Middle East Review of International Affairs
"Normalization" and "Anti-Normalization" in Jordan: The Public Debate
by Paul L. Scham and Russell E. Lucas *
Editor's Summary: The Jordan-Israel peace treaty, signed in October 1994, was accompanied on both sides by high hopes of warm relations between the peoples of the two countries. A wide range of factors, however, led to a deterioration in any public support for the peace agreement on the Jordanian side. These included: the limits of economic benefits arising from the agreement; the slow, and uncertain pace of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations; Israel's 1996 "Grapes of Wrath" operation in Lebanon and attempted assassination of Hamas leader Khalid Mishal in September 1997; the strength of traditional anti-Israel feeling especially among Palestinians; and the vigorous "anti-normalization" movement, led by the Islamic Action Front and the country's professional associations.
For almost twenty years, from the 1970s until the Jordanian-Israeli peace treaty of 1994, Israel and Jordan maintained quasi-normal, albeit secret, relations. Jordan's King Hussein reportedly met numerous times with Israeli leaders, and even visited the country. Armed clashes along the lengthy border were virtually non-existent. During the Gulf War, despite Jordan's neutrality, Israel even officially announced that Jordan's eastern frontier (with Iraq) constituted its security border. During all of this period, informed Israelis had heard of the meetings between leaders and realized that secret understandings existed, and thus considered that Israel had achieved peace with Jordan in all but name.
When the Declaration of Principles with the PLO was signed in 1993, most expected that a treaty of peace with Jordan would soon be forthcoming. When the treaty was signed the next year, Israelis were almost uniformly pleased, and the treaty represented one of the few breakthroughs with the Arab world in the 1990s that received support from virtually the entire Israeli political spectrum. Partly, this was because Israelis regarded the treaty as the public legitimation of an existing status quo and the solution did not involve the kind of painful concessions and risks present in negotiations with the Palestinians and Syrians. With a Palestinian-Israeli peace process underway, Israelis saw no reason for continuing enmity between the two countries.
It took a while for Israelis to realize that Jordanian perceptions were significantly at variance with their own. Jordanians had known nothing about secret meetings and understandings between their king and Israeli leaders. Less than four years before, Jordanians had loudly cheered Iraqi President Saddam Hussein in the Gulf War. Israel was still demonized in Jordan's press and certainly in its textbooks. As one academic rather plaintively remarked in 1996, "We had no warning that this was going to happen. We cannot adjust as quickly as His Majesty." 1 .
What very quickly developed in Jordan was a three-tier relationship with Israel. On the first tier, military, intelligence, and diplomatic connections warmed quickly, now with the full awareness of the Jordanian population. By 1996, most Jordanians already referred to it as an "alliance.".
The second tier was (and is) the Jordanian opposition, mainly from Islamist and leftist circles, which steadfastly opposed any opening to Israel under current conditions or, indeed, under virtually any circumstances other than the dismantling of the Jewish state. Their views represented what had formerly been the loose consensus, basically since before 1948, in common with the entire Arab world. To true believers in the Palestinian cause, the Hashemites had in any case always been suspect, since King Abdullah I's various flirtations with Zionists in the 1930s and 1940s, which eventually resulted in his assassination in 1951. However, the actuality of relations with Israel now swung them into opposition to state policy, and created the greatest rift in the Jordanian domestic consensus. Those absolutely opposed to relations were understood to be in a clear, if highly determined, minority in the kingdom as a whole.
The third tier constitutes the general public opinion in Jordan. It is possible that for a period of about two years, from the signing of the Wadi Araba treaty until the year following the opening of the Western Wall tunnel in September, 1996, that Jordanian popular attitudes were somewhat up in the air, and perhaps susceptible to change. For example, during the spate of bus bombings in Israel in the spring of 1996, considerable sympathy for Israelis was expressed on a personal level. This sympathy began to end with Israel's Grapes of Wrath campaign. Later, after King Hussein's brief honeymoon with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu concluded with the violence sparked by the opening of the Western Wall Tunnel in Jerusalem and ensuing incidents, Jordanian public opinion turned against Israel, intensifying over the next few years.
Events since then, such as commercial fairs to which Israelis were invited but boycotted, the Jordanian reaction to the king's sharing the grief of bereaved Israeli parents, the attempted assassination of Hamas leader Khalid Mishal, and various other incidents all showed that the vast majority of Jordanians would not share their king's acceptance of Israel.
The buzzword for such contacts quickly became "normalization." During the two- year period after the treaty, the concept was discussed fairly openly in the press, and some Jordanians, though always a minority, actually advocated, even publicly, closer ties with Israel. However, by late 1996, such discussions disappeared from the press. Instead, "normalization" ("tatbi'ah 2 in Arabic) and "normalizer" became solely words of opprobrium. The spearhead of the anti-normalization process was the Jordanian professional associations, which had, three months before the signing of the treaty, already threatened disciplinary action against members who dealt with Israelis. 3 Not long after, the professional associations were the driving force behind the formation of an "anti-normalization committee," which was active in researching contacts with Israel with the aim of "exposing" them.
Results of the Committee's efforts include the fact that the names of normalizersentitled the "List of Shame"are now available on the internet, boycotts are publicly urged against all those who work with Israel or Israelis in any context, while legislators are demanding renunciation of the peace treaty with Israel. The fact that the regime is now publicly moving against the "anti-normalization" forces, which it has usually dismissed as marginal, is an indication of its concern and the impact the anti-normalizers are achieving in Jordanian society.
This paper will examine the process by which Jordanian public opinion has moved from a state of some openness vis-à-vis Israel to the hostility towards normalization which is now apparent. 4 .
Jordan On The Eve Of The Oslo Agreements
The reality of Jordanian politics and public attitudes is partly, though by no means wholly, defined by the fact that over half of the population is identified as "Palestinian" or is of Palestinian origin 5 (all Palestinians living in Jordan have been eligible to receive Jordanian citizenship, in marked contrast to other Arab countries hosting Palestinian refugees). Thus, a very large number of Jordanian citizens have extended family in the West Bank and in Israel. That, plus the geographic proximity (most Jordanians can, and many do, receive Israeli TV broadcasts), make Jordanians acutely aware of their powerful neighbor. In general, three out of the top five items on Jordanian TV news appear to involve Israel and/or the Palestinian territories. Moreover, the influx of an estimated half million Palestinian Jordanians from the Gulf in the early 1990sfleeing from the Kuwait war or expelled in retaliation to PLO support for Iraq, helped increase the sense of resentment and rootlessness, for which Israel is ultimately blamed.
The general perception in Jordan, both among Jordanians of both Palestinian origin and East Bank origin is that the large majority of Jordanians of Palestinian origin would probably prefer to stay in Jordan, even if the opportunity were offered to freely cross the river. Research on this sensitive point is discouraged by the government out of fear that more attention given to it would exacerbate Palestinian-Jordanian tensions in this country. However, there is a very strong empathy with the plight of the Palestinians and a feeling that Jordan, with a larger Palestinian population than any other country, has a duty to remain faithful to the cause. While if a comprehensive peace treaty were signed between Israel and the Palestinian Authority it is probable that most Jordanians would accept it, a significant number of Palestinian Jordanians would likely consider such a treaty only another betrayal.
The interplay between the strong feelings of support for Palestinians and Jordanian domestic politics must also be considered. From 1957 until 1992, political parties in the kingdom were officially banned, reflecting the instability that marked Jordan's political life from the 1950s until the 1970s. The only non-tribal and non-governmental political organizations allowed during this period were the professional associations, which functioned as guilds in the sense that membership was compulsory in most professions; and the Muslim Brotherhood, which was officially regarded as a social, religious and cultural organization. Neither was anti-Hashemite, and relations with the government were generally good. However, both the associations and the Brotherhood to some degree served as nodes of opposition, the former more from a leftist and pan-Arab point of view, the latter serving as the main exponent of Islamism in the kingdom. After parties were officially legalized in 1992, the political nature of both the Associations and the Brotherhood increased. The Brotherhood formed the largest single political party in the country, under the name "Islamic Action Front" (IAF), while the professional associations developed into an amalgam of Islamist and leftist sentiment (the former on the increase, and the latter on the decline), united most strongly by a vehement anti-Israel attitude and a desire to see more of the power in the country wielded by the professional classes, instead of by the monarchy.
Following the Gulf War, the Madrid Conference brought together Israel and PLO delegates for the first time, though the latter were officially part of the Jordanian delegation, at Israel's insistence. In June 1992, the Labor Party was voted into power in Israel for the first time in fifteen years and Yitzhak Rabin became prime minister. Despite the change, the Madrid framework continued with regular meetings in Washington, D.C., but little progress was apparent. However, in August 1993, leaks of secret meetings between the PLO and the Israeli government emerged. By that time the Jordanian delegation to the Washington talks had reached a general level of understanding with their Israeli counterparts. This understanding could have very easily taken on the form of a framework for talks leading to a peace treaty well before 1993, but the JordanianIsraeli track of the peace process had been waiting for progress on the other tracks. The Jordanians had been unwilling to move too far ahead of Syria or the Palestinians. Meanwhile, in response to their own stalled talks with the Israelis in Washington, the PLO had turned to secret negotiations in Oslo to break the deadlock.
The official Jordanian reaction to the surprise announcement of the Oslo accords was shaped by two main reservations. First, Jordanian officials felt "duped" by the PLO's secret negotiations. While the PLO was negotiating secretly in Oslo, it had also been working with Jordan on coordinating committees for the Washington talks. Jordan had felt that it was the natural partner to link the Israelis and the PLO during in peace negotiations. However, no mention of the direct contacts between the PLO and the Israeli government under the aegis of Norway had been revealed to the Jordanians. 6 Second, the Jordanians held reservations about the nature of the "interim" agreement. Jordanian leaders feared that Jericho might become a dumping ground for Palestinians who would then be eventually evicted to Jordan. 7 King Hussein also wanted more information on what direction such the interim agreement was intended to head. 8 However, once the King was briefed by Yasir Arafat on September 3, 1993, he gave his full support to the PLO and the Oslo agreement.
Jordan was not in fact displeased that the Oslo agreement broke the log-jam in the Washington talks. 9 Since the PLO, not just the Palestinian delegation, had agreed in principle to peace with Israel, Jordan could now move forward with its own agenda. The day after the signing of the Oslo accords in Washington, Jordanian and Israeli officials signed an agreement on an agenda for peace talks. 10 Where this agenda would lead, however, was not yet clear. For example, on November 6, the Jordanian government announced it would only sign a treaty with Israel along with Syria and Lebanon, 11 a position that seemed to postpone progress indefinitely.
Like the regime, the Jordanian opposition was caught very much by surprise by the Oslo accords. Most non-PLO groups in Jordan immediately criticized the agreement. The IAF "categorically rejected" the accord, labeling it a sell-out to Israel. 12 Other opposition figures joined the Islamists in criticizing the PLO's concessions in the agreement. Arab Nationalist writers, such as Muna Shuqir and Salah al-Qallab, questioned the postponement of an agreement on settlements, Jerusalem, and especially refugees. As Israel was the stronger partner in the agreement, Shuqir saw the Israeli interpretation of the vague agreement as the more "likely to stick." 13 However, both felt that the Oslo accords' main damage was to Arab unity and political coordination. 14 Nevertheless, in the end, Qallab found the risky agreement better than the status quo at the time. 15 .
The press reported that public opinion was divided in its support of the PLO's agreement. 16 The Balqa' refugee campknown as a barometer of Palestinian opinion in Jordanwitnessed demonstrations against the accord. However, pro-Fatah activists countered the Hamas-sponsored demonstration by holding one of their own. 17 When questioned, however, most Palestinian refugees indeed feared that the result of the "Gaza and Jericho First" plan would be to abandon them. 18 On the other hand, some Jordanians of East Bank origin saw the Oslo accords as the hopeful first step towards removing the Palestinians from being a concern of Jordan. 19 .
Preparing For A Treaty
Even before the reports of the secret negotiations in Oslo emerged, however, King Hussein had been preparing the domestic arena for the eventuality of making peace with Israel. Jordanian elections had already been scheduled for November 1993. Over the summer of 1993, a debate over changing the Election Law had been simmering. With the early reports of the Oslo talks, the Jordanian regime quickly moved to amend the law. On August 17, amendments were decreed by the king. The previous 'open-list' system, which had significantly benefited the Muslim Brotherhood, was changed to a so-called "one-man, one-vote" system which tended to benefit tribal leaders. The opposition was enraged by the decree, yet eventually acquiesced to the change. 20 .
The announcement of the Oslo accords put the election briefly into doubt, though it eventually proceeded as scheduled. The change in the election law had its desired effect. Tribal leaders and pro-government candidates won a majority of the seats. The Islamists and other opposition groups saw their representation in parliament nearly halved. Some new members, such as Toujan Faisal, even praised the peace process in general terms but eventually became bitter opponents of normalization. 21 In larger terms, however, with the election, King Hussein arranged the removal of most obstaclesinternal and externalto an eventual peace agreement with Israel. 22 .
By July 1994, negotiations with Israel had reached the point where the two sides were willing to formally end the state of war between them. King Hussein and Israeli Prime Minister Rabin announced the "Washington Declaration" on July 25, 1994, in the presence of President Bill Clinton. The declaration opened the way for final negotiations towards a peace treaty between Jordan and Israel. Through August and September of 1994, negotiators quickly resolved issues of border, water and economic cooperation. The treaty was signed on October 26, 1994 in a ceremony at the Wadi Araba border point, to the accompaniment of considerable international acclaim. Most Jordanians were pleased to bask in Western approval.
The Debate Over The Treaty
As early as July 1994, the government of Jordan began a media campaign to sway public opinion towards support the pending agreement. 23 The regime knew that it would be difficult to garner public agreement to ending nearly fifty years of hostilities with Israel, especially in the absence of a comprehensive accord for Middle East peace. For this reason, King Hussein personally took the lead in promoting the treaty. In contrast to most Jordanian government campaigns, in which the prime minister appeared as the main policy actor, King Hussein made it clear that the peace treaty was "his." Thus, any opposition to the treaty would be interpreted by the regime as opposition to the monarchy itselfwith the resultant consequences. 24 The campaign attempted to convince Jordanians to support the peace treaty with four major arguments:.
First, the regime and its supporters presented the treaty as a strategic option for Jordan, one in which the country had little choice. In order to escape its post-Gulf-war isolation, the government urged that Jordan needed to join the peace camp. King Hussein argued that in the past many opportunities for peace with Israel had been missed. 25 Government supporters in the Foreign Affairs committee of the House of Deputies recommended that the house endorse the treaty as the "best" accord the regime could have reached given what was "possible and realistic." 26 Economic commentator Fahd Fanek, for example, argued that "those who reject peace must offer an alternative, which can only be war." 27 Government supporters argued that the treaty would end Jordan's international "isolation." 28 Without the treaty, Tarek Massarweh of al-Rai' newspaper argued, the "noose" that surrounded Jordan since 1991and especially after the 1993 Oslo accordswould "dry up" the country. 29 .
The second argument pointed out that in the peace treaty, Jordan itself got all that it claimed back from Israel. The government, in a statement to the lower house of parliament, said that the treaty should quickly be ratified in order "to regain the Jordanian rights in land and water, to protect the county from threats and conspiracy and to ascertain the Kingdom's borders." 30 Prime Minister Majali emphasized that Jordan had settled all its outstanding issues with Israel. 31 .
He pointed out that the Jordanian territory that Israel held was to return to full Jordanian sovereignty. In addition, Jordan would gain access to additional water resources from the Jordan River and Lake Tiberius. More important than these, however, was the government's claim that in the treaty Israel explicitly and conclusively recognized that Jordan was not Palestine. 32 Cecil Hourani, in the opinion pages of the Jordan Times, emphasized that the treaty "puts an end, once and for all, to the possibility that a future Israeli government might revive" such a claim. 33 Making the same point, 'Abd al-Hafiz al-Shakhanibah asked rhetorically in his speech to the House, "Weren't you frightened by the concept of the substitute homeland? Weren't you frightened that solving the Palestinian problem would only be done in Jordan through the establishment of a Palestinian state in this country?" For Shakhanibah, the treaty ended his fears. 34 .
A third argument presented by the regime pointed to the provisions in the treaty for future multilateral negotiations. Issues such as refugees and economic cooperation were scheduled for negotiations not just between Israel and Jordan, but would include Egypt and the Palestinians as well. Prime Minister Majali argued in his rebuttal to the house debate that such problems could not just be resolved bilaterally between Jordan and Israel. 35 .
Finally, and perhaps most effectively in the short run, the regime endeavored to sell the treaty based on its expected economic benefits to the whole country and its potential to create significant for new investment in Jordan. This message targeted Jordanians of both Palestinian and East Bank origin. The government argued that Jordan had been promised by the United States a large package of debt relief and aid. Such a peace dividend would jump-start Jordan's sluggish economy and provide new jobsespecially in the tourism industry. 36 The government reminded citizens of the example of Egypt, and the rewards it received for signing the Camp David accords in 1978. In the popular imagination, there appeared the possibility of a new era for Jordan based on American and Israeli aid and investment. As late as 1996, Jordanians would (seemingly seriously) argue to private Israelis and Americans the need for Jordan to receive a billion dollars of aid to stabilize the country and its economy, based on what Egypt had been receiving since Camp David. 37 .
The opposition generally rejected the peace treaty that had been signed with Israel. However, it should be noted that most components of that opposition were criticizing the actual treaty but not necessarily the notion of peace itself, at least in public. The reasons for opposition can be broken down into four general points.
The first reason given was based on the treaty's abandonment of Arab coordination. Arab Nationalists and Leftists faulted the treaty for violating the principles of UN Security Council Resolutions, 194, 237, 242, and 338. Thus, the treaty failed "to comply with the requirements of international legitimacy." 38 However, Islamists also criticized the government for signing a treaty that "would end Jordan's ties with other Arab and Muslim countries. 39 .
Second, the opposition criticized the treaty for only dealing with the issue of Palestinian refugees in later multilateral talks. Many in the opposition saw the treaty as "depriving the refugees of the right to return to their homeland." 40 Other Islamists reiterated this point by charging that the treaty only dealt with the issue of refugees as a humanitarian problem and not as a political one. Muhammad 'Uwaydah saw this as a delay in an issue of great concern for many Jordaniansand not just those of Palestinian origin. 41 .
Other deputies critiqued the treaty on a third point. They rejected the government's claim that Jordan had reclaimed its rights to land and water from Israel. 42 They especially objected to the provision of leasing land returned to Jordanian sovereignty to Israeli farmers, seeing it as a denigration of that sovereignty. 43 .
Finally, opponents of the peace treaty also criticized the government for cracking down on political liberties. Since the beginning the peace process with the Madrid Conference in 1991, the opposition charged, the government had been reversing the process of political liberalization. 44 The opposition argued that since the regime could not refute their arguments, the government was now attempting to silence them. According to Labib Qamhawi, for the government, "This period requires absolute obedience, and this is why democracy is a luxury that the government will not tolerate or accept." 45 After the signing of the treaty, permits for marches protesting it were virtually all denied by the government. Nevertheless, demonstrations took place anyway, some of which were broken up by force. For example, on November 28, 1994, Deputy 'Abd-al'Aziz Abu-Zant was injured after clashes broke out in response to a Friday sermon by the Muslim Brotherhood. The IAF blamed government agents for the attack. 46 .
Opposition politicians criticized the restrictions on dissent to the treaty in the press and in their speeches during the ratification of the treaty. IAF spokesman Hamzah Mansour stated that the "government is acting with unjustified over-sensitivity" 47 Bassam Haddadin, in his speech to the House of Deputies, charged the government with restricting public liberties. "Whenever progress was made in the negotiation process, the government had tightened its grip on the opposition and limited participation in the decision making process to the smallest circles and sometimes to a few individuals." 48 Nevertheless, the opposition generally reiterated its commitment to express dissent through "peaceful and democratic forms of protest." 49 .
In the end, the treaty was ratified by the parliament by a vote of 55-23. IAF Deputy Abdullah al-'Akayilah summed up his movement's reaction to the treaty passing the parliament by saying that he "was not surprised by the result. We cannot but accept the decision of the majority in compliance with the democracy in which we live." He then said that the opposition's focus would shift to preparing a program to resist normalization with Israel and the "coming Zionist invasion of our culture." 50 .
This last point was perhaps broadly the most effective. It played on the Arab fear of Western/Zionist influence overwhelming the Arab world. Islamists frequently spoke of an Israeli plot to invade the Arab world culturally and economically through Jordan. This theme has been reiterated by many spokespersons for the anti-normalization. 51 .
It is important to note that at this point, except for the hard-line opposition, most Jordanians were not actively opposed to the treaty. Many ordinary people were clearly impressed by the expected economic benefits. Some saw Amman becoming the new Beirut, and Jordan serving as the bridge between Israel and the Arab world (precisely the fear of the Islamists). Tourism was expected to benefit quickly and massively. The month before the treaty was signed, the admission fee to Jordan's primary tourist site, the ancient city of Petra, was quadrupled overnight in expectation of tourists who would divide their time between Israel and Jordan.
The perception of Jordanians at this time, during the two years following the treaty, gathered from numerous conversations, was that it was Israel that avidly, almost desperately, wanted peace. Many Jordanians who fully accepted the idea of peace between the two countries would have preferred that Jordan take its time in signing a treaty in order to obtain maximum concessions. The king was frequently portrayed as succumbing to American and Israeli pressure, and not obtaining the best deal for his country.
From the other side, Israelis were indeed supportive of peace, but most saw Jordan primarily as a stepping stone to the Arab world. Few were interested in or knowledgeable about Jordan in its own right. Though a section of the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs was kept busy drawing up ideas for grandiose peace projects, the actions of the government gave no indication that Jordan was, or would become, a centerpiece of Israeli policy. This gradually became apparent to Jordanians.
Even those without ideological baggage were suspicious, if also somewhat hopeful. "We need time to see if Israel keeps its word" or "Let us see if Israel has really changed," were refrains heard from many academics interviewed during this period. This expresses a fundamental difference between the perceptions of the two sides. Israelis saw the peace treaty as ratifying the fact that there were no state-to-state issues between Jordan and Israel, and as a long-overdue formal acceptance of Israel's right to exist. Jordanians, who had been taught for many years that Zionism was inherently expansionistic and violent, needed to be assured that Israel's attitudes had changed. Since Israelis had never remotely seen themselves in those terms, they could not imagine why assurance was needed. Israelis, as well as the Israeli government, often treated Jordanians and Jordan with the brusque, though non-hostile, impersonality for which Israelis are known. Jordanians, who looked for more on a personal as well as diplomatic level, were soon disappointed.
The Aftermath Of The Treaty
The basic support for the treaty lasted for about a year and a half. The mood of those days is captured by an article in LINK Magazine. Israel is portrayed as damaging its own reputation through over-excitement at the prospect of regional cooperation, at the October 1994, Casablanca Middle East Economic Summit. Jordanians are shown as cautiously interested in establishing ties but wary of being identified as having Israeli partners. The article includes a prescient quote from Jordanian economist Riad al-Khouri: "The ice has been broken but the temperature is still below zero. It could easily freeze over again." 52 .
The next Middle East and North Africa economic summit was held in Amman, October 29-31, 1995. Jordanian observers were extremely pleased with its results, and even more so that it was seen as recognizing Jordan as an economic force in the region, undeniably a direct result of the treaty with Israel. It was recognized by all that the United States had been the driving force behind the summits and was particularly interested in new Arab-Israel economic projects. The results included loan agreements for over $300 million from Japan and the World Bank. 53 .
However, as the first year of the treaty progressed, it appeared that, while no disasters had occurred, in the relationship, most promised benefits, other than the MENA conference itself, were slow in making an appearance. Trade grew only slowly. 54 While tourism from Israel did appear, it barely registered on the economic barometer, as most Israeli tourists came either for day trips, to see only Petra and one or two other major sites, or stayed only a short time. Moreover, all Jordanians seemed to know that Israeli tourists brought their lunches with them and bought no souvenirs. Even worse, while the number of tourists from third countries increased after the treaty was signed, it became apparent that many tourists or pilgrims simply added a day or two in Jordan while spending a week or more in Israel. Many Jordanians regarded this as no less than an Israeli plot and an attempt to damage the Jordanian economy.
The hard core of the anti-normalization forces did not, of course, accept the treaty without a fight. After failing to have any effect on its ratification, the IAF, leftist parties and professional associations tried to hold a conference on the subject in Amman. After the government twice refused permission, it was held in September 1995 on the premises of a political party, thus obviating the need for permission. 300 people attended. 55 .
The anti-normalization forces appeared to suffer a setback in the aftermath of the assassination of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin on November 4, 1995. Jordanians mourned the assassination, but appeared confident that the new government, led by Shimon Peres, would carry the process forward. 56 King Hussein's moving eulogy was highlighted around the world. In fact, the period from Rabin's assassination until the end of February 1996 was, in retrospect, the high water mark of support for peace and normalization.
During that period, the government felt confident enough to propose amending the law on Professional Associations, to weaken their power. 57 The week before that had seen the arrest of Engineer's Association Head Leith Shbeilat, the most prominent of the anti-normalization leaders, on charges of "sedition and slighting His Majesty", based on a speech critical of government policies and predicting economic austerity, as opposed to the peace dividend expected by the government. 58 .
During that time, Israeli Prime Minister Peres and Foreign Minister Ehud Barak visited Jordan, and King Hussein visited Israel. In January, five new bilateral agreements were signed, thus completing the thirteen envisioned by the Peace Treaty of 1994. After their festive signing, the Monitoring Committee set up by the treaty was disbanded, having completed its mission. 59 At the banquet in Eilat given for Crown Prince Hassan to celebrate the signing, the Prince noted that "today normal life between Jordan and Israel can begin at last". Similarly, columnist Musa Keilani wrote in an opinion piece, "We have little reason to doubt the Israeli seriousness and interest to develop close economic relations with Jordan." 60 In February, Peres announced new elections for May 29, and polls showed him 15 points ahead, a figure that had been fairly steady since the assassination two months earlier.
This period of warmth and high expectations (which was shared on the Israeli side) ended explosively on 25 February 1996, with two bus bombs in Jerusalem. Twenty-six were killed and 77 wounded. The Jordanian government and some of the press were outraged at the bombers. The Jordan Times opined on March 4 that "the bombs are aimed at peace." In private conversations, many Jordanians expressed their sympathy with Israelis.
However, Israel's response to the ongoing bombing campaign in order to stop future attacks, which involved a comprehensive closure of the West Bank and Gaza Strip and significant hardship to Palestinians, quickly transformed the sympathy into anger. Soon the press and then the government focused much more on the ongoing closure and the Palestinian suffering it entailed, in the process drawing negative conclusions for the possibilities of Israeli-Jordanian normalization.
On April 9 a new front was opened, when rockets fired by Hizballah in Lebanon rained down on the Galilee. Peres, whose popularity among the Israeli public had plummeted in the aftermath of the bombing campaign, felt he had to demonstrate strength and resolve. Israel began a bombing campaign in Lebanon, whose intensity was quickly ratcheted up and given the name "Grapes of Wrath." Jordanian anger, which had been building, was seen in a drumbeat of daily attacks on Israel. The Jordan Times, which had been the most pro-normalization of the daily newspapers, editorialized that the Israeli response to the Katyusha rockets from Lebanon "lacks even the resemblance of credibility" in its disproportion. 61 The next day it warned that "peace is being shattered in Lebanon". The Lower House of the Parliament condemned the bombing in a resolution that proclaimed that it "expresses to the world the true face of the Jewish state.".
On 18 April, an Israeli shell aimed at Hizballah forces killed at least 100 refugees in a UN compound in Qana. Jordanian fury at Israel's action reached a crescendo. Few Jordanians could believe that the vaunted, technically advanced Israeli military had hit the compound accidentally, and detailed post-mortems rejected Israel's insistence that it had been unintentional. Virtually no Israeli could imagine any reason that Israel would deliberately kill civilians in that fashion, while Jordanians were seemingly unanimously convinced that Israel, utterly callous about Arab life, were simply trying to teach a lesson. Columnist Musa Keilani, who only a few months before was secure in his expectations of normalization, wrote "Israel should not wonder anymore why its efforts at normalization of relations at the popular level are sagging. If anything, its bloodbath in Lebanon has already moved many Jordanians from the center of the road to openly opposing ties with the Jewish state." 62 On the same day, the Jordan Times editorialized, "Israeli bullets have rendered the peace agreements in the region nothing more than ink on paper." 63 As usual, the Arabic language press was even harsher. Sultan al Hattab wrote in Al-Rai' that the campaign "destroyed any lingering hope for coexistence with the Jewish State....The Arabs have no doubt that Israel does not contemplate a genuine peace with its neighbors." 64 .
Even on the economic front, expectations for normalization were receding. Seemingly unrelated to the political disillusionment with Israel, the Jordan Times "Daily Business Beat," headlined "Israeli market seen unable to plug Jordan's trade gap with Iraq." Businessmen were quoted as saying, "I don't think that any of the Jordanian businessmen will rely on the Israeli marketthis is by far unlikely and we are not enthusiastic for this market." Much of the article contained warnings against expecting too much from trade with Israel. 65 .
Jordanian hope for and belief in normalization never again reached the point that it had achieved in the first two months of 1996. Having been taught all their lives that Zionism was inherently expansionistic and racist, the moderate forces in Jordan had nevertheless largely suspended their disbelief and chosen to see a change. When Israel reacted as it always had to attacks, namely, by retaliating swiftly and forcefully, Jordanians felt betrayed. Though much else was to happen, the spring of 1996 marked a loss of innocence on the Jordanian side that was never regained.
Obviously, Israelis viewed the situation completely differently. The change, from their point of view, had come from the Arabs, who had finally agreed to recognize the fact of Israel's existence. When it transpired that the Palestinian Authority could not do as it had undertaken and prevent terror, Israelis had little doubt that they had to react forcefully in a justifiable defense of its citizen's lives. Likewise, if the Lebanese government was unable or unwilling to control Hizballah, Israel must make it painful enough for Lebanon that the government would do so, or at least so Israel hoped. From discussions at this time with Israelis who wholeheartedly supported the peace process, it was clear that nothing that had happened since Oslo had caused them to reassess these fundamental assumptions.
Given this dynamic, which was based on the absolute certainty of each side that it was the victim in the conflict, it is clear that, even if the bus bombings and rocket attacks on the Galilee had not taken place, normalization of relations would have been difficult. Each side believed that it had made fundamental concessions unmatched by the other. Palestinian and Jordanian leaders had recognized Israel, despite their belief in the fundamental injustice of its creation. Israelis saw that as a simple recognition of reality. On the other side, Israelis had agreed to recognize the enemies they saw as sworn to their destruction and accept a process that would presumably lead to a Palestinian state, the prevention of which had been the linchpin of Israeli policy since 1948. Arabs saw this as a minimal, grudging and belated recognition of only part of the enormous injustice Israel had wrought.
This mood in Jordan was well expressed by Jordan Times columnist Walid Sadi, an attorney and human rights advocate of moderate views. He wrote, four days after the Qana incident, "What worries me is the inevitable conclusion that even many moderate Arabs are beginning to share, the idea that peace between Israel and the Arab peoples is unnatural and what is natural is the continuation of a state of war notwithstanding all the peace treaties that have been concluded." 66 .
Arabs cried foul when Israel responded to attacks. Why should the entire Palestinian or Lebanese population suffer for the acts of a few fanatics? To them, this showed Israeli disdain for Arab life. Israel, however, saw it as a people-to-people confrontation, as always. The Palestinians had failed in their promise to fight terrorism, and thus Israel would have to do it in the only way it could. Lebanon had refused to control its own borders, and thus Israel would likewise have to persuade it to do so.
In Jordan, and in Israel as well, many felt that the primary reason for the launching of Grapes of Wrath was the need by Shimon Peres to make himself appear a more aggressive and hardline figure in order to win the election. Whether connected to Grapes of Wrath or not, toward the end of the election campaign, rumors appeared that King Hussein's preferred candidate was not Peres the dove, but rather Netanyahu the hawk. Interviews with well-connected Jordanian academics during and soon after the campaign confirmed the impression that the king, though perhaps not his subjects, was hoping for a Netanyahu win. Reasons given for this varied. Some asserted that the king was seriously concerned about Peres's reputed pro-Palestinian and pro-Syrian orientation. The king, according to this analysis, was determined that Jordan be Israel's primary Arab partner, and was concerned that Peres might not share this orientation. Others talked of a lack of chemistry between Peres and Hussein, in contrast to the relationship between the king and the martyred Yitzhak Rabin, Peres' longtime political adversary. In any case, it was believed in Jordan that no tears were shed in the Palace when Benjamin Netanyahu squeaked to victory on May 29, 1996. The king expressed his "high hopes for (Netanyahu's) success in reaching a just, comprehensive and lasting peace for generations to come." According to the Jordan Times, however, based on interviews with Jordanians from various backgrounds, Netanyahu's election was viewed as a blow to the Middle East peace process. 67 .
Whether or not they had a preference before the elections, many Jordanians were not overly concerned about the victory of the Israeli Right. For example, at a workshop at the Truman Institute for the Advancement of Peace of Hebrew University, inaugurating a program of Israeli-Jordanian academic cooperation which, coincidentally, began the day after the election, the Jordanian participants assured their Israeli hosts that the peace process was irreversible, and that the peace was between countries, not individuals or parties. Their major concern was whether the Likud party had abandoned its "Jordan is Palestine" orientation of the late 1980s. However, this mood of optimism on the part of Jordanians turned out to be short-lived.
During the summer of 1996, the Arab moderates sought to find common ground with the Netanyahu government. However, the attempt ended for most in the Palestinian explosion of violence following Israel's opening of the "Western Wall Tunnel" in September 1996. King Hussein was particularly incensed since, shortly before the opening, Prime Minister Netanyahu's foreign policy advisor, Dore Gold, had visited him and mentioned nothing of the plans. However, the tunnel riots energized the anti-normalization forces in Jordan, where reportedly 37 groups representing a variety of divergent views joined the IAF in a declaration calling resistance to "all forms of normalization with the Zionist enemy". 68 Before the tunnel violence, normalization was a neutral word for many. It could be supported or opposed. However, afterward, many turned against normalization, a blow from which it never really recovered.
The year following the tunnel riots was the crucial one. Five separate incidents that made the news illustrate the downward progression of the Israeli-Jordanian relationship. While only one actually included participation by the Jordanian opposition, it could not have asked for a better series of events which helped its campaign to discredit the treaty and the legitimacy of a Jordanian relationship with Israel.
In January 1997, an Israeli trade fair was held in Amman, sponsored by Israeli government institutions and organized by a Jordanian businessman. It was realized on all sides that, while economics could not make the relationship succeed, the lack of an economic relationship could certainly result in failure of the treaty. From all accounts, the success of the boycott against the trade fair pleased and even surprised the organizers. Supported by 20 of Jordan's 23 recognized political parties, a demonstration against the fair mobilized a reported 4000 people. Only a few Jordanians braved the protests to visit the trade fair. The opposition had shown its ability to mobilize the population, in clear contrast to the government's goal of greatly increasing economic ties. The government was embarrassed, Israelis were confused, and the anti-normalizers had achieved their first clear success.
The agreement on the Hebron deployment between Israel and the Palestinian Authority in January 1997 was hailed by the Jordanian government and the press as a new departure, which was particularly important as it was seen as a defeat for the Israeli right wing. Peaceand eventual normalizationseemed again within the realm of possibility. 69 However, precisely because this was indeed the case, the Netanyahu government now had to make a gesture to its supporters on the right which turned into a major bonus for the Arab opposition to the process.
Israel had long been interested in building a housing development on a wooded hill facing the Palestinian city of Bethlehem but inside the expanded borders of Jerusalem. Known in Hebrew as Har Homa and in Arabic as Jabal Abu Ghneim, the hill occupied a strategic position, as, if built on, it would effectively prevent any Palestinian linkup of the northern and southern areas of the West Bank near Jerusalem. In February 1997, the Likud government announced that it would build a new neighborhood there. Har Homa was viewed as a new settlement by Arabs, who warned it would endanger the entire peace process. 70 .
The reaction from the Palestinian Authority was immediate. However, it also became a major rallying cry in Jordan and through most of the Arab world. This was precisely the sort of action that Arabs had understood that the Oslo process was intended to prevent, namely, the change of status of parts of Jerusalem. For many Israelis, the issue was equally black and white. For them, Har Homa/Jabal Abu Ghneim was within the Israeli borders of Jerusalem, and therefore a purely domestic issue of building a new neighborhood. The Israeli peace camp opposed Har Homa, though, and staged a series of demonstrations there, with no perceivable effect on the government's intentions.
If the trade fair had symbolized Israeli economic penetration of Jordan to the opposition, Har Homa/Jabal Abu Ghneim was a clear example of what Arabs had always seen in Zionism, namely, expropriation of Arab land under transparent (or without) pretext. As the relationship between Israel and the Palestinian Authority deteriorated, Jordanians who had pointed out that there was no reason for Jordan to be "purer" than the Palestinians themselves regarding dealing with Israel, were abashed.
The cause of the next incident was lost sight of in the light of what subsequently occurred. Apparently, King Hussein had requested permission of the Israeli government to fly Yasir Arafat to Gaza in his own plane. In what appeared to be monumental insensitivity by whichever Israeli official was responsible, permission was refused. The king responded with a furious three-page letter sent on March 9 to Netanyahu and very quickly leaked to the press. The king, whose language was usually extremely circumspect, accused the prime minister, with whom his public relations had been cordial until then, of allowing a situation in which the lives of all Arabs and Israelis were "sliding towards an abyss of bloodshed and disaster, brought about by fear and despair." 71 .
In his letter the king alluded to a number of issues, including Har Homa/Jabal Abu Ghneim, a U.S. veto in the UN Security Council of a condemnation of Israel, delays on Israeli withdrawal holding up work on a port and airport for Gaza and, most dramatically, having almost tested the Israeli refusal to allow Arafat to travel on his jet, and asking whether the Air Force would have shot him down. Such an unbridled personal attack was out of character for the king, and expressed eloquently the frustration that he, Israel's best friend in the Arab world, was experiencing in trying to influence the Israeli government. Netanyahu's bland response did nothing to soothe matters.
However, the letter incident was almost immediately overtaken by another, more tragic event. On March 13, a Jordanian soldier, Ahmed Daqamsa, opened fire on a group of Israeli schoolgirls from a religious school in Beit Shemesh, killing 7. They were picnicking on the "Island of Peace" in the Jordan River, called Naharayim in Hebrew and Bequra in Arabic.
Jordanian reaction illustrated the varied attitudes towards normalization. The regime and its supporters denounced the crime in the strongest terms. "It was the most heinous crime ever committed in Jordan", wrote Musa Keilani. 72 However, Keilani went on to state explicitly that the only gainer was Netanyahu and his anti-peace policies, and even to imply, with no shred of evidence, that the perpetrator may have intended that result. From all appearances, the majority of Jordanians disapproved of the attack and expressed sympathy for the victims. 73 However, very soon Daqamsa became a hero to anti-normalization Jordanians. Police prevented a pilgrimage to his house. Two hundred Jordanian lawyers competed to represent him, led by the Jordanian Bar Association. 74 .
The king, meanwhile, in a moment etched indelibly in virtually every Israeli memory, came to Israel to visit the homes of the dead children, during the seven-day Jewish mourning ceremony known as the shiva. According to tradition, mourners sit on the floors or on low stools to express their grief. Accompanied by television cameras, the king visited each home that would have him, sitting on the floor with the mourners. Israelis were touched by the human gesture of sharing their grief, which they had never before seen from an Arab leader.
Jordanians were also impressed, but very differently. Unfamiliar with Jewish customs, it appeared to them that the king was kneeling to the Jews, abasing and humiliating himself, and denigrating the dignity of his office and his country. A storm of condemnation broke out and the king found himself on the defensive domestically, though he had made many friends across the river.
Eventually, despite his legions of legal representation, Daqamseh was convicted and sentenced to life in prison (angering many Israelis, who felt that was almost an acquittal under the circumstances), and remains a martyr for the anti-normalization cause. Israelis were perplexed by the spectacle, and were beginning to understand that peace with Jordan was not as simple as it had once appeared.
The worst incident with regard to Jordanian pride, however, was still to come. The anti-normalization forces could not have come up with a better scenario than the Khalid Mishal episode to discredit normal relations with Israel. Apparently, the Mossad had been ordered to kill Mishal, a Hamas leader in Jordan, with a slow-acting poison. However, the attack was badly bungled and the perpetrators captured at the scene. The king demanded an antidote, which was provided, the Israelis were released, and Mishal quickly recovered. Jordanians were more outraged by the intended assassination than by any other event that had happened since the treaty. While the earlier actions were against the Palestinians and Lebanese, who had perpetrated the attacks against Israel, this attack was exactly what the signed peace treaty was intended to prevent.
The Jordanian public response was predictable but not, apparently, to Israelis. Even many liberal, peace-oriented Israelis seemed to believe that the only thing wrong with the operation was its failure. After almost 50 years of overt and covert retaliation against Israel's enemies all over the world, one more hit was barely an issue, except for the incompetence it exposed. Yet this behavior was explicitly and unambiguously prohibited by the Israeli-Jordanian treaty, exposed King Hussein to ridicule from his own people and the rest of the Arab world, and dealt a virtual death-blow to any lingering Jordanian feelings of trust toward Israel. The conflicting reactions made clear the extreme difficulties facing Jordanian-Israeli popular relations. The King's mild public reaction to the incident confirmed for many Jordanians that he was in the pocket of the Israelis, though, of course, such sentiments could not be expressed publicly.
King Hussein had by no means given up the fight for peace and for normalization of Israel's relationship with the Arab world. However, by the end of 1997, it appeared that the battle for the Jordanian public's acceptance of Israel in the framework set up by Oslo seemed lost. The peace process itself was caught in a seemingly endless series of crises, only occasionally relieved by news of cooperation or a new agreement. The stability and progress implied by the term normalization had never had a chance to take root, and the Jordanian public had seemingly lost its faith in the possibility of achieving it.
What the Israeli public and other observers found difficult to understand was that this had virtually no effect on the stability of King Hussein's reignwhich, in any case, was drawing to a closeand the viability of the Hashemite dynasty. In a sense, the king and most of the public agreed to disagree on this matter, with the rhetoric generally muted, as is normal in Jordanian public discourse. On one hand, attacks on the king and the Hashemite monarchy are taboo, though attacks on the government are acceptable, as one of the prime minister's roles is to be a punching bag for public disapproval. If he gets too battered, he is dismissed (the average length of King Hussein's governments over a period of 45 years was under a year). On the other hand, the government does not, except under extreme provocation, prosecute or generally act against the anti-normalizers nor did it "force" any Jordanian to participate in normalization activities. These were the rules of the game that developed.
Much of the year 1998 was taken up with the King's illness, which was only revealed to be terminal in the weeks before he died in February 1999. He was undergoing intensive therapy in the Mayo clinic for the last half of 1998 and Crown Prince Hassan was, as always, the regent. Jordanian public life was low-key. However, the king did make a dramatic appearance, literally from his sickbed, at the Wye River Plantation negotiations between Netanyahu and Arafat, moderated by President Clinton. His appearance was clearly part of the reason for the formal success of the summit, although the agreements were suspended by Netanyahu shortly thereafter, based on claims of Palestinian violations, and his government soon fell from power.
Jordanian reaction to the king's role at Wye Plantation was muted. No one could criticize it, since it was a personal intervention by the monarch, and certainly the king's decisive part was a cause of national pride. The Star solved the problem by quoting foreign support for the king's role, and in a separate article, indicating the skepticism of the Palestinian inhabitants of Jordanian refugee camps towards the agreement itself, with no word mentioned of the king's role. 75 .
About January 25, 1999, rumors began to circulate that the king was about to replace his brother, Crown Prince Hassan, who had been heir apparent to the throne since 1965, with his son, Prince Abdallah. Within days, this became official. Israelis and Americans scrambled to decode the relationship between the unexpected change, the peace process, the relationship with Israel, as well as to the stability of the dynasty. Within two weeks, this speculation became that much more intense, when the king returned to Jordan for the second time, obviously dying. His death came on February 7, 1999.
After The Death Of King Hussein
In fact, the change in the succession had nothing to do with Israel. While speculation and various theories preoccupied the Jordanian public for months, most agreed that, as his death approached, the king wanted his son rather than his brother to carry on the dynastic line. As expected, Prince Hassan, though grievously disappointed, accepted the succession without a murmur of public protest.
King Hussein's funeral was the most inclusive diplomatic event in years, and some of Hussein's bitterest enemies, most notably President Hafiz al-Asad of Syria, took the opportunity to extend a hand of friendship to Jordan and its new king. Most observers predicted that there was every reason to shore up relations with Jordan's Arab neighbors and concentrate on domestic reform. King Hussein had devoted his last five years to reinstating his country in the good graces of the West, led by the United States, and creating the relationship with Israel that he and the United States had sought. Now, with the peace process seemingly stalled, there was every reason to turn inward, which is what he has done.
King Abdullah II, again as expected, continued King Hussein's policy with regard to Israel and the peace process. While his youth and dynamism were celebrated publicly, in private the grizzled veterans of Jordan's political wars decried his American accent and his inexperience. The new, Western-educated and -oriented king made it clear that his first priority was Jordan, and that he wanted to see a less corrupt, more prosperous country. King Hussein's attachment to Jerusalem soon disappeared from Jordanian priorities, seemingly not missed by Jordanians.
In September 2000, the second intifada broke out. Perhaps if King Hussein had been alive he might have played some helpful role in easing tensions and bridging gaps. At any rate, though, Jordan and its new king were not consulted at the Camp David negotiations, nor were they involved in the outbreak of the second intifada, any more than in the first. However, all Jordanians publicly adopted the cause of the Palestinians, and attitudes toward Israel, already distant, became icy. Jordan and Egypt fought back an attempt at the Arab summit to demand that all states break relations with Israel, but their victory had a price. After the Jordanian ambassador resigned, no successor was sent. Israeli diplomats were attacked on the streets of Amman, leading to a withdrawal of diplomats' families. Israel soon warned its citizens not to travel to Jordan.
At present, the anti-normalizers have routed the normalizers from the field. Though their leftist and Islamist baggage by no means represented the views of a majority of Jordanians, working with Israel and consorting with Israelis was now seen as an anti-Arab, anti-Islamic act. The blacklist that had been in the process of compilation for years was finally released and generally available. Many of those who appeared on it were solid and well-known citizens. These were precisely the people opposed by the Islamists and leftists; Western-oriented, many Christians, often strong supporters of the monarchy.
It is reasonable to ask, is this so important? With the Hashemite monarchy still seeing Israel and, with it, the American connection as a strategic requirement, is public opinion really essential? Jordan is not, after all, a democracy, and certainly not in the realm of foreign affairs. Jordanian public opinion, which would have been difficult to acquire and easy to lose was perhaps not much of a prize for Israel.
From a realpolitik point of view this perception has some merit. Israel still benefits from intelligence and other security cooperation, even if Jordan is more attuned to the United States than to Israel. The border is quiet, and the Hamas presence is low-key At least at this point, there appears to be no question of Jordan breaking relations with Israel, much less joining the anti-Israel camp in the Arab and Muslim worlds. Jordan still has Israeli factories (the number has actually grown since 1999). The borders are (usually) open.
Yet while having some merit, this approach is also short-sighted. The fact is that on two major occasions, namely, the 1967 war and the 1990-91 Gulf war, Jordanian public opinion was probably the major factor in causing Jordan to take the stands it did. Now, with a more liberalized political system, the system is that much more responsive. 76 .
Jordan is still Israel's only likely gateway to the Arab world. If Jordanians are anti-Israel, it is unlikely that any other country will develop significant business or diplomatic ties. Moreover, Israel now feels surrounded by a wall of hostility, not that different from the situation before 1994.
In retrospect, the only way an Israeli-Jordanian peace could have succeeded was if an Israeli-Palestinian peace had done so. This was obvious to the Jordanians, but much less so to the Israeli government, and certainly not to the Israeli public. The East Bank Jordanian leadership, and especially the more nationalistic among the East Bank elite (dubbed by many the "Jordanian Likud") for its negative attitude towards Palestinians, also had hopes that Jordan's particularistic national interest could make the treaty work. And it has, on a security level, but not on a popular level, since the majority of the population that is of Palestinian origin will not countenance an "abandonment" of their Palestinian brethren.
The fight over normalization in Jordan is in some real respects a conflict that goes beyond the merits of dealing with Israel. On the side of the anti-normalizers are Islamists, ultimately seeking a Jordanian, or even pan-Islamic state governed by shari'a, plus assorted leftists and pan-Arabists. The other side is more complex. Much of the educated, Westernized elite, especially of East Jordanian background, would prefer to have good economic, political and even cultural relations with Israel, but recognize it is impossible without resolution of the Palestinian-Israeli dispute. And, as of this point, that does not seem to be very likely. However, the anti-normalizers oppose much of the entire world view of those whom they dub normalizers. The Islamists especially do not want to see Jordan Westernized, whether or not Israel is involved. Thus, publication of the "List of Shame" is a blow aimed at their cultural enemies, not just at normalizing with Israel.
The question now is whether the popular feeling against Israel will become so strong that the government will some day have to acquiesce with overt support by breaking relations with Israel. Security cooperation could still possibly continue, because the fact is that the two regimes share important geo-strategic interests.
Nevertheless, it is hard to believe that the anger and disillusionment now expressed will disappear in the near future. Thus, it is possible that the current Jordanian perception of the 'real face of Zionism' will become the reigning orthodoxy, which would constitute the 'Egyptianization' of Israel-Jordanian relations. This would be a consummation devoutly to be regretted by those who still hope for a Jordanian-Israel popular rapprochement.
Note *: Paul L. Scham, trained in the U.S. as an attorney, has been a researcher at the Harry S. Truman Research Institute for the Advancement of Peace at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem since July 1996. He has studied at Columbia, Princeton and the University of California at Berkeley, where he obtained his J.D. He spent the period February through June of 1996 in Amman researching attitudes of Jordanian academics towards Israel.
Russell E. Lucas is an independent scholar currently working in Jerusalem. He holds a Ph.D. in Government from Georgetown University. His dissertation is titled "Institutions and Regime Survival Strategies: Collective Action and Path Dependence in Jordan." He has held grants from the US Institute of Peace, Fulbright, and ACOR and is a Research Associate at the Truman Institute. Back
Note 1: Interview by Paul Scham, March 1996. Back
Note 2: Ahmad Majdoubeh, Jordan Times, 7 December 1995. Majdoubeh discusses the etymology of the word, but also points out that (already) that it had acquired connotations and assumptions of Israel politically, culturally, and economically overwhelming Jordan. . Back
Note 3: Lori Plotkin, "Jordanian - Israeli Peace: Taking Stock, 1994-1997," Washington Institute Policy Focus, Research Memorandum 32 (May 1997), p. 27. . Back
Note 4: While it is beyond the scope of the current paper, it would be instructive to compare it to a roughly parallel situation in Egypt. In the early 1980's, concurrently with Israel's incursion into Lebanon, Egyptian public opinion, led by the intellectual class, solidified into solid opposition to Egypt's diplomatic relationship with Israel. Over the next twenty years, such opposition became a hallmark of that class, uniting political factions otherwise at odds. Those who support the idea of people- to-people relations between Jordanians and Israelis must bear that generation-long development in mind as a warning. Back
Note 5: Adnan Abu Odeh, Jordanians, Palestinians and the Hashemite Kingdom in the Middle East Peace Process. Washington DC: US Institute of Peace, 1999. Back
Note 6: Middle East Mirror, 2 September 1993. . Back
Note 7: Middle East Mirror, 2 September 1993. Back
Note 8: BBC-Summary of World Broadcasts (BBC-SWB), 4 September 1993. Back
Note 9: Curtis R. Ryan, "Jordan in the Middle East Peace Process: From War to Peace with Israel," in Ilan Peleg, (ed.), The Middle East Peace Process: Interdisciplinary Perspectives. Albany: SUNY Press, 1998. p.161. Back
Note 10: The Financial Post, 15 September 1993. Back
Note 11: Jordan Times, 6 November 1993. . Back
Note 12: BBC-SWB, 31 August 1993. . Back
Note 13: Middle East Mirror, 13 September 1993. . Back
Note 14: Middle East Mirror, 2 September 1993, 13 September 1993, 14 September 1993. Back
Note 15: Middle East Mirror, 14 September 1993. . Back
Note 16: Jordan Times, 14 September 1993. Back
Note 17: Middle East Mirror, 14 September 1993. . Back
Note 18: The Associated Press, 1 September 1993. Back
Note 19: The Guardian, 24 September 1993. . Back
Note 20: Russell E. Lucas, "Institutions and Regime Survival Strategies: Collective Action and Path Dependence in Jordan," Ph.D. dissertation, Georgetown University, 2000. p.126-136. Back
Note 21: Jordan Times, 10 November 1993, p.1. Back
Note 22: Mark Power Stevens, ed., Post-Election Seminary: A Discussion of Jordan's 1993 Parliamentary Elections. Amman: Al-Urdun Al-Jadid Research Center, 1994. Back
Note 23: United Press International, 17 July 1994. Back
Note 24: Christian Science Monitor, 5 August 1994. . Back
Note 25: FBIS-NES, 11/2/94, 42. Back
Note 26: Jordan Times, 6 November 1994. Back
Note 27: International Herald-Tribune, 25 July 1994. . Back
Note 28: Fawaz al-Zu'bi, Jordan Times, 6 November 1994. . Back
Note 29: Middle East Mirror, 26 October 1994. . Back
Note 30: Jordan Times, 31 October 1994. . Back
Note 31: Jordan Times, 2 November 1994. Back
Note 32: Marc Lynch, State Interests and Public Spheres: The International Politics of Jordan's Identity. New York: Columbia University Press, 1999. p. 166-197. Back
Note 33: Jordan Times, 2 November 1994. Back
Note 34: Jordan Times, 7 November 1994. . Back
Note 35: FBIS-NES, 7 November 1994. Back
Note 36: Al-Dustour, 3 November 1994. Back
Note 37: Discussions with Paul Scham. Back
Note 38: Mustapha al-Shunaykat, Jordan Times, 31 October 1994. . Back
Note 39: Ahmad al-Kassibah, Jordan Times, 6 November 1994. Back
Note 40: Ibrahim Zeid al-Kilani, Jordan Times, 6 November 1994. Back
Note 41: Jordan Times, 7 November 1994. Back
Note 42: Abd al-Rahim al-'Akor, Jordan Times, 7 November 1994. Back
Note 43: Hamzah Mansour, Jordan Times, 6 November 1994; Toujan Faisal, Jordan Times, 7 November 1994. Back
Note 44: Al-Majd, 11/14/94; Laurie Brand, "The Effects of the Peace Process on Political Liberalization in Jordan," Journal of Palestine Studies, Vol. 28 No.2 (Winter1999), p. 52-67. Back
Note 45: The Star, 3 November 1994. Back
Note 46: Jordan Times, 29 October 1994. Back
Note 47: Jordan Times, 29 October 1994. Back
Note 48: Jordan Times, 7 November 1994. Back
Note 49: Middle East Mirror, 24 October 1994. . Back
Note 50: Jordan Times, 7 November 1994. Back
Note 51: See also the opinion article by Ahmed Majdoubeh, JT, 7 December 1995. Back
Note 52: LINK Magazine, (November - December 1995), p. 3. Back
Note 53: Jordan Times, 4 November, 1994. . Back
Note 54: LINK Magazine, (November - December 1995), p.2. Back
Note 55: Plotkin, p.28. Back
Note 56: Jordan Times, 5 November 1994. Back
Note 57: Jordan Times, 16 November 1994. Back
Note 58: Jordan Times, 10 November 1994. Back
Note 59: Jordan Times, 10 January 1995, 17 January 1995, 20 January 1995. Back
Note 60: Jordan Times 20 January, 1995. Back
Note 61: Jordan Times 17 April 1996. Back
Note 62: Jordan Times, 20 April 1996. Back
Note 63: Jordan Times, 20 April 1996. Back
Note 64: Jordan Times, 20 April 1996. Back
Note 65: Jordan Times, 21 April 1996. On the other hand, an unpublished study indicated that while Jordanian businesspeople understated their actual willingness to deal with Israel, while Israelis, on the contrary, were upbeat in their conversations regarding joint trade, but actually overstated their willingness in practice. Avi Kluger, Muhsen Makhamreh, and Hisham Gharaibeh, "Prospects of Business Cooperation Between Jordan and Israel: The Attitudes of Business Leaders in Both Countries," unpublished manuscript. Back
Note 66: Jordan Times, 22 April 1996. Back
Note 67: Jordan Times, 1 June 1996. Back
Note 68: Rami Khouri, Jordan Times, 15 October 1996. Back
Note 69: Jordan Times, 18 January 1997. Back
Note 70: Jordan Times, 23 February 1997. Back
Note 71: Jordan Times, 12 March, 1997. Back
Note 72: Jordan Times, 15 March, 1997. Back
Note 73: Jordan Times, 15 March 1997. Back
Note 74: Jordan Times, 18 March 1997. Back
Note 75: The Star, October 29, 1998. Back
Note 76: see Lynch. Back