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

March 15 2019

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.

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Read more at Israel Hayom

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

Hamas’s Tactics of Attrition and Extortion Are Paying Off

Feb. 21 2020

In January, the Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh visited Iran after promising the Egyptian government that he would not. Cairo responded by cutting exports of cooking gas and tires to the Gaza Strip. Facing a possible domestic crisis, the terrorist group recently resumed sending balloon-borne explosives into Israel, and allowed other jihadists to fire rockets. The move succeeded, despite retaliatory strikes by the IDF, writes Elior Levy:

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Read more at Ynet

More about: Egypt, Gaza Strip, Hamas, Ismail Haniyeh, Israeli Security