The Israel-Jordan Peace Treaty Turns Twenty

The 1994 peace treaty between Israel and Jordan created Israel’s most successful and durable regional alliance, writes David Schenker, and has also contributed to strengthening diplomatic and military ties between Jordan and the U.S. Yet the treaty remains widely unpopular in Jordan itself. This anti-Israel sentiment has prevented the two countries from reaping the economic fruits of the alliance:

As with the 1978 Egyptian-Israeli treaty, the widespread “people-to-people” ties promised by [the treaty] have not yet come to fruition. In large part, that is because a significant portion of Jordan’s population continues to oppose normalization of relations with Israel. This persistent, Islamist-tinged opposition has made it politically difficult for the palace to move forward with a broad range of political and economic initiatives. In addition to balking at mutually beneficial water-sharing proposals, opponents reject the impending purchase of Israeli gas—a deal that could provide the kingdom with energy security for decades to come. As with last December’s water deal, the gas deal will eventually be inked, but it will come at a high political cost for the palace.

Read more at Washington Institute

More about: Israel diplomacy, Israeli economy, Jordan

As Hamas’s Reign of Terror Endures, the International Community Remains Obsessed with Jews Living in the Wrong Places

On Thursday, foreign ministers of the G-7—the U.S., Canada, Japan, Britain, France, Germany, and Italy—along with the EU, made an official “statement on the situation in the West Bank,” an area where they are very concerned, it appears, that too many Jews are dwelling. In particular, the G-7 condemned Israel’s decision to grant municipal status to five ad-hoc villages built without proper permits. Elliott Abrams comments:

I can see “condemning” murder, terror, kidnapping, and “rejecting” that legalization. Indeed in the next sentence they “reject the decision by the government of Israel to declare over 1,270 hectares of land in the West Bank as ‘state lands.’” Building houses should not be treated with language usually reserved for murder.

The statement then added complaints about the Israeli settlement program more generally, and about Israel’s decision to withhold some tax revenues it collected on behalf of the Palestinian Authority (PA).

Why does Israel ever withhold such funds? Sometimes it is in the immediate aftermath of a terrorist attack. Sometimes it’s domestic politics. But it’s worth remembering something else: the Taylor Force Act, which became law in 2018 and stated that the “Palestinian Authority’s practice of paying salaries to terrorists serving in Israeli prisons, as well as to the families of deceased terrorists, is an incentive to commit acts of terror.” Until those payments cease, most forms of aid from the U.S. government to the Palestinian Authority may not be made. The payments continue. It is not clear if the State Department is pressuring the Palestinian Authority to end them.

Such moral considerations are entirely absent from the G-7 statement. The statement may be correct when it says, “maintaining economic stability in the West Bank is critical for regional security.” But it should be obvious that ending the pay-for-slay program and rewards for terrorism is even more critical for regional security. It’s a pity the G-7 did not find time to mention that.

The statement, it’s worth noting, appeared on the U.S. State Department website.

Read more at Pressure Points

More about: Europe and Israel, Palestinian Authority, Palestinian terror, U.S. Foreign policy, West Bank