Talking about peace talks

Jun 28, 2013

Talking about peace talks

Update from AIJAC

June 28, 2013
Number 06/13 #06

With US Secretary of State John Kerry currently visiting Israel as part of an ongoing quest to restart substantive peace talks between Jerusalem and Ramallah that have been in mothballs since 2008, today’s Update looks at why the chances of talks resuming or leading to a deal are unlikely.

First up, Barry Rubin argues that the West’s fixation on ending the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is based upon a false assumption that both parties support the peace process as a strategic conception. If a peace process can only succeed when both parties genuinely want it, it is evidently clear that the Palestinian Authority (PA) has no desire to end the conflict, let alone enter negotiations to even talk about how to end it, he observes. For Rubin, the ultimate test of this claim is the arrant nonsense that settlements on the West Bank are an existential threaten to the two-state formula. If settlements really were so detrimental, he writes, then the PLO would have heeded the late King Hussein’s warning back in 1984 that it was in their best interests to negotiate an end to the conflict sooner, rather than later. On a practical basis, even if the PA were willing to end the conflict it is incapable of sealing the deal, because  Hamas, which rules half of the Palestinian population, is vehemently opposed to peace, he writes. Meanwhile, on the Israeli side of the equation, according to Rubin, there is no question that Israelis support the peace talks and a two-state solution as a strategic goal. Outside players that believe trying to end the conflict is currently possible and that peace might ameliorate the chaos sweeping across the Middle East are delusional, Rubin says, and will only endanger the security of Israel. To read this hard-hitting take on why peace regrettably is not on the horizon, CLICK HERE.

Next up, Khaled Abu Toameh reports on a drop in Hamas’ popularity amongst Arabs and Muslims. The organisation has made a number of missteps in recent months, he writes including cutting ties with Iran and Syria after it refused to back the Assad regime; accused by even more radical groups like Islamic Jihad of not being sufficiently anti-Zionist; angering Egyptians who believe it is militarily supporting Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi’s government; whilst Qatar, its chief financial backer in the region has just changed rulers with Hamas uncertain of the new Emir’s support. Despite this change in affairs, he explains, Hamas’ secular rival Fatah and Israel’s nominal peace partner has not benefitted from this drop in popularity. To read an important analysis from one of the Middle East’s foremost Arab affairs experts, CLICK HERE.

Finally, Clifford May, who has been visiting Jordan, writes on how the kingdom’s ruler, King Abdullah, has avoided the uprisings that have swept aside so many other leaders in the region courtesy of the Arab Spring. May argues that King Adbullah, who is pro-Western, is a genuine reformer and has benefitted from Jordanians seeing the violence that has destroyed so many lives in neighbouring countries and are wary of this happening in Jordan too. For an insight into this important but too often overlooked Middle Eastern country that lies at the crossroads between Iraq, Israel, Syria, Saudi Arabia and Egypt, CLICK HERE.

Readers may also be interested in:

  • On the Washington-based web site Al-Monitor, Turkish journalist Tulin Daloglu looks at the rumours that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan may be planning a “surprise visit” to Gaza, in the context of the still-strained Israeli-Turkish relations and recent Turkish protests.
  • Also at Al-Monitor, an interview with a prominent Hamas official in Gaza offers an insider’s view of the Hamas-Iran split, from the point of view of the Gazan spin-makers. While much of the interview is merely a PR exercise aimed at repairing Hamas’ declining image in the Arab world, there are some interesting revelations, including the depth of military ties between Gaza and Teheran that existed until only recently.
  • Israel has slammed the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) for passing a Palestinian-sponsored resolution condemning Israel’s management of Jerusalem.
  • Finally, Oslo architect and doyen of the Israeli Left Yossi Beilin lashes out at the “one state” solution as “deranged” and asserts that a two-state solution is still the only game in town – even if a Palestinian state with temporary borders may be the best that could probably be agreed to by both sides in the short term.
  • Some examples from the many stories and comments now appearing at AIJAC’s daily “Fresh AIR” blog:
    • Ahron Shapiro exposes the vexatious and baseless complaint of the pro-Palestinian activists who decried a stamp issued jointly by Australia Post and Israel marking Australian troops capture of Beersheba in 1917.
    • Allon Lee’s latest media column.
    • Or Avi-Guy looks at the farcical accusations against Israel at the UN Human Rights Council which ignores real abuses elsewhere.



It’s Time to Tell the Truth about the “Peace Process”

Barry Rubin

PJ Media, June 27, 2013

“He who tells the truth is driven from nine villages.”–  Turkish proverb

Has it become time that the absurd paradigm governing the Israel-Palestinian and Arab-Israeli conflict as well as the “peace process” be abandoned or challenged?

After all, this narrative has become increasingly ridiculous. Here is what is close to being the official version:

The Palestinians desperately want an independent state and are ready to compromise to obtain that goal. They will then live peacefully alongside Israel in a two-state solution. Unfortunately, this is blocked either by: a) misunderstanding on both sides or b) in the recent words of the Huntington Post, “the hard-line opponents who dominate Israel’s ruling coalition.” Israel is behaving foolishly, too, not seeing that, as former President Bill Clinton recently said, Israel needs peace in order to survive. One aspect—perhaps a leading one—why Israel desperately needs peace is because of Arab demographic growth. The main barrier to peace are the Jewish settlements.

This interpretation has nothing, absolutely nothing, to do with reality. People on both sides know this, even if they rarely say so publicly. For the Palestinian side, the pretense of peacemaking—which every Palestinian leader knows—obtains money, diplomatic support, popular sympathy, and pressure on Israel. Here’s the dirty trick involved. If anyone raises in Israels raises issues about whether a “peace process” can really bring peace, concerns about how it would be implemented, and documented experience about Palestinian behavior in the past, the response is that Israel doesn’t want peace. The actual arguments and evidence about these problems is censored out of the Western mass media and distorted in terms of political stances.

Is the peace process after 40 years (if you count from its origins) or 20 years (if  you count from the time of the “Oslo” agreement) at a dead end? Of course it is. That should be obvious.

In reality, the vast majority of Palestinian leaders favor establishing no Palestinian state unless it can continue the work of trying to wipe Israel off the map. They are in no hurry. They do not want to negotiate seriously. And, of course, in the case of Hamas, which controls or has the support of about one-half of the Palestinians, this violent and genocidal intention is completely in the open. You can’t negotiate seriously with those who are not–to recall the old PLO slogan–the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people.  I say this with deep regret but it is the truth.

On the Israeli side, the pretense is kept up because there is already enough Western hatred or real and potential hostility to what is required for its own self-defense. Israel offered deep concessions and took great risks continually through the 1990s. The judgment on the year 2000, the reveling year on the “peace process,” was that this Palestinian rejection of a two-state solution proved that they didn’t want one.

Now, every few days Abbas comes up with a new trick. The latest one is that he really desperately wants to meet with Netanyahu BUT the Israeli prime minister must first meet his latest preconditions which keep changing. And every time Israel starts closing in on matching one of his demands he just changes them.

Kerry gives Israel no credit for that on the peace issue, though it does help U.S.-Israel relations in other ways. For example, Israel will be the first country allowed to deploy the new F-35 warplane and is getting advanced munitions that could be used to hit Iranian nuclear installations. The only condition on these weapons is, of course, that t hey not be used to hit Iranian nuclear installations.  Still, they might be handy some day. And that is precisely the reason Israelis play along and pretend that he might have a better chance at making peace than he does. Which is about zero

Meanwhile, it is common knowledge that there is a freeze on government permits for construction on settlements but Abbas doesn’t care.

Speaking of Iran, it contributes to a regional situation that ensures anyone on the Israeli, Palestinian, or other Arab side would have to be crazy to make compromises or concessions for peace right now.

At a time when Iran is proclaimed suddenly moderate and when the genocidally-intended Muslim Brotherhood is now a U.S. ally and when even the Taliban is being declared acceptable, why is it that Israel is being portrayed by many of the same people as intransigent and the source of problems?

Israelis generally—not just on the left—want peace and a two-state solution. Israelis generally—not just on the right—do not believe it is possible at present, and they can offer much proof on this point. Moreover, given the region’s rapid movement toward revolutionary Islamism, the atmosphere is totally unwelcoming to any progress toward peace.

Even if the Palestinian Authority wished a different policy, it knows that with the hegemony of anti-peace Islamists such a move on its part would be suicidal. Just turn on your radio or pick up a Palestinian newspaper and you can see and hear the hatred, incitement, and rejection of Israel’s existence, the indoctrination of young people to carry on the conflict for decades, the celebration of terrorists and especially suicide bombers. A situation in which anyone who believed in moderation and compromise better keep his mouth shut or face the end of his career or even death is not one where a compromise peace can be made and implemented.

This is common knowledge in Israel. You’d be amazed at the names of left-of-center famous Israeli political figures that in private make clear their view that there is no two-state solution at present, no political solution, but they should keep saying the opposite in public to avoid claims that Israel doesn’t really want peace. As an example, one well-known left-wing leader whose name is associated closely with the peace process said privately that Arafat was an SOB who destroyed the peace process. Another famous dove said that nobody thinks that peace is possible but that we must still pretend otherwise.

There are two phony arguments raised on this issue of why Israel obstructs the peace it desperately needs: settlements and demography. It should take only one minute to dispel this nonsense. And that is why these arguments must be censored out of the mainstream debate by ridicule and insult.

Can settlements be blocking a successful peace process? Of course not. If the Palestinians were so discomfited by construction on settlements they would logically want to accelerate the peacemaking process. This is what King Hussein of Jordan warned them about at the 1984 Palestine National Council meeting. Hurry and get peace, he said, before the settlement process has gone forward too long. They ignored the advice; they weren’t in any hurry.

Again, though, if settlements are gobbling up the land perhaps to the point of no return, shouldn’t the Palestinians demand negotiations immediately instead of refusing to talk for a dozen years and setting countless preconditions that seem to become more demanding as any previous ones are met?

Then we have the bogus demographic issue. The Gaza Strip and West Bank are not part of Israel. Nobody today seeks annexation. Palestinians—except those who live in Israel’s borders—are never going to be citizens of Israel. Ironically, let’s remember, it is the Palestinians who demand that they will through the fictional “right of return” get to be Israelis.

Bill Clinton recently said, with total ignorance:

“Is it really okay with you if Israel has a majority of its people living within your territory that are not now, and never will be, allowed to vote?”

No. They do not live “within [Israel’s] territory.” Therefore, the question does not arise and it will never arise. Israel has not annexed and never will annex the Gaza Strip and West Bank. No one thinks the Palestinians there are citizens and they do not want to be citizens. In fact, they vote in their own elections, or at least once did so and live under their own government and laws. How could anyone not understand this?

Finally, there is the never-addressed issue of what I call, “the day after.” Let’s face it. The Obama Administration and its predecessors have made—how can I put this politely?—some mistakes about the Middle East . They have often urged on Israel very dangerous, even suicidal, courses. They have not always been faithful to allies.

Are these the best-informed, best-intentioned, and best-judgment people to heed? Perhaps it is possible that Israeli leaders actually do know more about the Middle East and their people’s interests than does Washington or Western journalists and “experts.” Perhaps Israel’s people, as shown by their own repeated votes in free elections, are better informed than those thousands of miles away who never lived through this history an,d understandably, don’t put Israeli interests first.

After all, these are policymakers who have just formed alliances with a former Nazi collaborator (the Muslim Brotherhood), and other groups which preach genocide against all Jews, hate the West, hate Christians, want to murder gays, and to make women second-class citizens. Would you listen to advice by people who do such things?

Moreover, what would happen the day after a successfully negotiated two-state solution? If cross-border terror attacks began would the United States act decisively to condemn the Palestinian regime? Could it “fix” the problem of a Palestinian state that did not live up to its commitments?

What about a state that was taken over by a Hamas coup or even a Hamas electoral victory, which happened in the last Palestinian election? Suddenly, Israel would be ringed by a Hamas-ruled Palestinian state that rejected peace; a Muslim-Brotherhood ruled Egypt and perhaps Syria; and a Hizballah-ruled Lebanon. Do you think that two-state solution or at least peace would long endure?

What about a Palestinian state that invited in the armies of neighboring Arab states or Iran, with their weapons or as large numbers of advisors?

In short, would Israel be better off from those who, on the one hand, have as little intention of implementing their agreements as they have often done before and, on the other hand, those who urge you to make such a deal but can and will do nothing significant to enforce it?


Clinton said that Israel needs peace to survive. Yet the situation is one in which a certain type of peace would endanger survival. What Israel wants is a two-state solution that brings real peace and that would enhance survival. Why is there never any talk about the quality of the peace?

But finally here is the key concept, as voiced by the Huffington Post’s article on Clinton’s speech:

“It underscored a chasm between the country’s official support for creating an independent Palestinian state and the hard-line opponents who dominate Israel’s ruling coalition.”

The problem is the word “opponents.” Israel would be happy to create an independent Palestinian state that resulted in an end to the conflict. It was ready to do so at the 2000 Camp David meeting but the Palestinian leadership then, and since, has refused to say that even a two-state solution would permanently end the conflict. It would merely initiate the next round of a battle pursing total elimination of Israel. This is not an ideological but a strategic issue. Wishful thinking and arguments that if you don’t work for peace you won’t get it are fine for the words of bystanders. They would be disastrous for actual policy. Incidentally, the three most “soft-line” supporters of creating an independent state have been Yitzhak Rabin, Shimon Peres, and Ehud Barak. These men learned vividly the same lessons that their political opponents did.

The real blockage to peace comes from the Palestinian leadership (including Hamas’s open preference for massacring all Israelis) and by the realities of the strategic situation that.

Question: Is this a right-wing position?

Answer: No, it ia just a recognition of reality. As I noted above, everyone knows it and if they don’t there are three possible reasons:

1. They want to bash Israel and subvert Israel’s relations with the West and they know what they are doing.

2. They are ignorant about the region or at least very much out of date. And this goes for those ruled by wishful thinking.

3. They think that by pretending peace is possible they can make the Arabs feel that the United States is trying to help the Palestinians and that therefore most Arabs and Muslims will think better of them and radical Islamists will like America.

Among Israelis they know that since this is a firm belief in the West keeping their mouths shut makes it easier to get along with those people who are in power in the West. And this goes for those ruled by wishful thinking, though proportionately far fewer than in the West.

It also goes for those who would gladly welcome a real, viable two-state solution but know that one is decades off and has been made more difficult by the radicalism unleashed by the supposedly moderating “Arab Spring.”

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Is Hamas Losing Power?

by Khaled Abu Toameh

Gatestoneinstitute.org, June 27, 2013.

The only way to undermine Hamas is by offering the Palestinians a better alternative to Hamas. Many Palestinians do not regard Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah as a better alternative to the radical Islamist movement.

Recent developments on a number of fronts in the Middle East suggest that Hamas is beginning to lose both power and popularity among Arabs and Muslims.

Of course this is good new for moderate Arabs and Muslims, as well as for stability in the region.

This change does not, however, mean that Hamas will vanish sometime in the near future. Nor does it mean that peace will prevail tomorrow between between Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and Israel.

The only way to undermine Hamas is by offering the Palestinians a better alternative to Hamas. Many Palestinians still do not regard Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah faction as a better alternative to the radical Islamist movement.

In recent weeks and months, Hamas has found itself embroiled in a number of local and regional disputes that seem to have had a negative impact on its standing among Palestinians and Arabs.

After losing the backing of Iran and Syria because of its support for the rebels fighting against the regime of Bashar Assad, Hamas has now lost its key supporter and financier in the Arab world, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani of Qatar.

Khalifa’s decision to hand powers to his son, Sheikh Tamim, has left many Hamas leaders worried about the future relations between their movement and Qatar.

Noting that Qatar had long embraced and supported Hamas, leaders of the movement voiced hope that Sheik Tamim would follow in the footsteps of his father.

Under Hamad bin Khalifa, Qatar was the first Arab country to receive Hamas leaders after they were expelled from Jordan by the late King Hussein in the late 1990’s.

Khalifa was also the first Arab ruler to visit the Gaza Strip earlier this year and offer hundreds of millions of dollars in aid to the Hamas government.

Hamas leaders said this week that they are now not sure whether the new ruler of Qatar will fulfill his father’s financial pledges.

Meanwhile, Hamas seems to have gotten itself into trouble with many Egyptians, who accuse the movement of meddling in their internal affairs.

Egyptian media reports and politicians say Hamas has been dispatching weapons and gunmen to Egypt to support Muslim Brotherhood President Mohamed Morsi, who is facing growing discontent at home.

When Hamas leaders visited Cairo last week, they were forced to flee the hotel where they were staying after hundreds of angry Egyptian demonstrators protested their presence on Egyptian soil.

Hamas’s support for the anti-Assad rebels in Syria has also resulted in a crisis between the movement and the Iranian-backed terror group Hizbullah in Lebanon.

Some Lebanese have accused Hamas of arming anti-Assad radical Islamists and setting up terror cells in Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon.

Unconfirmed reports said that Hizbullah has asked Hamas leaders based in Beirut to leave the country.

Musa Abu Marzouk, a senior Hamas official, this week made a secret visit to Beirut in a bid to defuse tensions between his movement and Hizbullah.

Hamas is also facing many problems at home.

Hamas’s relations with other terror groups in the Gaza Strip have also recently witnessed a serious deterioration.

The Islamic Jihad organization decided this week to sever ties with Hamas over the death of a top Jihad operative, Raed Jundiyeh.

Jundiyeh was killed when Hamas policemen tried to arrest him last weekend, sparking a sharp crisis between the two parties.

In addition, Hamas has been forced to deal with Al-Qaeda-affiliated Salafi followers who think that the Hamas leadership is not radical enough, especially with regards to imposing strict Islamic laws and fighting the “Zionist enemy.”

Hamas officials admit that all these these developments have had a negative impact on their movement’s standing among Palestinians and Arabs.

Hamas’s failure to improve the living conditions of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip has also driven away an increased number of Palestinians — in addition to reports about fierce internal squabbling among Hamas’s top brass and the absence of a unified policy toward many controversial issues plaguing the Palestinians and the Arab world.

In a move reflecting Hamas’s growing predicament, the movement was forced this week to welcome Palestinian singer Mohamed Assaf, who won the popular Arab Idol contest held by Saudi Arabia’s MBC TV station.

Although Hamas leaders have condemned the contest as “anti-Islamic” and “morally corrupt,” they were forced to voice their support for the 23-year-old Assaf in the wake of the overwhelming and unprecedented support he received from Palestinians.

When Hamas leaders begin to “sweat,” it should be seen as a positive development in the Palestinian arena. It now remains to be seen whether Palestinians will take advantage of the situation and turn against Hamas.

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Roll, Jordan, Roll

By Clifford D. May

National Review Online, June 27, 2013


Amman, Jordan — American boots are on the ground here in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. Nearly 5,000 U.S. military personnel joined Jordanian troops for “Eager Lion,” a training exercise that ended with a gesture of solidarity: The U.S. left behind a detachment of F-16 aircraft and a Patriot missile-defense system — along with 700 U.S. military personnel to man them, and 200 experts tasked with teaching Jordanians what to do in case of chemical-weapons attacks.

The concern, of course, is that the war in neighboring Syria could “spill over,” an imprecise way of saying that both Syria’s Iranian-backed dictator, Bashar al-Assad, and the al-Qaeda-affiliated groups within the coalition fighting him see Jordan as an enemy based on the fact that it’s moderate, allied with the U.S., and at peace with Israel.

Jordan confronts other challenges as well: Lacking oil and natural gas, it is spending a fortune to import 96 percent of its energy, and 87 percent of its food. Water is chronically in short supply. More than a half million Syrian refugees are further straining the country’s economic and social fabric.

Despite all that, a visitor to Amman, the nation’s capital, cannot help but be struck by how normal — even relaxed — Jordanians appear. On a Friday night, the conclusion of the Muslim Sabbath, people are out and about, dining in elegant restaurants, sipping coffee in cozy cafes, and shopping. Wandering about, I come across art galleries, a rock-and-gem store, and a street that features pet shops. The women of Amman are well dressed and free to cover or not, with some managing clever compromises — e.g., a scarf over the head, tight blue jeans and high heels below. At Taj, a thoroughly modern shopping mall, there are prayer rooms (separate ones for men and women), but also a Victoria’s Secret.

Yes, this could be the calm before a dreadful storm. But it’s also possible that Jordanian society is more resilient than the conventional wisdom would have it. Jordanians look around their neighborhood and see Syria, mired in a civil war that has taken more than 90,000 lives; Yemen, embroiled in conflicts against both al-Qaeda combatants and Iranian-backed rebels; Egypt, in economic freefall thanks to a Muslim Brotherhood government; Iraq, where sectarian violence killed more than a thousand people in May alone; Pakistan, where jihadists recently attacked a bus carrying young women students, then attacked the hospital where they were taken for treatment; and even Turkey, where increasing Islamist authoritarianism has sparked mass protests. It’s at least plausible that they are asking themselves: “Is what we have so bad? And if we throw it away, what will replace it?”

What they have of course is King Abdullah II, whose coronation was 14 years ago this month. An argument can be made that monarchs enjoy a legitimacy dictators only dream of. But it’s more complicated than that: On the one hand, Abdullah’s ancestors were born not in this territory but in the Hejaz, the stretch of Arabia bordering the Red Sea. On the other hand, the king descends from the Prophet Mohammed, and it was his clan, the Hashemites, that for a millennium served as the custodians of Mecca and Medina, Islam’s holiest places.

Then, early in the last century, the Saudis, a fierce warrior clan aligned with the Wahhabis, a fundamentalist religious sect, deposed the Hashemites. The British, who had assumed responsibility for the former Ottoman territory of Palestine, found a new home for them east of the Jordan River. In 1921, it was called the Emirate of Transjordan; in 1946, it became the Kingdom of Transjordan; and in 1949, it adopted its current name, the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.

King Abdullah, 51, is a faithful Muslim who has constructed, adjacent to his palace, a mosque that can hold 5,500 worshipers. But he is decidedly not an Islamist: He does not believe it is the mission of Muslims of the 21st century to resurrect the seventh century, the era when a religion born in Arabia gave rise to armies that, with astonishing rapidity, went on to conquer and colonize the lands of Christians and polytheists, dominating the world for more than a thousand years.

The remains of that empire — from Morocco to Albania to Bangladesh to Indonesia — constitute what we today call “the Muslim world,” more than 50 countries, the vast majority of them not free, and less than tolerant of their surviving minority populations.

The king calls himself a reformer, a believer in constitutional monarchy, representative democracy, and meritocracy. The evidence, I think, supports that claim. But he also understands that democratic institutions and habits must evolve — they cannot be imposed overnight in cultures where the power of ancient tribal allegiances trumps the power of new ideas.

In any case, it is the civil war in neighboring Syria that most concerns Jordan at present. Officials say they are not taking sides. They have denied media reports that the CIA and U.S. special operations forces are training Syrian rebels on Jordanian soil.

Assad does not believe them. On a day when I’m meeting with Jordanian officials, a controversy erupts over Syria’s ambassador, Bahjat Suleiman, using his Facebook page to call Bassam Manasir, an important member of Jordan’s parliament, “a servant of the enemies of Syria and Jordan” (you can guess who those are). In response, Manasir demands Suleiman’s expulsion.

Whatever the outcome in Syria, it will be problematic for Jordan. Should Assad survive, he will be more beholden than ever to Iran and its proxy, Hezbollah. A new Pew poll finds the Iranian regime disliked by 81 percent of Jordanians. On the other hand, should the rebels succeed in toppling the dictatorship — in recent days, President Obama has pledged to assist the nationalist factions — Jordan could find itself tangling with the bin Ladenist groups that have been the most effective anti-regime fighting forces.

Jihad does not appear to be catching on in Jordan — but neither is the kingdom immune to the virus. Recall that it was a Jordanian, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, who led the al-Qaeda affiliate in Iraq after the toppling of Saddam Hussein, dispatching numerous suicide bombers against both Shiite and American targets. In 2005, Zarqawi also was responsible for a series of bombings at upscale Amman hotels that killed 60 people. He achieved what he saw as martyrdom the following year when U.S forces dropped a 500-pound bomb on what he thought was a safe house.

There also was “triple agent” Humam Khalil al-Balawi, a Jordanian physician and online jihadist recruited by Jordanian intelligence to serve as a mole inside al-Qaeda. In December 2009, he strapped a 30-pound bomb vest to his chest and detonated it at a CIA outpost in Afghanistan, killing seven senior CIA operatives as well as Ali bin Zeid, his Jordanian handler, himself a member of the royal family.

The Muslim world is not a monolith. But it could become one — if Americans, out of fatigue and frustration, abandon the realm to the tender mercies of jihadists and Islamists, terms the king’s advisers do not avoid as do so many politically correct American and European officials. Jordanians see with their own eyes that the “tide” of war is not “receding.” On the contrary, without America’s continuing support, they and other moderate Muslims — resilient though they may be — are in danger of being inundated by the encroaching waters of terrorism and theocratic imperialism.

Clifford D. May is president of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, a policy institute focusing on national security.


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