Jordan’s King Abdullah warns Pence-Trump of Major instability over Jerusalem

By Juan Cole | (Informed Comment) | – –

Political scientist John Mearsheimer wrote a book on the tragedy of great power politics. While that subject is indeed shockingly depressing, imagine the tragedy of small power politics.

Poor King Abdullah II of Jordan was forced to host Trump’s vice president Mike Pence, the world’s biggest Christian Zionist, who positively exulted about turning all of Jerusalem over to Israel’s far right government headed by Binyamin Netanyahu.

Jordan is in charge of the major Muslim shrine complex on the Temple Mount, the al-Aqsa, and is a major diplomatic player in the Israeli-Palestinian negotiations toward a final status settlement of the position of Jerusalem. (Jerusalem was never awarded to Israel by any international body, and it has it only by conquest, which is prohibited by the 1945 UN charter). East Jerusalem is heavily Palestinian and hasn’t had a Jewish majority since the Romans kicked the Jews out of the city in 136 AD.

Abdullah went on about US support for Jordan over decades (the US had seen the small kingdom as an anti-Communist, anti-Arab Nationalist asset during the Cold War, and then as a useful ally in the War on Terrorism since 2001. Jordanians generally despise Muslim extremism as much as they do Marxism, being mostly good burghers).

He said he had been encouraged by Trump’s announcement that he would try to make the deal of the century between the Israelis and the Palestinians. But then he was disappointed by the lack of follow-through and then by the unilateral awarding of Jerusalem to Israel, when instead the final status of Jerusalem should have come out of negotiations among the relevant parties.

Abdullah’s subdued, sullen complaint masked fierce rage in Amman’s palace, as well as severe anxiety about what Trump’s policies will mean for Jordan’s own stability and for that of the world. The ignoramus blowhard Queens building contractor Trump and the mendacious Midwestern Christian Zionist tobacco lobbyist Pence could end up costing Abdullah II his head, and could end up provoking a new generation of terrorism.

Jordan has 6.6 million citizens and 9.5 million residents (i.e. a third of the resident population are guest workers or refugees– over a million Syrians, 600,000 Egyptians, a similar number of stateless Palestinians, and the rest Iraqis, Yemenis, Libyans, etc.) Over half of the citizen population is of Palestinian heritage, who typically have strong views of the ongoing Israeli colonization project in the Palestinian West Bank.

Jordan, in short, is a cauldron of the flotsam of imperial projects, from the British surrender of the Mandate of Palestine to the Zionist lobby and the subsequent displacement of the majority of the Palestinian population as refugees to neighboring countries, to the American wars and occupations in Iraq, the Russo-Iranian enabling of the al-Assad regime in Syria and all its ethnic cleansing, the Saudi misadventure in Yemen, the fecklessness of NATO in Libya, the economic mismanagement of the Egyptian economy.

It is a little astonishing that this small fractured place, with a citizen population the size of Mike Pence’s Indiana and a total resident population roughly the size of Michigan, manages to hold together. It has few economic resources on the surface. There is however a massive black economy. And although the Jordanian government might not recognize it, the refugees have brought in tremendous wealth–though of course large numbers of them have lost everything and receive little in the way of international aid.

Jordan’s political framework is the Hashemite monarchy and its somewhat opaque police state, both backed to the hilt over decades by the United States and since the 1990s, Israel.

The state is popular to the extent that it can provide security to its people and a framework within which this nation of refugees can improve their lives and navigate among the dangers all around them– an arrogant and expansionist Israeli rogue state, a seedy Stalinist police state in Syria, an erratic and increasingly hegemonic Saudi monarchy, and a grasping and profoundly ignorant United States, Inc.

What Abdullah II is afraid of is that his American alliance, always unpopular among much of the population, and the peace treaty with Israel concluded by his predecessor in the 1990s, will tag him, finally, as a traitor to Islam and to the Arab nation–as it becomes increasingly clear that Washington and Tel Aviv intend completely to crush Arab and Muslim aspirations for a Palestinian capital in East Jerusalem and to do to the al-Aqsa mosque what they have done to the shrine of Abraham at Hebron.

Looking into Pence’s cold, calculating imperialist eyes, Abdullah saw a guillotine with his name on it.

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Related video:

Al Jazeera English: “🇯🇴 Jordan’s king tells Pence US 🇺🇸 must ‘rebuild trust'”

14 Responses

  1. What Trump and Pence (the puppets of Netanyahu’s crafty plan through Kushner) did was unconscionable. Maybe Pence was yet another duped evangelical, who believe that the Jews would roll out the red carpet for Jesus Christ to descend on during the second coming, but handing Jerusalem in a golden platter to the zionists will have long lasting consequences for moderate leaders like King Abdullah. Perhaps the question of many Christian churches been vandalized and burnt (and not many zionists charged for these crimes), will not be asked by Pence, for surely it is a very important topic, that this good Christian should be outraged about, and an answer demanded from Netanyahu?

    • Thank you marianna, for this bit of news I was not previously aware of. Are there possibly some links, or perhaps one of the excellent additional contributors besides Juan can cover this topic ??

  2. In view of his precarious state both in relation to the feelings of his own nation as well as other Muslim nations, King Abdullah should have done what the Palestinians did, refuse to receive Pence. Despite his lukewarm statements in Jordan, in his speech to the Knesset Pence reached the heights of eloquence about the miracle of Israel, even better than Netanyahu’s speech writers could have done. With no ifs or buts, he said: “Jerusalem is Israel’s capital”, but added “if both sides agree, the United States of America will support a two-state solution.” For the past many decades, Netanyahu and indeed other right-wing Israeli governments have made it abundantly clear both in words and deeds that they do not agree to a two-state solution, as they steal more and more Palestinian lands.

    Pence devoted a large part of his speech to Iran’s “nuclear and ballistic missile programs” and vowed “The United States of America will never allow Iran to acquire a nuclear weapon.” Regarding the nuclear deal Pence made a statement that seems to go even beyond what Trump had said and puts the future of the agreement in serious doubt. He said: “The Iran nuclear deal is a disaster, and the United States of America will no longer certify this ill-conceived agreement.”

    Pence also said: “We stand with Israel because your cause is our cause, your values are our values, and your fight is our fight. We stand with Israel because we believe in right over wrong, in good over evil, and in liberty over tyranny.” The Arabs and Palestinians should know to which category they belong according to Pence. Of course, there are exceptions. He referred to “America’s great friends, President Al-Sissi of Egypt and King Abdullah of Jordan”, and he also referred to the great peace and moderation jamboree organized by Saudi tyrants.

    A Palestinian who listened to the speech correctly stated that Pence is “more Zionist than the Zionists.” The speech was not worthy of a US vice-president who should support the values of peace, freedom, human rights, justice and equality before law, all of which are absent in the lives of millions of occupied and hard-pressed Palestinians.

    • Wish he had the racist honesty to come out and say that the “good” Arabs are unelected tyrants and monarchs because actual, real, ordinary Arabs are the “evil” ones and can’t be allowed to have the right to vote – in Israel or elsewhere.

  3. Will anybody alive today see an end to the tragedy of Sykes-Picot?

    Pence and his fellow ‘Christian Zionists’ remind me of the turtle giving the scorpion (Netanyahu and his fellow ‘Greater Israel’ dreamers) a ride across the river. Except in this true-life fable the turtle is too foolish to ever recognize the scorpion for what he is.

  4. If Jordan King Abdullah II wants to play it save, he should take up residency in Wyoming, or LA.

    Btw, which side is Turkey on today? Oh, and just how well are we in with the Iraqi’s, just wondering? And, I guess Assad is going to leave soon….not.

    This implementation of the Oded Yinon Plan is certainly redrawing the map of the Middle East. Only not the way Lieutenant Colonel Ralph Peters thought it would.

    It’s time to come home, or to at least get another plan…like negotiate your way out of this mess.

  5. There is little to say. There is little hope that rationality will have any effect. The bases (pardon the pun) are loaded and the Israelis have a green light to pursue their need for security AND to continue their colonization of Arab land. The Palestinians are even losing their Christian minority, not that it ever carried much favor with literalist Biblical America. Israel is also emboldened as Syria, Iraq, and Lebanon are Balkanized. Egypt is ruled by a puppet Pharaoh and Russia is well prepared to create trouble for the US in Syria and by encouraging Turkey to weaken the Kurds. It weakens NATO.

    Of course Abdullah is concerned. His great grandfather fell foul of making peace with Israel. The US has its sights on Iran and that is probably enough to hold any opposition to the steamroller.

    What a sad state. US power in the region determined by an ill educated President, an immature Jewish property speculator and a Zionist, fundamentalist Vice President.

    I consider the price we are about to pay is much more than the loss of a Jordanian King.

    Just another fall out of WWI, the gift that keeps on giving…

  6. Having grown up in the household of a fundamentalist christian, I recognize in pence the adamance of a person, who being desperate to avoid finite death, was intellectually dishonest with himself. The outward manifestations include claims of absolute truth, zealotry, and proclamations based on private interpretations of biblical myth. —. Allowing a man like this near state (and military) power is terrifying.

    • ” . . . . . Allowing a man like this near state (and military) power is terrifying.”

      And the Dominionist Pence is merely a heartbeat away from power.

      If anything happens to Trump?

  7. It is worth mentioning that Trump did not unilaterally recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. That action was signed into law by the legislative branch during the Clinton regime.

  8. Do not worry too much, as this US President and his croonies wil not stay long in powder,as the american people slowly start realizing that they have elected the wrong President!

    Soon we will get a Trump Gate!

  9. I find it quite surprising that no one raises a question to US officials about what Israel’s borders actually are. As far as I know Israel has no constitution and has no well defined borders, this isn’t just about Jerusalem, Israel has attacked Lebanon and occupied it for 18 years, it only let it go when it assessed that the cost of doing so was very high because of the rise of Hezbollah. Israel also is apparently on an effort to increase its presence illegally on Syrian territory. Beyond the Golan, they’ve built up a security zone in Quneitra, and they are looking to expand this into Daraa now as well. They are looking at building a 40 km buffer zone. If you notice, a lot of the weapons being held by some of the “rebels” are provided by Israel. The middle east will never find any peace so long as the US does not move away from its morally bankrupt Israel policy and of course Israel isn’t the only reason for instability, I think all countries are far from innocent, but our involvement in Syria is only because of our one-sided policy toward Israel, otherwise what strategic purpose does Syria serve? None! Israel was certainly a factor behind the Iraq war, perhaps not the most important factor, but it definitely was a factor. Why do we continue to isolate Iran and make threats of war against them when really it should be our ally at a time when we and most of the world have a common enemy that Iran has been heavily involved in fighting. This really has to end. Enough is enough.

  10. The King of Jordan ought to have done what the Palestinians did, not meet with pence. Its a waste of the King’s time. it is amazing Jordan has been able to hold it together. If the Americans want to ensure the King of Jordan remains alive and on the throne, they might want to steer clear of his country. They aren’t doing him any favours by visiting, but then pence and trump most likely don’t understand that either.

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