Off a cliff: Israeli-Jordanian relations on downward spiral since war

Analysis: While Netanyahu and King Abdullah were never on close terms, bilateral relations had been warm; since war ties deteriorate so badly as Jordan increasingly views Israel as malicious state 'conspiring' with Saudi Arabia to reduce Jordanian influence in the region

Smadar Perry|
In yesteryears, a binational group of Israeli and Jordanian officials used to convene a few times a year in hotels in both countries to discuss bilateral relations, a practice that was ongoing for more than a decade, at the end of which, both parties would report back to their respective governments about the outcome of these discussions. Unfortunately they are not happening anymore.
<< Follow Ynetnews on Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | TikTok >>
Read more:
Since October 7, all meetings have been suspended, and not just because of the war itself. The way in which Jordan views Israel has cratered, no less. It could just be the worst of all deteriorations when it comes to Israeli-Arab diplomatic relationships. It's further fueled by Prime Minister Netanyahu biting his tongue while far-right government ministers hurl the most outrageous, xenophobic ideas around, and King Abdullah suspecting Netanyahu was about to hand control of the al-Aqsa Mosque to Saudi Crown Prince, Mohammed bin-Salman, when the Saudis already control Mecca and Medina.
3 View gallery
A pro-Palestinian rally in Amman after 100 days of war
Not waiting until Jordan expelled Israeli ambassador Rogel Rahman of her own accord, Israel recalled him, citing concerns for his personal safety amid pro-Palestinian sentiment flourishing in the Hashemite Kingdom. Simultaneously, Jordan's ambassador to Israel, Rasan al-Majali, was similarly called back home. Furthermore, in perhaps the most diplomatically disconcerting sign of how things were deteriorating, Israeli President Isaac Herzog was not invited to the wedding of Prince Hussein and Saudi Princess Rajwa.
One of the most notable characters to smear Israel on Al-Jazeera and CNN was Jordan's Queen Consort Rania al-Abdullah, wich given her Palestinian roots, might have been less than surprising. She couldn't wait to get on-air and weep for Palestinian babies in Gaza, emphasizing the inhumane living conditions the war has subjected them to, but said not one word about the horrors of October 7, completely ignoring Israeli plight amid an endless stream of evidence showing mutilations, rape and infant abductions.
Alarmed Israelis quickly sent over videos for her to watch, but despite her somewhat tepid words afterwards, her comments were still largely anti-Israeli in nature.
3 View gallery
Growing suspicious of Israel, King Abdullah
As to her husband, the King, he was already relatively chummy with Palestinian Authority President, Mahmoud Abbas, but took the first chance he had to fly off to Cairo for a quick consult with President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.
With Israel's blessing, he also dispatched three planes packed with humanitarian aid to the Jordanian hospital in Gaza, which were air dropped. The 3rd plane, by the way, was flown by none other than King Abdullah's own daughter, Princess Salma who received her pilot's license from the Jordanian armed forces.
The most poignant of all Israeli critics in the Hashemite Kingdom is probably Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ayman al-Safadi. The 62-year-old Druze and former "Al-Hayat" correspondent, was also the chief editor of the English-Speaking "Jordan Times" newspaper. He later served as chief advisor to Prince Hassan, the King's uncle, and was posted to the gulf for four years, cultivating Jordanian interests. Quite the diplomatic veteran, al-Safadi is known as King Abdullah's most notable confidant.
While Jordan continues to diligently defend Israel's longest border and Israeli irrigation waters continue to flow to Jordanian farmers, things are noticeably cooler when it comes to the respective heads of state, as Netanyahu and Abdullah have been barely cordial with each other for years now. Jordan has additionally allowed repeated anti-Israeli demonstrations in the streets of Amman, and al-Safadi joined the South African Chorus of besmirching Israel, going as far as recommending his country joined the suit accusing Israel of committing genocide.
3 View gallery
איימן א-ספדי
איימן א-ספדי
Hardly Israel's biggest fan, al-Safadi
(Photo: JOHN THYS / AFP)
And while Israeli-Saudi relations have been somewhat warming up in the past two years (though things are currently on hold because of the war), the Saudis have been cooling their relations with Jordan. Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman didn't even make an appearance at Princess Rajwa's wedding celebrations, instead sending a standard congratulatory letter. Furthermore, Jordanian officials believe Israel is tacitly supporting bin-Salman's "schemes".
And there's no point speaking of moving Gazans to either Jordan or Egypt, according to al-Safadi. "Gaza is their homeland, and that's how it will stay," he said, warning Israel against dragging the whole region into a war and rallying the international community to stand up to Israel.
The commenter agrees to the privacy policy of Ynet News and agrees not to submit comments that violate the terms of use, including incitement, libel and expressions that exceed the accepted norms of freedom of speech.