Jordan Tries Rapprochement with Hamas

(Weekly Standard) Jonathan Schanzer - Last week, Jordan's new prime minister Awn Khasawneh announced that Jordan's 1999 decision to deport leaders of the Palestinian jihadist group Hamas was a mistake. Some reports even indicate that Hamas would like to transfer its headquarters back to Amman, particularly since the unrest in Syria has made it harder for the group to operate there. Khasawneh's rapprochement with Hamas is an attempt to woo the Islamic Action Front, Jordan's arm of the Muslim Brotherhood, into a government coalition. Khasawneh understands that appeasing the Islamist group, whose appeal has grown in recent months, may help preserve the Hashemite Kingdom. Last month, King Abdullah promised (yet again) that Jordan would move toward a more representative parliament. If and when Jordan becomes truly representative, the rise of Islamist forces is a foregone conclusion. The writer, a former terrorism finance analyst at the U.S. Department of the Treasury, is vice president of research at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

2011-11-09 00:00:00

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