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Analyst: Jordan is not wrapped around Israel’s little finger

April 20, 2021 at 9:08 am

Jordanian ambassador to Israel Mr Ghassan Abdel Rahim Odeh Majali (R) presents copies of credentials to Meron Reuben, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (L) [Twitter]

Israel does not give enough importance to its relation with Jordan, assuming that Amman is wrapped around its little finger, Alex Fishman, a veteran analyst for the Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth, wrote on Sunday.

Fishman criticised Israel’s lack of interest in intelligence related to Jordan, whose stability is important for Israel’s security.

“Just recently Jordan was shaken by a political drama within the monarchy that had the potential to impact the whole region – and Israel had zero information about what was going on,” he wrote.

He added: “For years, senior Israeli intelligence and security officials have flaunted their close relationship with the Jordanian royal family and its highest military officers. But what does that matter when a regime-threatening crisis emerges in Jordan and Israel’s intelligence officials discovering it from the newspapers?”

The Israeli analyst said Israel “still believes that a quick visit from one of Israel’s intelligence heads to the Amman palace is enough to smooth things over in our favor.”

He criticised the official Israeli response to what happened in Jordan. “The public Israeli response was a phone call from Defense Minister Benny Gantz to the palace in which he expressed the country’s and his own personal support for King Abdullah, but Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu did no such thing.”

The reason why Netanyahu took no action, Fishman said, is because “the Prime Minister’s Office is so certain that Israel has Jordan wrapped around its little finger and that the security of the Jordanian regime is in Jerusalem’s hands,” in reference to Israel.

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“In truth, Netanyahu and King Abdullah have not spoken in many years and are in fact content with trading the occasional insult,” he added, warning that “this behavior serves to do nothing but to gnaw away at Israel’s security.”

Iran “is just waiting for a political crisis in Jordan so it can take over just as it did in Iraq,” he said and so a crisis in Jordan “erodes … [the] bulwark against Iranian proliferation”.

Earlier this month, Jordan arrested a number of senior officials including the king’s half-brother Hamzah Bin Al-Hussein, saying it had staved off an attempted coup.

On 4 April, authorities announced that the initial investigations found that Prince Hamzah, 41, had coordinated with foreign bodies to “destabilise security in the country, and incite the citizens against the state.” The former crown prince has denied the allegations.