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Israel’s Campaign to Destabilize Jordan

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Crossing the Allenby Bridge back into Israel, after visiting Jordan just after the 25th anniversary of the signing of the Israel-Jordan peace treaty, an occasion that was not celebrated either in Israel or in Jordan, I felt despondent. Jordan’s monarch recently depicted his country's relationship with Israel as being "at an all-time low."

Senior Jordanian officials haven't yet entirely given up hoping Israel will wake up to the need to preserve relations with Jordan, rather than undermining them. But they also know that widely-flagged future moves by a right-wing Israeli government - not least, West Bank annexation – could be critically destabilizing for Jordan, and a lethal blow for bilateral relations.

During an Americans for Peace Now study trip, I met with senior Jordanian officials, top advisors to King Abdullah II, current foreign minister Ayman Safadi, and former foreign minister and ambassador to the U.S. and Israel, Marwan Muasher. I spoke with experts on Jordanian-Israeli relations and with Jordanian citizens. I read the writing on Amman’s walls – both literally and figuratively.

Both countries have grievances, and both could do more to improve relations, but the power-balance is asymmetrical, and Israel bears much of the responsibility.

Ephraim Halevy, Israel’s former head of Mossad and chief Israeli architect of the 1994 Israel-Jordan peace treaty, recently said: "I see great danger to the peace treaty. I think that the danger comes not from the Jordanians but from us, from Israel…Over the years, Israeli governments have distanced themselves from Jordan; they have also demonstrated contempt toward Jordan while Jordan’s geo-political situation has greatly worsened."


© Haaretz