It appears that across Israel, from Mount Hermon to Eilat’s shores, there was not even one person last week who remembered the 17th anniversary of the peace treaty with the Hashemite Kingdom, Jordan, which was marked on October 26th.
Our peace with Jordan did not enjoy the good PR bestowed upon the Oslo Accord in its early phases, and we seem to take it for granted. The Jordanians, for example, did not take part in the Yom Kippur War, and when was the last terrorist infiltration from Jordan? The fact is that the Israeli side of the border with Jordan is currently guarded by very few soldiers.
However, thousands of miles away from here, in the far off America, President Barack Obama recently declared his intention to withdraw US troops from Iraq within a short period of time. We could have muttered that this issue is of no concern to us, had Washington’s decision not pertained to the not-too-distant Baghdad, and mostly to the lives of each and every one of us.
The American withdrawal from Iraq, with all the chaos and commotion that prevail there, would allow the neighboring Iran to operate in Iraq with no interruption. At this time already, there are thousands of Iranians in Iraq (and some say tens of thousands) who are trying to gain a foothold in this divided land.
The Iranians have increasing influence on Iraq, its leaders and customs, and some say that Tehran would not be letting go of Iraq, which possesses a wealth of oil reserves.
Israel must help Jordan
Under this state of affairs, Jordan is currently the one serving as a buffer between us and Iran. The Iranians will stop on the outskirts of the desert should they know that the Jordanians are willing to fight them and should they know that Jordan is backed by the power of a State of Israel that is ready to do battle.
Given this fragile, sensitive and dangerous situation, the State of Israel’s immediate duty is to support the kingdom, support the king, prompt the US to again renounce millions of dollars in Jordanian debt, talk to the Jordanians, phone the king and facilitate ties with the kingdom, as was done by Yitzhak Rabin, for example. Indeed, we must warn Jordan’s rogue neighbors of Israel’s long arm.
This is what we should be doing. Yet what are we doing? There are enough idiots in Israel who declare time and again that “Jordan is Palestine,” thereby infuriating Jordan’s royal palace and its fans. The Jordanians are convinced that every such declaration is endorsed by Benjamin Netanyahu and reflects his opinion – and Netanyahu says nothing.
Do we want an “Arab Spring” in Amman? Such “Arab Spring” would bring the Iranians into Jordan, and should Jordan become Palestine the Iranians would be able to freely move from Iran through Iraq and Jordan into the West Bank, minutes from central Israel. Is this what we want?
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