at the Temple Mount, which could in turn derail the peace process and help the Jordanian monarchy maintain its authority.

Read more at Israel Hayom

More about: Bedouin, Jordan, Palestinians, Peace Process, Politics & Current Affairs, Temple Mount

An Israeli Buffer Zone in the Gaza Strip Doesn’t Violate International Law

 The IDF announced on Thursday that it is safe for residents to return to some of the towns and villages near the Gaza Strip that have been abandoned since October 7. Yet on the same day, rocket sirens sounded in one of those communities, Kibbutz Mefalsim. To help ensure security in the area, Israel is considering the creation of a buffer zone within the Strip that would be closed to Palestinian civilians and buildings. The U.S. has indicated, however, that it would not look favorably on such a step.

Avraham Shalev explains why it’s necessary:

The creation of a security buffer along the Gaza-Israel border serves the purpose of destroying Hamas’s infrastructure and eliminating the threat to Israel. . . . Some Palestinian structures are practically on the border, and only several hundred yards away from Israeli communities such as Kfar Aza, Kerem Shalom, and Sderot. The Palestinian terrorists that carried out the murderous October 7 attacks crossed into Israel from many of these border-adjacent areas. Hamas officials have already vowed that “we will do this again and again. The al-Aqsa Flood [the October 7th massacre] is just the first time, and there will be a second, a third, a fourth.”

In 2018 and 2019, Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad organized mass marches towards the Israeli border with the goal of breaking into Israel. Billed by Palestinians as “the Great March of Return,” its name reveals its purpose—invasion. Although the marches were supposedly non-violent, they featured largescale attacks on Israeli forces as well as arson and damage to Israeli agriculture and civilian communities. Moreover, the October 7 massacre was made possible by Hamas’s prepositioning military hardware along the border under false cover of civilian activity. The security perimeter is intended to prevent a reprise of these events.

Shalev goes on to dismantle the arguments put forth about why international law prohibits Israel from creating the buffer zone. He notes:

By way of comparison, following the defeat of Nazi Germany, France occupied the Saar [River Valley] directly until 1947 and then indirectly until reintegration with Germany in 1957, and the Allied occupation of Berlin continued until the reunification of Germany in 1990. The Allies maintained their occupation long after the fall of the Nazi regime, due to the threat of Soviet invasion and conquest of West Berlin, and by extension Western Europe.

Read more at Kohelet

More about: Gaza Strip, Gaza War 2023, International Law, Israeli Security