November 7, 2014 | Quote
While Terror Rages in Jerusalem, Israel-Jordan Relations Hang in the Balance
Grant Rumley, a research analyst specializing in Palestinian politics and the Levant region for the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, told JNS that he believes Jordan’s calculations “are mostly the result of domestic pressure.”
“It’s harmful for the Jordanians to pull their minister from Israel, but it’s even worse for [Jordan’s] King Abdullah domestically if he doesn’t do anything,” Rumley said. “This, combined with a complaint to be filed at the Security Council, amount to symbolic gestures that are likely to appease the Jordanian public [a majority of whom do not support the country’s peace treaty with Israel] while still not severely damaging the strategic relationship with Israel.”
For Jordan, the Temple Mount arrangement is just one of the critical issues facing the country.
“Jordan has about four major areas of concern these days: the threat of Islamic State, the economy, the crisis of handling Syrian refugees, and the tensions in Jerusalem,” Rumley told JNS.
Last week, Abbas’ Fatah movement declared Oct. 31 to be a “day of rage” in Jerusalem, calling on Palestinian “fighters” to defend Al-Aksa, while Hamas similarly called for further protests and violence.
While the tension continues to escalate, Rumley believes that the situation has not yet risen to the level of another Palestinian intifada.
“I think there are a lot of analysts out there eager to label this as an intifada,” he told JNS. “But intifadas have to have leadership at some point. The first started leaderless before local committees sprouted up. The second [Intifada] was top-down coordinated. So far, the situation in East Jerusalem is leaderless.”
“What we’re seeing instead is not so much local leadership as it is external groups attempting to steer the situation,” added Rumley. “Hamas calling for protests, Abbas calling for days of rage, etc. … Right now, these attacks and clashes appear to have a short shelf life, but that doesn’t mean it will stay that way in the future.”
Read full article here.