A Voice of Reason from an Arab Dissident

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However, the world will only change its views on the location of the future Palestinian state if it wakes up to the problem of Jordanian apartheid.  This is something my colleagues and I are constantly trying to do.  As much as we can we’re telling the world that the Palestinian majority in Jordan is oppressed and discriminated against.  Yet I am stunned by how little interest the world, the International Criminal Court, the US and other Western governments show in our rights.  I believe they are more interested in bashing the “evil Jews” in Israel rather than securing our rights. Anti-Semitism has surely made a well-groomed comeback.

Jordan is a vicious apartheid state; how come there is no Jordanian Apartheid week in the UK or the US?

YM: Going against the trend and “the powers that be” is not an easy task.  Despite the difficulty, do you feel your making any progress?

MZ: Much so.  People have been discovering the true colors of Jordan and how hostile to Israel it is.  Two groups of people we are reaching out to are:

1. The Pro-Israel and the Zionists – we are telling them that the Hashemites are in fact an enemy and not a friend and that Jordan is not a peace-loving safe haven they can depend on.

2. The westerners who support Jordan (sometimes even against Israel) – we are telling them that Jordan is an apartheid state that breaks international law and we are warning them not to support it.

Nevertheless, despite the progress we need to reach out more.  The Jordanian regime has portrayed itself as Israel’s best friend and a necessity for Israel’s survival – both are myths.  I am reaching out to people and have seen people changing their minds about this subject.  This is awesome.

In addition we are already reaching out to the US Congress, the UK Parliament, the Secretary of State and others to expose Jordan and the king’s tricks.  And we know for a fact our actions have caused serious discomfort for the king. We just need more outreach.

YM: Have any of them (parliament, congress, secretary of state, etc) responded?

MZ: We have received some response from the parliament of Canada and I know for a fact that some congressmen have given serious thought and consideration to our message.  I also know for certain that the US Secretary of State and the American Embassy in Amman spoke to the regime in Jordan about certain issues we have raised in our letters to them.  The effect of this is that some of the regime’s media outlets wrote stories against “those in the West trying to tarnish Jordan’s image” and the king himself has made actions that show we have put him on the spot.

I also get many emails each day and sometimes phone calls from Palestinians thanking me and calling me strange names like “our hero” and “our man”.  One guy even wrote a poem to my praise….it really makes me laugh.

YM: It’s good.  It means you’re touching people. By the way, the last interview we did was splashed all over the internet.  Did you receive any feedback from the interview?

MZ: Yes, especially from Jews.

YM: Are you specifically in touch with the Jews in England?  For instance, are you in contact with the well-known writer Melanie Phillips?  She’s attacked as being an “extremist” although many Jews think she’s just speaking straight and honestly.

MZ: She is one of my favorites.  I never was able to get in touch with her yet I sure would love to.  I am in touch with Jews here; very great people and many seem to passionately believe in my cause.  After the interview was published one of them called me and said he would consider helping me in my latest quest of issuing arrest warrants for Jordanian officials coming to London.  If Israeli politicians have to think twice before they arrive here then for sure the Jordanian apartheid criminals are more worthy of such arrest warrants and surely deserve to be arrested.  Those who want Israeli politicians arrested deserve to be embarrassed.  If they really cared for the Palestinians, how come they never bother to arrest Jordanian apartheid criminals?

YM: What about the large Arab/Muslim population in England. Are you in touch with any of their leaders r do they keep a distance from you?

MZ: I am in touch with most Palestinians here, at least the Palestinians who matter.  You will be shocked how much support they exhibit.  I also have people in Canada, US, Australia and Europe all working with me, sending messages and outreaching, requesting meetings, calling people and doing all they can do.  Today I received a request from a Palestinian activist in Amman asking me to open my group for Palestinians in Jordan despite the huge risks for them.

YM: What group are you referring to?

MZ: My group is the New Jordan Party which aims to establish Palestinian rule in Jordan via all legal, peaceful, and democratic means instead of the Hashemite occupation.

Threats Against Mudar

YM: Who in fact is helping you the most?

MZ: The Palestinians.  I’m still working on making the case with the non-Arabs (westerners).  I also have been receiving serious emotional support and advice from some American Jews.  Many see my thoughts as sobering.  They just think, “Why didn’t we think of that before?”

In general, a lot of Palestinian friends stop by to meet and talk.  I also get people calling on the Internet telling me they support what I’m doing.  I never realized how much the Palestinians hated the Hashemite regime.  Keep in mind, all seem convinced that a state across the river in the eastern part of the British mandate of Palestine is just fine.

Yet I have also been under serious threats and harassment from the Jordanian government.  As we speak I am going through a crushing experience because of the Jordanians.  Threats were made involving my life and the lives of my children and immediate family members yet sadly the authorities seem to be able to do very little.

YM: They’re physically threatening you and your family in England?

MZ: Long story.  Khaled Majali, a retired Jordanian intelligence officer, wrote an article in July 2010 calling for my head to be chopped off by the intelligence service right on British soil.  Then recently a Jordanian gentleman who lives in Greece began publishing threats all over Facebook, directly calling for my harm.  He’s saying that I’m a Jewish spy, editing my photo showing me dressed as a rabbi and also somehow exhibiting photos of members of my extended family and of friends of the family.  I thought his presence in Greece would put him under European jurisdiction yet I thought wrong and the whole issue ended up with the police asking me to hand over my two laptops to them in order to continue the case.

What was really alarming is that he seemed to have known something about my movement in the UK, which makes me wonder, am I being followed?

Nonetheless, I have not stopped working against them.  My wife and I have also accepted our fate.  Whatever happens, it will be for the good.  I am not going to stop.

YM: In a world full of lies, it’s not always so easy to work for the truth. It upsets a lot of people, especially those with lots of power, since they benefit from the constant lies and confusion.

MZ: If it were not for one man, Moses, to lead the way, all Jews would still be Egyptian slaves today.  God manifests his will through a few good men, or women.  I am looking for an exodus for my people from the current situation.

Iran and Hamas

YM: Does Iran have any influence in Jordan?

MZ: Big time. Iran has achieved serious penetration into the tribal Jordanians.  The chief tribal Jordanian opposition leader calling for constitutional monarchy is Leith Shubilat who is a very close friend of Iran.  Furthermore, the king visited Iran a few months ago and Iran provides some financial aid to Jordan.  Jordan and its pragmatic approach make it an open gun for hire or politician for hire for anyone who pays best.  Good example is Jordan’s stance of supporting Saddam.

YM: What you’re saying is interesting since it shows that Shiite Iran is trying to influence the Sunni Bedouin tribes in Jordan.  This of course is similar to Iran backing the Sunni Hamas.  Thus, despite their usual animosity towards each other, Sunnis and Shiites can always find a way to work together especially if It’s against a united enemy.  Do you agree?

MZ: Iran pays generously for Hamas and the Jordanian tribes to the point where the king is alarmed.  Before Iran, Saddam used to pay the tribes very, very well.  He even built them Jordan’s second largest university and used to grant their sheikhs bran new Mercedes….seen those with my own eyes.  If your question is “do both Sunnis and Shiites hate Jews?” the answer is yes.  Yet I can assure you, both hate one another much more than they could care for the Jews.

YM: But the problem is that the shared hatred against the Jews understandably scares most Israelis. Take for instance the elections a few years back in Judea and Samaria when the average Palestinian voted in Hamas. That sent a powerful message to many Israelis that the average Palestinian is happy having Hamas as its leader and that they support their measures since deep down they all hate the Jews. It’s hard to overcome that feeling.

MZ: Common sense must be applied.  Palestinians, even Christian Palestinians I know, voted for Hamas just to harm the corrupt PA and PLO which had terrorized people and killed their potential.  However, if elections were held today I doubt that Hamas would get the same landslide victory.  In addition, I doubt Palestinians would care for Hamas as much as many of them do today if they had their own country across the river or if they should have one in about three years time.

Predictions for the Coming Year

YM: What do you see happening within a year in Jordan, Judea and Samaria (regarding Palestinian statehood) and in Israel?

MZ: I see the king losing control over the tribes.  I see him unable to control them and Jordan falling into unrest and I see the tribes attacking the Palestinian armless and helpless majority.

I also see Mr. Abbas staying where is, as is, since I doubt he would ever push the Palestinian state stunt.  He will flirt with it and perhaps even initiate it at the UN yet he would never push it all the way.  And even if he does or just wanted to, be sure that the US would stop it at some point.  He certainly doesn’t want that fiasco and could never afford it.

I see the Israeli right-wing nationalists picking up more momentum.  I see a more conservative Israel than in previous years yet not something radically different.  I also see a surge in terrorist attacks on Israel.  Syria will push Hamas into carrying out more terror attacks inside Israel to shift the media and political pressure off its regime.

YM: Regarding the events in Syria, do you think Assad will fall and will events there have an influence on Jordan?

MZ: Yes, I think Assad will fall once the situation in Libya is concluded.  Assad and his Alawites make up only 5,000 people which means they can easily fall.  Thus the king in Jordan is obviously terrified since in Jordan there are 50 Hashemite members ruling 6 million.  The unrest in the region is a tsunami that might make the Bedouin tribesmen who control the army revolt against him.

Yoel Meltzer is a freelance writer living in Jerusalem. Visit his personal blog at YoelMeltzer.com.

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  • StephenD

    I've heard for a long time how Jordan is the true home of the so called "Palestinians." It would be grand if this was supported and made known to the balance of the world and the new "State" was carved from Jordan as it should be and Israel was left alone.
    Excellent article Mr. Meltzer.

  • Raymond in DC

    The Jordan River is the only natural border between these two peoples, and it's really the best solution. There's simply no way to naturally separate them west of the Jordan, provide for secure and defensible borders, while creating a viable Palestinian state. And while so many self-described "Palestinians" really trace their roots to North Africa, Egypt, Syria, Iraq, et.al., only in Jordan have they ever had the makings of a Palestinian society. (Heck, they dominate the economics of the state.)

    There's certainly no room in the West Bank to absorb the hundreds of thousands of Palestinian "refugees" who will inevitably be driven out of Syria and Lebanon after they have their own state. But Jordan could absorb and integrate them, as Israel did the Jews who were driven out of Arab lands from the 1940s on. They'd have easy access to trade with Africa and Asia via the port of Aqaba and, with Israel's cooperation, adequate water and energy via the Red-Dead canal. If the Bedouin don't like it, they can (in Helen Thomas' words) "go back where they came from" – Arabia.

  • Ghostwriter

    I'd love to hear an Arab journalist say this:

    "For years,we have compained that Americans are largely anti-Muslim. But we have never considered why. What Americans see is that the Muslim world are a bunch of violence-driven fanatics who want to destroy their country. Sadly,we have done nothing to dispel that view. Indeed,we have only strengthened that view.
    We've never asked the question:What do Americans see? Here is the answer. That we are anti-American,anti-Christian,anti-Jewish,anti-democratic. That we want to transform their country into something along the lines of Iran or Saudi Arabia or Afghanistan under the Taliban. I will tell you this,that is something the majority of Americans do not want. Many of the ancestors of today's Americans left behind their countries to come to America for a myriad of reasons,religious intolerance is one of them.

  • Ghostwriter

    In America,the Muslim is free to worship alongside the Christian,the Jew,the Hindu,the Sikh,and others. What they do not want is someone to dictate how they will worship God,and that includes Muslims. They feel that people like Usama Bin Laden want to force Americans to worship God his way,not their way. They do not want Islam imposed on them and they will fight against that. The sad thing is we do not consider that feeling. We want to blame the Americans for problems of our own creation.
    I hope that one day,we can live in peace with America and that we stop trying to force Islam on a people who clearly do not want it."

    Sadly,I doubt that something like that will be written in the Muslim world.

  • Benjamin Urrutia

    Abbas is trying to get a state and at the same time he gives half the power to Hamas, which insists it wants no peace and no negotiation. Israel and America will never agree to a State of which half the government is committed to violence, terrorism and the destruction of Israel.

  • FatsRule

    What a horrible mistake that would be! No, no, no! 80% of the Jewish National Home, the prerogative of the British, was illegally amputated to form an Arab Palestine they called Trans-Jordan. The Jews were left with only 20%. The British illegally allowed immigration of surrounding Muslims into the Jewish settled areas. This is how most of the population west of the Jordan got there. Many had moved out, not having the money to repay the 3 Muslim families who lent it to them for farms & other businesses. It's MOOT ANYWAY! Jordan annexed the Jordanian named West Bank from 1949-1967 when they lost it in a war they started against Israel. Israel STILL has an international legal right to ANNEX THE WEST BANK & REPATRIATE this extremely hostile population back to Jordan, who LOST THAT LAND IN THE WAR!! This remains the only compassionate, effective solution to end the Muslim war to destroy Israel emanating from there. In the absence of having done so, Israel's successive leaders for 44 years are responsible for the tens of thousands of innocent lives & limbs lost to the barbarian savage sub-animals who cheer with glee by the tens of thousands at the opportunity to lynch a couple of Russian Israeli soldiers who mistakenly walked into an Arab neighborhood, Ramallah, & were taken to a "police station" in 2000 where they were beaten to death & torn apart by sub-animal scum. Here's that & several more "Palestinian" atrocities video taped. youtube.com/watch?v=0dfV_CUMemA&feature=related Genocidal hatred for Israel has been taught for several generations to the so-called "Palestinians" in their schools, camps, books, t.v. shows & ads, posters, in mosques, in rallies, etc… palwatch.org.

  • Fred Dawes

    WHAT The hell?

  • Canadian Otter

    It is amazing how little coverage these views get on the mainstream media, particularly in Israel. Yoel Meltzer’s interview is therefore quite a useful source. The Arab world is in such turmoil that it's hard for us to make any sense of it. But I'm afraid it's even more complex in Jordan than it's presented here, and the prospects for the future even more alarming. None of the ME signs bodes well for Israel. The greatest scandal in all Israeli history is that since 1967 the govt has failed to uphold Israel’s legal right to its heartland, according to the League of Nations Mandate, which were adopted by the UN. Now, in the wake of the crumbling of the peace treaty with Egypt, the Israeli govt continues in its pursuit of a land for peace treaty with the PA, if only they say the magic words of recognition. Reality is hitting Israel on the face, the alarming truth blaring loud and clear from all sides, but none of it has any effect on the govt. What is keeping the Israeli government on such a dangerous path? Why is the “Jordan is Palestine” scenario dismissed outright?

  • nossonkohn

    if only enough people in power would read this article we could actually finally have real peace in the middle east, as opposed to illusionary peace agreements based on confusion and illusion which only blow up over time, after thousands of Israeli's already paid with their lives

  • kafirman

    "bran new Mercedes" s/b "branD new Mercedes"
    "their leaders r do they" s/b "their leaders Or do they"
    "I also see Mr. Abbas staying where is, as is, … " s/b "I also see Mr. Abbas staying where HE is, as is, …"

    Mudar Zahran is an inspiration.

  • http://yoelmeltzer.com/ Yoel Meltzer

    Thank you everyone for the comments and thank you Kafirman for the corrections.

    If anyone would like to know more about Mudar and his message, there is another interview that I conducted with him 2 months ago called "An Interview with an Arab Dissident". You can find this on my blog (http://yoelmeltzer.com/).

  • Robert Haymond

    Another astonishing interview (Part II): Astonishing because so little appears to be known about the real politics and sociological make-up of the Kingdom of Jordan. The "Palestinians" in the Westbank are actually made up of huge tribes, families and clans often hostile and/or alienated from one another. I assume the same is true amongst the "Palestinians" residing in Jordan although I am not certain. The effect is in its disunity. According to the article, the Bedouins of Jordan are themselves composed of different tribes or clans. If this is so, any overthrow of the King will result in considerable division and Jordan will be involved in a fractious civil war. As much as Israel may be hated, it sounds like they hate, or will hate, one another even more.

    In closing, my thanks to Mudar for allowing himself to be interviewed and to Yoel Meltzer for another piece of excellent work.