Information on the loss to Jordan’s economy that the war between Israel and Hamas has entailed can be found here: “Jordan Losing Over $250 Million Per Month Due to Israel-Hamas War,” Algemeiner, December 27, 2023:
Despite major economic headwinds, Jordan announced last month that it would refuse to sign a deal to provide energy to Israel in exchange for water that was planned to be ratified in October, according to Reuters.
This decision by Jordan, meant to display its extreme displeasure with Israel, is a case of cutting off your nose to spite your face. Jordan desperately needs water, that Israel was ready to supply in exchange for electricity. Israel was doing Jordan a favor with this planned agreement. The Jewish state is now self-sufficient in fossil fuels, thanks to the off-shore natural gas fields it has discovered and that are now producing. These gas deposits are used to run turbines that create electricity. In fact, until October 7, Israel supplied 50% of Gaza’s electricity needs. Israel now produces about 10% more electricity than it consumes. In other words, it doesn’t need Jordan’s electricity, but Jordan, on the other hand, has a desperate need for water, which is what Israel was prepared to export to it until Jordan put the kibosh on the deal.
Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi added that all of Jordan’s efforts were focused on ending what he described as the “retaliatory barbarism carried out by Israel” in the Hamas-run enclave of Gaza.
If Jordan hopes someday to renew the just-cancelled agreement with Israel, it might do well to not denounce Israel in such an offensive way. There has been no “retaliatory barbarism.” No Gazan babies have been beheaded, no children burned alive, no girls gang-raped, tortured and murdered, no women’s breasts have been sliced off by the IDF soldiers, no eyes gouged out, and genitalia cut off, the Hamas operatives Israel has captured, no children in Gaza have been deliberately murdered In front of their parents, no parents deliberately killed in front of their children. All that is “barbarism.” That is what Hamas did on October 7. And it is what no member of the IDF has ever done. There have been civilian casualties in Gaza, despite the IDF’s endless attempts to warn civilians away from places about to be targeted, but no “barbarism.”
On Wednesday Jordan’s King Abdullah and Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al- Sisi said after a summit in Cairo on Wednesday that they rejected any Israeli move to expel Palestinians in Gaza and the West Bank, state media reported.
This is a canard. There is no Israeli plan to “expel Palestinians” either from Gaza or from the West Bank, and both General El-Sisi and King Abdullah know this perfectly well. They are obliquely accusing Israel of such plans, as a way to further inflame world public opinion against the Jewish state. Israeli officials should respond briskly: “There are no such plans afoot to ‘expel Palestinians’ from either place, and we are sure that the leaders of Egypt and Jordan understand this. We regret that they felt the need to engage in such baseless accusations.”
Jordan is going to learn the hard way that it makes no sense to look a gift horse — Israel — in the mouth. Israel was prepared to provide Jordan with much-needed water. It still is, if the Jordanians decide to revive the planned agreement they have just shut down. And Israel was also prepared to share its tourists — who are ordinarily three times as numerous as those visiting the Hashemite Kingdom — with Jordan, as linked destinations in shared package tours. Now that plan, too, has been cancelled by Jordan. For Jordan’s sake, let us hope that the destruction of Hamas can be accomplished quickly, in a month or two rather than in “months,” so that the 60-70% of tourists who have been cancelling their visits will return to a now more peaceful Middle East. Then the Jordanians can weigh the benefit both of the water-for-energy deal with Israel that Amman had cancelled, and the value of tourist packages with the Jewish state that would include tourist visits to both Israel and Jordan. Both countries can work on assuring tourists that their countries are safe again. I’m sure the Jordanians will see the light. $250 million a month is a lot of lumens.