Moses went up from the plains of Moab to Mount Nebo—Deuteronomy 34:1
Relatives of figures featured in this website are seldom mentioned; after all, Sarah Netanyahu cannot be blamed for Bibi’s crimes. Yet, while preparing this article I found this picture of King Abdullah II and Queen Rania. It was of low quality; yet, even in normal circumstances it would be difficult to ignore.
Today it was a perfect fit. Queen Rania, born to Palestinians from Tulkarem, is wearing a blue-and-white dress, which due to its specific hue of blue, reminds of the Israeli flag. Sarah Netanyahu could wear it for Israel’s Independence Day. On the day the King had spoken of “Isratine,” a combined Israeli-Palestinian state, the image became ominous.
More often than not, Israel and Jordan would like to forget how closely related they are. Both were part of the British Mandate of Palestine awarded by the League of Nations in 1922; they were formally separated by the 1948-49 War. The West Bank had been captured by Jordan in that event. Following this, the Hashemite Kingdom of Transjordan changed its name to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.
After 1948, the Palestinians living in the West Bank didn’t openly oppose Jordanian rule. In 1967, the West Bank was conquered by Israel. In 1986, the king expelled the PLO from the country, and in 1988—during the First Intifada—Jordan severed its administrative and legal ties with the West Bank, stripping West Bank Palestinians of Jordanian citizenship.
Both countries (and now also the emerging State of Palestine) have inherited British government structures, including parallels to the British MI5, a bastard offspring of earlier structures designed by Francis Walsingham; it is the United Kingdom’s domestic counter-intelligence and security agency. In Israel it is known as Shin Beth, Jordanians call it Mukhabarat.
The latter is known for its effectiveness to such an extent that nobody can get a job in the kingdom without being approved by this paragon of democracy; its nickname is the Fingernail Factory. The Israeli Shin Beth is so scary that its most popular nickname is an indirect one, namely “shoo-shoo-istim” (“shoo” from “shhhhh!” but also from a “go away!” cry, “ist” from English, “im” masculine plural, in better English “The Silent Men”).Two Peas in a pod?
King Abdullah II and Benjamin Netanyahu
British culture runs deep in the Empire’s former colonies. This was evident in the interview that King Abdullah gave to The Atlantic, and titled Monarch in the Middle, on March 18, 2013. Subtle English humor was generously sprinkled by the king almost in every paragraph. He convinced me that he is an amiable man to drink a cup of tea with. Yet, there were more serious businesses; British jokes would wait to a sunny day. Right after the Arab Spring started, King Abdullah promised that Jordan will undergo a constitutional revolution that will turn it into a parliamentary democracy.
When this was demanded by the protesters, he stopped mentioning the issue; that would have transformed Jordan into a Palestinian state in no time. In recent months, Syrian refugees have flooded the Kingdom’s north.
A poor country amidst a desert void of oil, Jordan is dependent on the goodwill of the IMF and the USA. Good relations with Israel are key for the King’s status quo to the extent that the country is on the way to become an Israeli colony.The Queen and King – All Dressed up but where to go?
The Israeli and Jordanian administrations lived in peace between them since September 1970, when they had cooperated militarily in an event known as Black September. King Hussein (the father of the current king) expelled Palestinian forces that were operating from Jordan.
Israeli and Jordanian forces kept the Jordan valley as an open corridor while Palestinians escaped northwards to Lebanon. Since then, a silent love affair has existed between Israel and Jordan. For the sake of keeping Jordan’s position in the Arab world, the hot affair was kept secret.
After the Oslo Accord was signed, there was no point in keeping the secret, and both sides rushed to Washington, where a peace agreement was signed in 1994. Not surprisingly, Jordan is—like Israel—a Major non-NATO Ally of the USA.
The relations were tainted after Netanyhau attempted in 1997 an act of bio-terrorism on Jordanian soil and got caught. However, political interests damaged Jordanian memory.
Most of the interview was not particularly important; the kind of stuff one reads while mindlessly sipping a warm cup of Earl Grey. Yet, at a certain point, the King threw a bomb. “It could be too late already for the two-state solution,” he said.
The interview continued: “He responded with a single word: ‘Isratine.’…’If Israel doesn’t agree to a Palestinian state quickly, Abdullah said, ‘apartheid or democracy’ will be its choice. ‘The practical question is, can Israel exert permanent control over Palestinians who are disenfranchised ad infinitum, or does it eventually become a South Africa, which couldn’t survive as a pariah state?'”
The astonishing part of the King’s comment is that he repeated the Israeli Right mantra. In the last year, Israel is taking steps toward the annexation of the West Bank. The Knesset Speaker urged to silently annex it while Palestinians in Area C complain of being pushed out.
Will the terrorist Stern gangs dreams finally be realized?Moreover, Settlers have gainedall the relevant government ministries for pushing forward the Jewish settlement of the West Bank. The King knows that, while referring to Netanyahu, he said that their relationship is “very strong.Our discussions have really improved,” and acknowledged the role Israel plays in maintaining Jordanian stability. He stopped short of accepting Netanyahu’s Likud ideology.
Azriel Livnat, almost a founding father of Likud’s predecessor, Herut, said on October 30, following the unification of Likud with Yisrael Beiteinu, “I hope that the two unified parties will guard the settlements and the entire Land of Israel, and that the vision of a Jewish State on both banks of the Jordan River will be fulfilled” (The Rebirth of the Stern Gang).
Likud wants a Big Israel on the territory that formed the British Mandate; the first step is taking over its Western Bank, between the Mediterranean and the Jordan River.
In this scenario, Likud considers Jordan as the Palestinian State promised by the UN in 1947. Is King Abdullah advancing this idea for the sake of Empire?
Goebbels ruined it. The Reich Minister of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda in Nazi Germany was so effective in his propaganda that it transcended the Reich’s borders and timeline. Even now, such an attempt of manipulation by the state would be immediately recognized and rejected by the masses. Yet, his friend Winston Churchill was not less good in the art of masses manipulation.
King Abdullah, direct descendant of the Prophet Muhammad, approaches us like a Moses atop Mount Nebo, saying that it is too late. The Two States solution cannot be achieved anymore. A few British jokes seal his status as a credible ally of the West, while filling with despair his Kingdom former citizens.
Only a cigar was missing to transform his claims into a perfect example of Churchillian Propaganda. After all, in the same way that Jewish settlers pushed out Palestinians from their lands, exactly in the same way, they can be expelled. Didn’t you consider this option, Honorable King?
Editing: Jim W. Dean
Roi Tov is a graduate—among others—of Tel Aviv University and the Weizmann Institute of Science. In addition to his memoir, Tov is published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Molecular Physics and other scientific journals. He won various travel writing and photography awards.
In his writings, he tries to reveal life in Israel as a Christian Israel Defense Force (IDF) officer—from human rights violations to the use of an extensive network of underground agents. He was recognized first as a refugee and subsequently as political prisoner of Bolivia.