Thousands of Jordanians demonstrated in the capital of Amman last week against the regime’s latest deal with the Israeli enemy.
Despite the fact that an estimated 60 per cent of Jordanian citizens are also Palestinians (refugees and their descendants from the 1948 Zionist mass expulsion that immediately preceded the creation of Israel), Jordan normalised ties with Israel in 1994. This led to the establishment of formal diplomatic relations and the opening of mutual embassies.
But normalisation with Israel remains deeply unpopular in Jordan, with the vast majority of the population rejecting it. The latest huge protests are only the latest evidence of this.
The same picture is apparent across the entire Arab region. In Sudan, a massive 86 per cent of the population rejects normalisation with Israel and opposes the military regime’s efforts to establish relations with Israel.
This week also saw large protests in the Moroccan capital, Rabat, against a new military deal signed between the North African country and Israel. Morocco normalised ties last year, after years of clandestine relations with Israel.
All of this is part of the effort to draw more countries into the so-called “Abraham Accords” regime, imposed under US imperial auspices.
But all of these shady deals have one thing in common: they are overwhelmingly rejected by the people of the region. The countries normalising relations with Israel are all dictatorships, autocracies, military regimes and absolutist monarchies. Some do not even bother with the pretence of fixed elections to powerless parliaments.
Israel is rejected by the indigenous peoples of the region because Israel, by its very existence, rejects the indigenous peoples of the region and openly declares its intention to drive them out and take their land, homes and possessions.
Zionism is a European settler-colonial project for the removal of Europe’s Jews and their transformation into violent racial supremacists colonising Palestine.
Zionism means a Jewish state in a land (Palestine) that has historically never been ethnically nor religiously exclusive. Zionism is a denial of history.The existence of Israel has meant nothing but unremitting bloodshed, oppression, displacement, immiseration, apartheid, military occupation, massacre and a long genocide directed against an entire population for more than 73 years.
This is why Israel will never be accepted by the Arab people and has to rely exclusively on support from Western imperialism in alliance with regional dictatorships for support.
Sudan is the perfect example of this. Normalisation is so unpopular there that the new joint military-civilian interim government (until it was overthrown in the recent military coup) had to be essentially blackmailed by the US into announcing its intention to normalise with Israel.
The people of the region do not oppose Israel primarily because of religious reasons, or even out of a basic sense of common humanity and solidarity (although both play their part); they do so simply because they know it could be them next.
Israel occupied South Lebanon for almost 20 years and was only driven out in 2000, after a determined guerrilla warfare campaign led by Lebanese resistance group Hezbollah.
Some extremist Israeli politicians have a Biblical vision of “Greater Israel”, which stretches far beyond the boundaries of historical Palestine (the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea). Indeed, Israel has never formally declared its own borders.
Israel’s current ambassador to the UK, Tzipi Hotovely, once declared in a speech to violent extremist settlers in the occupied Palestinian city of Hebron that Israel should expand its borders into Syria and Jordan in the future.
There are “two banks to the Jordan,” Hotovely emphasised in her speech “to all the Jabotinskyites” – invoking the historic leader of the fascist Zionist right and a Hebrew song composed by his movement.
The song continues, “this is ours and that is as well”, before exclaiming, “let my right hand whither/If I forget the East Bank of the Jordan.”
This means the current ambassador of Israel to the UK once implied that she would like to see unprovoked war declared against Jordan, a country with whom Israel has had a “peace” treaty since 1994.
No wonder, then, that Jordanians almost universally oppose normalisation deals with the Israeli enemy.
It is only because Jordan is not a democracy that they have been able to ignore popular will in this way. The king didn’t even bother to announce the deal to his people (obviously, he knew it would be unpopular), and Jordanians had to find out via foreign media.
The deal – to exchange Jordanian-generated electricity supposedly for desalinated water from “Israel” – seems little more than a crackpot scheme which, like other similar phantom deals that never came to fruition, is unlikely to be implemented.
The real purpose of the deal is essentially to boost Israeli (and Emirati) PR.
The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.