A report in the Hebrew daily Maariv has pointed out that Israel is in the midst of a diplomatic crisis, with three ambassadors leaving their posts in Muslim countries in the past two weeks. The departure of the Israeli ambassador from Jordan follows the expulsion of the ambassador from Turkey and the evacuation of their colleague from Cairo last weekend. This, said Maariv, has got to be cause for concern.
The Israeli embassy in Amman closed its doors on Thursday 15 September after evacuating its ambassador, diplomats and staff. There is a fear that a planned “million man march” after Friday prayers towards the embassy will demand the closure of the embassy completely. According to another Hebrew newspaper, Yedioth Ahronoth, sources in the Israeli Foreign Ministry claim that “the relations with Jordan are in very difficult crisis”. The newspaper stressed its fears of the potential effects of popular protest in Amman “especially as the organizers have declared their intention to remove the Israeli flag raised over the embassy and to storm it, following the incidents at the Israeli embassy in Cairo”.
Tel Aviv’s ambassador to Amman, who has now left Jordan, expressed regret at the Kingdom’s failure to send an ambassador to Tel Aviv more than a year ago. Daniel Neveu said that he expected to return to Jordan to complete his work on Sunday. The departure of the Neveu and his staff took place as a precaution on the advice of the Israeli government following the attack on the Israeli embassy in Cairo.
“The situation in Jordan is not the same as in Egypt,”, said Ambassador Neveu. “The Jordanian authorities control the streets and will not allow the demonstrators to approach the embassy building.”
Jordanian activists have mobilised using Facebook for what they call a “close the embassy million man march”; they have received broad support from users of the social networking site. The activists are calling for the embassy to be closed, the ambassador to be expelled and the Wadi Araba peace treaty between Jordan and Israel to be scrapped. The marchers’ demands are being treated as “suspicious” in Tel Aviv.