Jordan and the myth of Arab security

By: Lamis Andoni
Lamis AndoniLamis Andoni

In his speech before the National Assembly, the House of Representatives and the Senate, King Abdullah II said that the Palestinian issue is “our number one cause” and that “Arab security [is] an integrated unit”. These positions must be given Jordanian strategies, but they do not reflect the reality of the practical positions of Jordan or the Arabs.In Jordan’s case, there has always been a link between the safety of the government and its future on one hand, and the condition that Jordan does not pose a threat to Israel, neither in terms of security or morale, on the other. The national consciousness is, however, linked to liberation causes, in the forefront of which is the Palestinian cause, and this technically means that there are commitments incompatible and contradictory to the Wadi Araba Treaty signed in 1994 which puts Jordan legally and practically in a state of alliance with Israel at the expense of its own national interests and the Palestinian cause. Jordan is the prisoner of the treaty’s conditions and terms which stipulate economic cooperation that makes Jordan a market for Israeli products and it must share its water resources.

Without the treaty, we would not have reached the gas import agreement with Israel; there is no other option than the Israeli option.

A unilateral commitment to the treaty has practically become Jordan’s top interest to the extent that in an interview with the American Zionist journalist Jeffrey Goldberg, King Abdullah explicitly said that he is willing to concede some of his powers to the government in a reform context. However, he is afraid that the future government would cancel the Wadi Araba Treaty, which is a clear admission that he links the treaty to the survival of his regime, or even the survival of Jordan.

This means that Jordan’s strategic security, not only in the eyes of the King, but also in the eyes of many, inside and even outside the system, is conditional on the survival of the treaty, and not linked to the Arab security or the Arab strategic depth. This is in spite of the direct threat posed by Israel to Jordan due to its refusal to end the occupation.

The fundamental flaw is the fact that the concept of significance has changed, from the concept of the justness of the Palestinian cause and the Palestinian and Jordanian rights to the concept of instantaneous and direct interests, including the fallacy of the facts. However, the most dangerous issue is the abandonment of principled positions as it leads to the acceptance of giving in to Israel’s power and might, considering a written and imposed fate, and to accepting all concessions.

Therefore, it was no coincidence that the Wadi Araba Treaty included a clause that prevents the two parties from joining alliances or signing treaties that threaten the national security of the other party. However, this clause does not affect Israel, as it considers all of its security treaties to be admissible and legitimate. The Arab regimes view their people and any resistance movement as the enemy, but Israel wanted to remove Jordan from the Arab security system, thus undermining the King’s statement that “the Arab security is an integrated unit”.

This sentence means that nowadays, Jordan must engage in American alliances and wars. Washington alone determines who are Jordan’s enemies, as well as the enemies of the Arab nation according to its own agenda and strategy and Israel is not on the list.

Based on its, it is no coincidence that the signing of the Wadi Araba Treaty was followed by the erasure of the Palestinian issue from the collective consciousness, starting with removing the Palestinian cause from school curriculums and promoting an isolationist discourse that has no room for the concept of principles or strategies, such as the Palestinian or Jordanian rights or the concepts of sovereignty and the Arab national security. The goal is to allow for linking the Jordanian interests to Israel, making the treaty the basis for the existence of Jordan and a reference for human rights and legal issues for the collective consciousness. This means there is no room for the Palestinian cause or for an “integral” Arab security; instead there is a crumbling Arab security because the primary interest has become the establishment of Israel’s security.

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