Illustration: “Jordan flag” by Vyacheslav Argenberg, Uploaded by Smooth_O) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
An upcoming conference calling to consider the option of resolving the Israeli conflict by turning Jordan into “Palestine” has elicited warnings of an “Israeli coup” from the Jordanian press.
The Jordan Option: The Only Road to Peace conference, sponsored by the International Jewish-Muslim Dialogue Center (IJMDC), widens discourse on the “two-state solution” by proposing to establish Jordan as a Palestinian Arab state which will provide the Palestinian people with land, basic human and civil rights, an education, jobs and economic security.
Saraya News, the 2nd most popular news site in Jordan according to Alexa’s certified site metrics, describes the independent conference as an “Israeli coup against Jordan,” and calls on Jordan to recall the Jordanian ambassador in response. A translation of the August 18th article provided by the IJMDC details how author Sami Al-Maitaih, presented as “Director of the Depth Center for Strategic Studies,” urges the Jordanian government to take deterrent measures in responding to what it sees as an action against the state.
The article accuses Israel of inciting “settlers” to “break into” the Al-Aqsa Mosque - in other words, to visit the Temple Mount - and of pressing the international community to remove Jordanian control from the Mount and marginalize Jordan’s role in the region.
The news piece reserves its strongest language for the “most dangerous” upcoming conference at the “Begin Intelligence Institute” (i.e., the Begin Heritage Center), claiming it is a “coup against the Jordanian constitution and national identity.”
Describing the program as a provocative Israeli message designed to challenge the structure of the Jordanian state, the article calls on Jordan to take “deterrent measures” and to be “firm” in responding to what is described as a coup. It added Jordan must “take all legal and diplomatic measures to stand in the face of major transformations aimed at our national security.”
The conference is described by Saraya as “a full program to complete an image in the reader’s mind and in the mind of the Jordanian state and the awareness of the Jordanian citizen, who, by the way, will not tolerate anyone who touches the national security and is willing to give up his blood and soul for that.” The author then calls on “His Majesty the King and the military and security establishment to become one hand in the face of conspiracies.” Further, the news site focuses on the Jordanians who are scheduled to participate in the conference, and urges Jordan to hold them “accountable.”
In a surprisingly mild ending, the article then lists the schedule, presenters and topics for the conference, which is to be held on October 17th at the Menachem Begin Heritage Center in Jerusalem.
IJMDC Letter to King Abdullah II
In early August, Michael Ross, Executive Director of the IJMDC, invited King Abdullah II to speak at the conference. The text of the invitation specifies that the king would have the opportunity to discuss Jordan’s plan(s) to bring peace to the region. Ross requested contact and discussion with the aim of addressing any objections the king might have to the IJMDC plan. As of August 17, the IJMDC had not heard from the king, but urged “him to come and not only present his views on peace in the middle east, but open dialogue that will explain what he sees in Jordan's future.”
In response to the Saraya News article, IJMDC’s director Ross held the king responsible for the negative press. Still, Ross reiterated his open invitation to the king, asking him to "come discuss with us, as gentlemen and friends of peace, a solution that will bring peace to the region."
Further information on the conference and registration can be found on the IJMDC Facebook page.