Jordan's King Abdullah: Walking a Fine Line between the Bedouin and the Palestinians

(Israel Hayom) Daniel Siryoti - While the Arab Spring skipped over the kingdom of Jordan, today there is a real existential threat to the royal family's continued rule. Although the Jordanians take every opportunity to announce that a solution to the Palestinian issue is their top priority, senior officials admit that a shared border between Jordan and a future Palestinian state would be the biggest threat to the stability of the kingdom. Middle East expert Pinhas Inbari, a senior research fellow at the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, argues that the Islamic State is gaining a foothold within Jordan's borders, mostly at the kingdom's periphery. When the Islamic caliphate was at its height, the Bedouin religious leadership openly declared their loyalty to ISIS and called for the ouster of the royal family. In the past, in the time of King Hussein, the Bedouin tribes were blindly loyal to the Hashemite crown. But today the Bedouin tribes and clans seethe as they watch their Palestinian "guests" in Jordan flourishing and accumulating wealth and status. Moreover, the Muslim Brotherhood movement in Jordan is comprised mainly of Palestinians. According to Inbari, the Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan has aligned itself with King Abdullah. When Salafist circles began criticizing this, senior members of the Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan responded, "We have no desire or need to bring Jordan down to the state of Syria, Libya, or Yemen." At the same time, the king and his men take part in anti-Israel rhetoric, mostly when it comes to the issues of Jerusalem and the Temple Mount, out of a desire to calm any possible escalation at home that could portray Jordanian rulers as cooperating with Israel.

2019-03-14 00:00:00

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