The peace agreement between the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and the State of Israel signed on October 26, 1994, may be less a long-overdue triumph of the forces of reason and reconciliation than simply a capitulation by the weaker party. While most Jordanians are sincerely interested in peace with the Jewish state, it appears that King Hussein was essentially forced by the Clinton administration to accept terms which may eventually place the entire peace process in jeopardy.
From a strictly bilateral perspective, Jordan did not fare badly in the details of the final agreement. The agreement met most of Jordan's demands on territory,1 water2 and security. The two countries will link telephone and electrical grids, open an international air corridor, and cooperate in policing against drug smuggling and other crimes. Tourists will be allowed "free access" at special crossing points, without having to contend with the thousands of Palestinians who endure day-long waits and humiliating searches whenever they try to cross into Israeli-occupied parts of their country.
The major compromise by Jordan was not in regard to any of its own purely nationalistic interests, but in that this final treaty took place outside of a comprehensive Arab-Israeli peace agreement.
Once Jordan formally gave up its claim to the West Bank in August 1988, the government made clear that while it desired peace with Israel, it would only normalize relations when Israel withdrew from the occupied territories and granted Palestinians their right of self-determination. At a minimum, King Hussein hoped to pressure Israel into withdrawing its illegal settlements from the West Bank and Gaza. The Jordanians argued that they had both a moral obligation to help free their Palestinian brethren from Israeli occupation and a commitment to pressure Israel to come into compliance with international law and U.N. Security Council resolutions.
However, the Clinton administration has successfully pressured Jordan to abandon these principles and settle. And the United States had clout: U.S. policies over recent years had so damaged the Jordanian economy that the king was essentially forced to agree to settle on U.S. terms to get the needed assistance from the world's one remaining superpower in order to survive.
JORDAN'S ECONOMIC CRISIS
U.S. aid to Jordan had been reduced substantially in recent years. From 1986 to 1990, this aid averaged slightly under $60 million in economic support funds and $47 million in military assistance. These totals were reduced by half in 1991 and by half again in 1993.3 What aid Congress did approve in recent years has been made dependent on Jordan's cooperation with the U.S.-led peace process, which most Jordanians see as biased towards Israel, and Jordan's compliance with the U.S.-led embargo against Iraq, which most Jordanians see as primarily harming innocent civilians. Indeed, Congress suspended all aid to Jordan for more than five months in 1991 due to Jordan's refusal to support the war against Iraq. The Jordanian government has since felt obligated to cede to all such U.S. demands.
Since Jordan's military had been largely supplied by the United States, the readiness of their armed forces is heavily dependent on a U.S. government willing to provide the necessary supplies and spare parts. The amount of military aid to the kingdom has been well under $10 million in recent years, in contrast to over $2 billion to Israel, which has fought in three wars against Jordanian troops in recent decades, made numerous incursions into Jordanian territory until the early 1970s, and whose government for many years refused to renounce its territorial designs on much of the country. In addition, the estimated costs to the Jordanians of maintaining American equipment run as high as $120 million annually. These costs used to be largely covered by the United States and its allies, but, as a Pentagon official recently noted, such support has since been withdrawn or sharply reduced.4
A major reason for the cutback in aid was Jordan's perceived pro-Iraqi position. Despite widespread reports in the U.S. media, however, Jordan never supported Iraq regarding its claims to Kuwait or its war with the United States and allied governments. King Hussein immediately and publicly condemned the Iraqi invasion. Because Jordan is a relatively pluralistic society, however, pro-Iraqi demonstrations were not prevented. The American media, used to other Arab regimes where demonstrations have to be government-approved, often misinterpreted these public protests of support for Iraq as the position of the government. Indeed, the Gulf War was an example of U.S. frustration at democratization in the Arab world: The United States would have preferred Jordan to clamp down and join the war effort, as did Jordan's authoritarian neighbor to the north, Syria.5 Since Jordan was relatively democratic, however, and public opinion was solidly against joining the war, the Jordanian government had no choice but to remain neutral.
In addition, the Jordanian government largely honored the sanctions against Iraq during its occupation of Kuwait. Most smuggled goods at that time actually appeared to come through Turkey, a NATO ally that supported the war effort.6 Enforcement of sanctions since the war has been less stringent-in large part because they are seen as no longer having a legitimate political purpose and as bringing an enormous amount of suffering to the Iraqi people-but they are still mostly in effect. The continued embargo has also brought enormous economic hardship on Jordan, since Iraq has been its largest trading partner. In addition, Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states, on which Jordan was dependent for its oil and a large percentage of its trade, had maintained a boycott for over four years.
Despite his neutrality during the war, King Hussein has long been considered one of the most pro-Western of Arab leaders. He was one of the staunchest opponents of leftist and Arab-nationalist movements during the Cold War and has since been among the most compliant with the neoliberal economic policies pushed by the United States and international lending agencies, despite their unpopularity at home.
Even this was not enough for the United States, however. One of the great ironies of U.S.-Jordanian relations is that when Jordan was most autocratic, during the 1970s, relations with the United States were closest. Since Jordan underwent widespread political liberalization in the late 1980s, the United States has been quite distant. Meanwhile, the United States has been developing very close ties with the far more autocratic monarchies of the Gulf. Such priorities are not lost on Jordanian human-rights activists.7
The port of Aqaba, in the southwestern comer of the country, is Jordan's only outlet to the sea. Since Kuwait's invasion of Iraq in 1990, many hundreds of ship-even those with legitimate cargoes bound exclusively for Jordan-were boarded, searched and detained by the U.S. Navy as suspected violators of the U.N. blockade of Iraq. Only a few dozen vessels were actually refused entry, but ships were delayed, cargoes were reduced to allow for easy searches, insurance rates grew and-with only half the shipping lines still coming to Aqaba-shipping companies raised their charges. The result was a reduction in trade that the director general of the port estimated brought Aqaba down to 30 percent capacity. The lost tonnage alone has cost the country more than $300 million annually.8
Tourism is Jordan's largest industry. Foreign tourists virtually evaporated around the time of the Gulf War, causing great economic hardship. While the number of tourists has since rebounded, this proved to be a serious blow to the Jordanian economy for an extended period.
Perhaps the biggest problem has been the expulsion of Jordanians and Palestinian Jordanians from the Gulf, estimated to have totaled approximately one-quarter million people, the vast majority of whom returned to Jordan unemployed.9 Adding to this crisis is the fact that Jordanians and Palestinians living in the Gulf had been sending up to $750 million annually back to Jordan,10 a subsidy that has been non-existent for more than four years. These remittances amounted to more revenue than half of Jordan's exports of goods.11
The result of all these economic problems is that Jordan has amassed an enormous foreign debt of $6.68 billion.12 This is one and a half times the kingdom's gross domestic product, making Jordan one of the world's· most heavily burdened debtor nations.
A BAILOUT IN RETURN FOR AN AGREEMENT?
With King Hussein's economy reeling and suffering from an enormous foreign debt, President Bill Clinton offered to bail out the troubled monarch. During the meeting between Jordanian and Israeli leaders in Washington in July 1994 that laid the groundwork for a peace accord, Clinton agreed to cancel $702 million of Jordan's debt to the United States, nearly three quarters of what the kingdom owes the United States. The first $220 million will be canceled this year and the remainder would be written off in the next two fiscal years. In addition, since the agreement in July, the Clinton administration has written members of the Paris Club-Western leaders who control the bulk of Jordan's outstanding debt-encouraging debt relief to the kingdom.13
While both sides publicly deny there was a quid pro quo, Arab journalists accompanying King Hussein to Washington have reported that the Jordanian leader acknowledged that the Clinton administration made clear that a peace agreement under American terms was a prerequisite for debt relief and other favors.14 In addition, prominent members of Congress-which approves foreign aid and loan forgiveness-were explicit in their insistence that the remaining debt relief be tied to a formal peace treaty with Israel regardless of a comprehensive peace settlement.
In addition, the United States offered new military equipment, increased foreign aid, the encouragement of U.S. investment and help in ending the boycott from the Gulf states. Part of the deal also involved possible U.S. support for $50 million in water projects.15 The United States also agreed to lift the blockade of the Gulf of Aqaba. Lloyd's Register, a private British firm, has taken over the responsibility of observing the cargo as part of regular Jordanian customs inspections on land.16
In short, the U.S. government-after a series of policy decisions that backed Jordan into a desperate economic situation offered to bail out the kingdom if it cooperated with the U.S.-led peace process. The Clinton administration appears effectively to have bought an Israeli-Jordanian settlement. And, by dragging out the debt forgiveness over three years, it ensures continued Jordanian cooperation with American regional designs.
JORDAN IN THE PEACE PROCESS
Even without the signing of the October peace agreement, there would not have been any real threat of war between Jordan and Israel. Indeed, it is virtually inconceivable that Jordan would have made war with Israel again under any circumstances. Jordan's military budget is less than 5 percent of Israel's, and neither its personnel nor equipment are near the quality of its western neighbor's. Similarly, in Israel, the right-wing Likud bloc-which included elements who claimed that the East Bank should also belong to Israel-was no longer in power. There had been virtually no cross border violence since the PLO was expelled over 20 years ago. Indeed, direct negotiations between Israeli and Jordanian officials had been taking place for many years, usually in a secret location in London.
The primary issue was whether Jordan would maintain some semblance of Arab unity to help resolve the core of the conflict-the Palestinian question-or sign a separate peace prior to such a settlement.
For decades the United States maintained the fiction that King Hussein, who oversaw the slaughter of thousands of Palestinians living in Jordan during the early 1970s, was the Palestinians' only legitimate spokesperson. When the Madrid peace talks were set up in 1991, the United States refused to allow the Palestinian Liberation Organization to take part and insisted the Palestinians who were allowed into the talks not come under their own flag but as part of the Jordanian delegation.
Only when the Israelis decided to bypass the U.S.-imposed strictures and meet secretly with the PLO in a third country did the remarkable breakthrough known as the Oslo accords take place. The United States then shifted to a strategy of forcing the Jordanians to drop the Palestinians altogether. And King Hussein, traditionally a pragmatic and conservative ruler, apparently saw little choice.
Some Jordanians point out that the PLO had also engaged in unilateralism by pursuing the Oslo accords with Israel. Yet this agreement was simply a memorandum of understanding. The Cairo agreement that followed it constructed details regarding the first step of a protracted process of Palestinian self-rule. These understandings and provisional agreements were never construed to be final peace treaties, unlike the Israeli-Jordanian accord in October. The agreement talks of Jordan's "historic role" in the administration of Muslim holy places in Jerusalem and, furthermore, pledges to give "high priority to that role" in subsequent negotiations on the city's future.17 This implies an outright rejection of Palestinian expectations that Jerusalem would be the capital of an independent Palestinian state and seriously questions what role the PLO will be allowed in any discussion of the future of Jerusalem. Some have argued that an inter-Arab squabble over control of a few Jerusalem holy sites may be premature, given that the real issue is the continued Israeli occupation. However, the asserting of Jordan's special role in Jerusalem may be yet another effort by the United States to usurp Palestinian authority in Palestine1.8
The king has long sought to weaken the position of Yasser Arafat as his chief rival for leadership over West Bank Palestinians while seeking to strengthen the relatively moderate Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin over his far-right opponents in the Likud bloc. The treaty did both.
King Hussein's argument that "Jordan had got all that Jordanians could have wanted" was a clear reference to his perspective on how much Jordanians should care about a comprehensive peace or the fate of their Palestinian brethren. The king's position appears to be that the PLO cannot expect to go it alone; ingratitude towards the Hashemite monarchy will hurt their cause, and they have to coordinate with Jordan on the fate of Jerusalem and more or they cannot expect any help from them.19
There were also regional factors: Saudi Arabia, other Gulf states and Egypt were apparently unwilling to pursue any real reconciliation with Jordan. The Saudis and their allies appeared dedicated to marginalizing Jordan's role in Palestine and in the region as a whole. Like other Arab states since the divisive Gulf War, Jordan may have simply been too preoccupied with its own self-interest to give much regard to justice for the Palestinians.
The way the United States views the Israeli-Jordanian agreement could not have been better illustrated than by President Clinton's visit to the Middle East at the time of the signing ceremony. First of all, much of it appeared to have been designed to boost the president's popularity at home prior to the midterm election. At American insistence, the signing ceremony was scheduled for 1:00 P.M., a most inopportune time for an outdoor event in the searing desert sun but ideal for the evening newscasts in the United States. (His addresses to the Israeli and Jordanian parliaments were similarly well-timed.) Both Rabin and King Hussein gave their speeches in English.20
More significantly, Clinton pointedly refused to visit any of the Palestinian-controlled areas. He met with Arafat only briefly, while in the company of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in Cairo, where the American president refused to talk about Israeli stonewalling on autonomy but instead harangued the Palestinian leader about not doing enough to repress opponents of the Israel-PLO accord. Arafat was pointedly not invited to the signing ceremony.21
American opposition to a comprehensive peace settlement goes back nearly 25 years. President Richard Nixon's National Security Adviser Henry Kissinger passed on to the Israelis the advice that they ignore the Rogers Plan, crafted by the U.S. secretary of state, which appeared to have had Jordanian support. When the late Egyptian President Anwar Sadat made peace overtures to Israel in 1971, Kissinger successfully pressured the Israelis to ignore it, resulting in the October 1973 war. Only after the war did the United States support disengagement talks, and then only under American auspices. Subsequent peace plans brought forth by the Europeans, the United Nations or Arab states (such as the Fahd Plan) were also undermined by the United States.
One of the more telling revelations of U.S. priorities in peace negotiations came in regard to the Reagan Plan of September 1982. In it, the United States envisioned a partial Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank and Gaza, where Jordan would play a major role with some local Palestinians in a limited-autonomy arrangement. U.S. diplomats met with King Hussein prior to the public unveiling of the plan, and it appeared that the monarch was largely supportive, a position confirmed by the king soon after Reagan announced the plan in a nationally televised address on September 1. The Fez Declaration, at an Arab summit in Morocco the following week, seemed to confirm that most Arab countries would also cooperate in such an effort, with the proviso that the PLO play a role in determining the future of the territory. The United States, however, refused to reconsider its exclusion of the PLO and refused even to meet with an Arab delegation from the summit because it included representatives from the leading Palestinian body. Meanwhile, Yasser Arafat and King Hussein launched a series of meetings in Amman to see if they could formulate a joint position that could somehow meet the narrow American parameters while still giving the Palestinians some chance at self-determination.
King Hussein insisted that the PLO needed to have a role in a joint Jordanian Palestinian delegation to have any credibility. He further urged that the United States support the principle of self-determination for the Palestinians and get tougher in demanding a freeze of Israeli settlements. The United States refused to even consider these proposals. Instead, the only thing Washington could offer in return for Jordan's cooperation was new missiles for their armed forces. 22
Meanwhile, the Reagan administration refused to follow up on the promise of the Fez Declaration and the Arafat-Hussein talks or engage in real give-and-take with the various Arab parties. According to one Middle East diplomat, "The political psychology of the Reagan initiative was entirely based on the presupposition that it is possible to get someone else to speak for the Palestinians."23 The king was trapped between the Arab League's position that only the PLO could represent the Palestinians-a position supported by the vast majority of Palestinians as well as much of the international community-and the U.S. insistence that the PLO neither send any of its members nor publicly name anyone to the delegation. The United States refused to help the king out of that dilemma, putting the burden on Jordan to find what one U.S. diplomat called "a way to wiggle through."24
Meanwhile, the Israelis categorically rejected the Reagan Plan and even the call for a freeze on their construction of illegal settlements in the occupied territories. In addition, Prime Minister Menachem Begin reiterated that Israel had the right to apply its full sovereignty over the occupied territories. The Reagan administration acknowledged that it would not challenge Israeli intransigence with any overt pressure, making it clear that it was not actually serious about implementing its own proposal.25 This came despite calls by leaders in the opposition Labor Alignment for the United States to cut non-military aid to the Begin government in order to produce compromise on the Reagan initiative.26
Given this history of U.S. failure to pursue comprehensive peace agreements and the Clinton administration's slavish support of Israeli policies, King Hussein apparently believed that Jordan needed to accede to American demands and make a separate peace.
DOMESTIC IMPACT OF THE ACCORDS
King Hussein is the world's longest-serving head of state. His pro-Western policies have given him a reputation in the United States as a "moderate" and a "pragmatist" and as a "sell-out" or "traitor" in the minds of Arab nationalists, Islamists and leftists. He may be the world-record holder for surviving coup plots and assassination attempts in his 42-year reign and at times has held onto power primarily through force of arms. Whatever his history, however, and despite Jordan's many economic problems, King Hussein has perhaps never been more popular, ironically in large part a result of his standing up to American pressure to join in the war against Iraq. In addition, the triumph of the nation-state over pan-Arabism in the Middle East in recent years has vindicated and strengthened the monarch of this most artificial of Arab states, carved out of the Syrian desert by colonial powers to assuage his grandfather's political ambitions in return for his family's support of the allies in World War I. King Hussein has almost single-handedly forged a distinct Jordanian identity that is now remarkably deep for a country which has had a separate status for such a brief period of its long history.
In recent years, Jordan has undergone impressive political liberalization, with the parliament wielding real political power, diverse media speaking out on a variety of issues, legal demonstrations filling the streets of the capital, and open political debate raging. Under the often repressive autocratic rule of the king, Jordan has evolved into perhaps the most democratic country in the Arab world. The trend towards liberalization began in 1989, after anti-government riots. These spontaneous uprisings were a major blow to the regime, since they took place in the south among what had been traditional Bedouin loyalists of the Hashemite government, uncovering the regime's inherent weaknesses.
It has been highly questionable whether this liberalization was a demonstration of the country's political maturity as a civil society or simply that of an authoritarian regime shoring up its legitimacy through co-optation. For example, martial law has been formally canceled, but most amendments that limit individual freedoms are still on the books. Even if the more cynical view is accurate, however, this political liberalization has clearly taken on a momentum of its own.
The United States has given small amounts of aid to pro-Western parties and institutions as part of the democratization process. However, like the monarchy, the Clinton administration clearly does not want too much democracy, just change guided from above.27 The overall goal of the United States, here as elsewhere, has always been in promoting stability. Much of the aid to Jordan, for example, has been towards massive public-works projects to keep people off the streets.
Such guided change, even when backed by a superpower, carries risks. King Hussein and President Clinton clearly hoped that the peace accord would raise the odds in the monarchy's favor.
The king has concluded that he has triumphed in signing the peace treaty with Israel, believing-not without reason-that he has legitimized the monarchy, exerted further control over the country's political forces, provided security from further Israeli expansion, increased the marginalization of the PLO, aligned Jordan with major regional powers and recreated his alliance with the West. One reason for the rapidity of the signing is that King Hussein may have wanted to present the parliament with a fait accompli rather than risk an open debate over the details.28 Similarly, there was no talk of a national referendum or other ways of opening the process; the king has insisted that he alone should decide the terms of a settlement.
Indeed, the peace agreement with Israel has raised concerns that it may lead King Hussein to reverse his country's increasingly pluralistic direction. He has already muzzled press criticism of the accords and limited Jordanians' access to foreign newspapers.
The reaction to the king's October 22 address announcing the agreement was not universally positive. The king responded eight days later to the lower house of parliament in what has been described as one of the most angry, emotional, depressed and confrontational speeches he has ever given, saying that his critics were confused between projecting an image of pluralism and accepting the treaty as a "historic achievement." He further argued that no one had license to disparage the treaty.29
While a broader crackdown is not anticipated, nor is the human-rights situation expected to deteriorate once again to the dark days of the 1970s, the king has made clear that any "disparaging" comments towards the treaty, or failure to accept its provisions, or "slanderous" attacks against him would be unacceptable.30 In addition, the treaty specifically obligates the Jordanian government ''to take all possible legal and administrative measures to prevent the dissemination of. . . [hostile] propaganda by any organization or individual" against Israel,31 a clause which can be subjected to widespread interpretation.
As much as one-third of the Jordanian population likely opposes peace with Israel on any grounds. Another 20 percent would likely support anything the king would say. The bulk of the population appears to be quite open to peace with Israel, but not necessarily without final resolution of the Palestinian question. This is the group that could be the most problematic, particularly if the United States and Israel do not come through with the necessary political and economic support for King Hussein's regime.
A SETBACK TO PEACE?
For the Israeli government, meeting Jordan's modest terms was fairly painless compared with the complexity of autonomy negotiations with the PLO, so it was something Israelis could celebrate without a lot of internal bickering. Since Jordan shares Israel's longest border, its opening could be a gateway to the broader Arab world. Indeed, even the right-wing opposition in the Knesset voted to approve the treaty with Jordan.32 It put off still further the needed national debate regarding Palestinian statehood, attempting-in the words of journalist Gideon Sammet-to "put Arafat and the Palestinians in the freezer."33 Indeed, this feel-good agreement may make it easier for the Israelis to further delay implementation of greater Palestinian autonomy.
Another problem is that, given the finite amount of development funds available, this early agreement with Jordan may bring Israeli and overseas investments into the East Bank that might have otherwise gone to the West Bank. One additional irony is that, while the PLO and Jordan have signed economic agreements with their historic arch-enemy Israel, they did not agree upon a comparable agreement between themselves until over three months after the Jordan-Israel agreement. The January 27 general cooperation agreement came only after both parties recognized that any further conflict between them would benefit the Israelis, who had been taking advantage of the separate deals in their highly selective implementation of various clauses of the agreements. The PLO-Jordan agreement may not be enough to counter this problem, however. As the Palestinians see themselves losing out to lucrative Israeli Jordanian economic ventures, pressure will likely build for the PLO to compromise still further to advance a settlement. Arafat had put off such a deal in large part because he was waiting for the Israelis to finally recognize some kind of future Palestinian sovereignty so he could negotiate with Jordan on equitable terms. Like Israel, Jordan is now refusing to deal with the PLO leadership as representatives of a future independent state. And Israel is exploiting its treaty with Jordan to further integrate itself into the Arab Middle East without withdrawing from most of the occupied territories.
Still another implication from the treaty is that since the United States has promised to aid the Hashemite armed forces, it will further set back the cause of arms control in the Middle East. As with U.S. military assistance to other Arab states, Israel will likely successfully argue for still more U.S. weapons to the Israeli armed forces, thereby continuing the Middle East arms race.
Jordan, which had become a major financial and investment center for the Gulf states since Beirut was engulfed in civil war in 1975, also agreed - at U.S. insistence - to press for an end to the Arab boycott of Israel, despite Israel's ongoing violations of dozens of U.N. Security Council resolutions. The boycott is one of the few remaining means Arab states have for pressuring Israel to comply with the United Nations and international law or to withdraw from the occupied territories. Thus it has been a high priority for the Clinton administration to see it ended.
Indeed, Hussein's timid response to Israel's ongoing policies in the occupied territories, including the expansion of illegal settlements, human-rights violations by Israeli troops and vigilante settlers, and the ambitious efforts to make permanent its annexation of greater Jerusalem, is further evidence of the Clinton administration's success in neutralizing Jordan as a force for challenging Israeli prerogatives.
It is hard to imagine that King Hussein would want to physically reestablish Jordanian control of the West Bank after years of calculated efforts to restructure the East Bank politically and economically into a manageable and malleable form. The idea of adding 1.2 million nationalistic and politicized West Bankers to Jordan is inconceivable, not to mention 800,000 Gazans. But given that the Israelis and the United States-which together effectively hold almost all the cards-are not willing to allow the Palestinians their independence, Jordan could play what the United States believes could be a moderating role in the political direction of a non-sovereign West Bank Palestinian entity.
At the same time, in signing a full peace treaty prior to a solution to the Palestinian question, King Hussein has avoided addressing the most critical factor in the long-term survival of his regime: the Palestinians themselves. Over half his kingdom's population is of Palestinian origin. Meanwhile, the growing disputes between the PLO and Jordan will likely distract both parties from the more pressing issue of ending the Israeli occupation.
There can be no real peace unless the Palestinians-who have been occupied and oppressed by both Israel and Jordan-are able to have their own state. The Israeli and American governments reject such a scenario, however, arguing that even a Palestinian mini-state on the West Bank and Gaza is too much and that the Palestinians should be satisfied with some vague and limited form of local autonomy. In effect, the Clinton administration is gambling that the Palestinians will accept a series of agreements that still deny them their long sought-after independence.
It appears, then, the Israeli-Jordanian agreement is not a step toward peace but a pax Americana. Whether this can be a settlement that will bring real stability much less justice-to the region is dubious, however, as the United States continues to block implementation of the international consensus for a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
The United States has consistently rejected a comprehensive peace settlement in favor of a succession of bilateral arrangements that could maximize American influence. As with other great powers that have tried to shape the Middle East to their liking, however, the United States may find that such structures are often short-lived and can easily collapse, with tragic results.
1 Throughout the 1960s, Israel quietly appropriated areas on its borders with both Jordan and Syria. (Disputes over such encroachments north of Lake Tiberius in the spring of 1967 led to a Syrian mobilization, putting in motion the chain of events which led to the June war.) While there are no Jewish settlements on Jordanian land, Israeli farmers do continue to farm on Jordanian territory. The agreement formally returns land to Jordan but leases much of it back to Israel.
2 See Hof article, p. 47.
3 Congressional Research Service, "Jordan-U.S. Relations and Bilateral Issues," June 16, 1993. Food aid increased somewhat during this period, however.
4 Jordan Times, April 18, 1994. The Pentagon official quoted is Frederick C. Smith, acting deputy assistant secretary of defense for Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs.
5 At times, the U.S. government does not think that even the Syrians go far enough in suppressing civil liberties. Human Rights Watch/Middle East has reported that the Clinton administration has pressured the Syrian government to crack down on Palestinian exile groups to prevent them from speaking out against the U.S.-led peace process.
6 Based on the author's observations and interviews in Baghdad during January 1991.
7 Indeed, many critics of U.S. foreign policy-most notably Noam Chomsky-would note that such a pattern is not ironic at all but quite consistent regarding U.S. relations with countries elsewhere in the Third World.
8 Jordan Times, June 7, 1994. The blockade also raised the cost of each standard 20-food container an extra $500. While the boom in the port during the 1980s was largely a result of the Iran-Iraq War-which had crippled Iraq's ability to ship in the Persian Gulf Iraq’s limited port facilities at Umm Kasr and the port's chronic problems with silt will likely make them inadequate to meet Iraq's anticipated high demand for trade once the embargo is lifted.
9 This figure is an average of estimates made by various scholars and international relief agencies during interviews by the author. Jordanian figures run as high as 350,000. This figure does not include the hundreds of thousands of third-country evacuees from Iraq and Iraqi-occupied Kuwait who passed through Jordan, many staying for quite a few months, during 1990-91. The costs to the Jordanians in assisting these evacuees was only partially offset by foreign governments and international relief agencies.
10 Roy Farrell, "A Message from Jordan," Seattle Times, April 21, 1991.
11 U.N. Statistical Yearbook, 38th Issue. One cannot help but contrast Jordan's experience with that of Israel, which has also absorbed large numbers of new immigrants in the same period (but did not have to face the problem of lost remittances): Israel, which has eleven times the per-capita GNP of Jordan, was granted a $10 billion loan guarantee from the United States in 1992. Contrary to initial promises, the final agreement contained no restrictions regarding the expansion of illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied territories as promised, and the Clinton administration has bypassed required penalties for settlement construction. Despite being billed as a humanitarian effort to build housing for immigrants from the Soviet Union, there is no mention of housing or Jewish refugees in the agreement. Indeed, Israel actually has a housing surplus. There are over 5,000 empty units in the Israeli city of Beersheva alone, the main relocation center for immigrants from the former Soviet Union.
12 P.V. Vivekanand, "Jordan to lobby Paris Club for debt relief during IMF talks," Jordan Times, October 1, 1994. This figure represents the total as of the end of 1993.
14 Jordan Times, July 27, 1994.
15 Peretz Kidron, "Peace Treaty Agreement," Middle East International, October 21, 1994.
16 Jordan Times, October 15, 1994.
17 Treaty of Peace between the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and the State of Israel, Article 9, Section 2, (p. 10).
18 See my article "U.S. Policy towards Jerusalem: Clinton's Shift to the Right" in Middle East Policy, Volume II, No. 2, Fall 1994.
19 George Hawatmeh, "Selling the Peace," Middle East International, November 4, 1994, p. 7.
20 Donald Neff, "Made for the U.S. Voter," Middle East International, November 4, 1994, p. 5.
22 Lecture by Ron Young, Cambridge, MA, January 4, 1984. Young, then the Middle East representative of the American Friends Service Committee, has used this episode as an illustration of the U.S. propensity to find it easier to send additional arms to that volatile region than to consider modest measures to promote a comprehensive peace.
23 Cited in Ron Young, Missed Opportunity for Peace: U.S. Middle East Policy, 1981-1986, Philadelphia: American Friends Service Committee, 1987, p. 85.
24 Ibid., p. 99.
25 Ibid., p. 89. It is noteworthy that the bulk of U.S. media coverage during this period appeared to blame the Jordanians and the Palestinians for the impasse because they had not fully accepted the Reagan Plan as presented, ignoring the fact that the Israelis had rejected it altogether.
26 Articles by Max Frankel in The New York Times November 15-16, 1982.
27 As with other Third World countries, the United States has tended to emphasize elections as proof of democracy as opposed to broader questions of human rights and civil society, not to mention economic or social rights.
28 Kidron, op.cit.
29 Hawatmeh, op.cit.
31 Treaty of Peace between the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and the State of Israel, Article 11, Section 1 (a) (p. 10).
32 The exception was a handful of members of the extreme right wing, who still insist that the East Bank is part of Eretz Israel.
33 Quoted from Haaretz by Peretz Kidron, Middle East International, November 4, 1994.