Jordan is trying to damage the normalization between Israel and the Arab countries

Political officials in Jerusalem express their rage and blame Jordan for trying to sabotage the normalization process between Israel and the Arab countries. Jack Sullivan, the national security advisor of the USA, conveyed to King Abdullah a commitment on behalf of the president that the status quo on the Temple Mount would not be changed and that Jordan's status in the holy compound would be preserved, but the king was not convinced.

Political officials in Israel follow with great concern the Jordanian activity since the rise of the Netanyahu government to power.

Tensions prevail between the two countries following the visit of Minister of National Security Itamar Ben Gvir to the Temple Mount and following the incident during which the Jerusalem police delayed the entry of Rasan Al-Majali, the Jordanian ambassador to Israel, to the Temple Mount.

Following this incident, the Israeli ambassador to Jordan was summoned to the Jordanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs where he was given an official protest.

Currently on the agenda is the issue of Jordan’s participation in the second Negev Conference which is scheduled to convene in Morocco this coming March and which is an important part of the normalization process between Israel and the Arab countries.

On March 28, 2022, the first meeting of the Negev Conference was held in Sde Boker with the participation of the foreign ministers of the USA, Israel, Egypt, Morocco, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain.

This forum was established as part of Israeli-Arab cooperation against Iran and to promote regional issues in the field of regional security, health, tourism, energy, education, strengthening coexistence and more.

Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi was invited to this meeting, but he avoided it with the excuse of time constraints and complained that the Palestinian Foreign Minister was not invited to it.

Two weeks ago, another meeting of the Negev Conference was held in Abu Dhabi, but Jordan did not participate in it again.

Now Jordan is holding internal consultations with Egypt, the Palestinian Authority and also with the Gulf countries on whether to participate in the third meeting of the Negev Forum expected to take place soon in Morocco, the final decision has not yet been made.

King Abdullah of Jordan participated last week in a tripartite meeting in Cairo with Egyptian President Al-Sisi and PA Chairman Abu Mazen.

The meeting dealt with the consequences of the change of government in Israel on relations with Arab countries and the difficult economic situation of Jordan, Egypt and the Palestinian Authority.

King Abdullah will soon leave for Abu Dhabi for more policy meetings on these issues.

Last week he hosted Jack Sullivan, the Biden administration’s national security advisor, at his palace in Amman to discuss the consequences of the Netanyahu government coming to power and the situation on the Temple Mount.

According to Jordanian sources, Jack Sullivan gave a commitment on behalf of the American administration to the King of Jordan that Jordan’s status as the guardian of the holy places in Jerusalem would not be compromised and that Israel would not change the status quo on the Temple Mount.

King Abdullah listened but was not convinced, he does not believe Prime Minister Netanyahu and Minister Ben Gvir, but Jordan is now trying to maintain good relations with the Biden administration in view of its difficult economic situation and its dependence on American aid.

Political officials in Jerusalem are very concerned that King Abdullah continues an aggressive line against the Netanyahu government and tries to sabotage Israel’s normalization process with Arab countries, they estimate that he is doing this to try and isolate Israel politically and that he is concerned about the possibility that Israel will give Saudi Arabia a foothold on the Temple Mount as part of the future normalization agreement between the two countries.

King Abdullah fully coordinates his political positions with PA Chairman Abu Mazen and although his country signed a peace agreement with Israel in 1994 he behaves in a hostile manner towards Israel and tries to sabotage its international relations, at the moment the king is concentrating on efforts to obtain economic aid for his country which is suffering from an serious economic crisis, but he does not let go of the Palestinian issue and the issue of the Temple Mount and the two-state solution, it seems that the current Israeli government will have a very difficult time improving relations with Jordan and the two countries may embark on a dangerous collision course.

Yoni Ben Menachem Senior Middle East Analyst

About Yoni Ben Menachem

Yoni Ben Menachem is a Middle East senior analyst ,a journalist and
the former CEO of the Israel Broadcasting Authority(IBA). He has
decades of experience in written and video journalism. Ben
Menachem’s path in the media world began as a producer for
Japanese television in the Middle East. After that, he held many key
positions in the media The Israeli: CEO of the Israel Broadcasting
Authority, director of “Kol Israel” Radio, reporter on West Bank and
Gaza Strip affairs, political reporter and commentator, commentator
on Middle East affairs and editor-in-chief and presenter of the
program “Middle East Magazine”. 

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