With the sack of Israel’s embassy in Cairo last week fresh in everyone’s minds, the prospect of a repeat of that debacle caused Jerusalem to evacuate their diplomatic staff from Jordan prior to a scheduled rally in Amman. But as it turns out, worries about a proposed “million man march” were, to put it mildly, exaggerated. Only 200 Palestinians showed up outside the embassy yesterday, illustrating not only the impotence of their movement in a country that has peaceful relations with Israel.
The flop of the rally at a time when anti-Israel ferment in the Arab world is peeking shows the vast differences between the situation in Jordan and what is going on in Egypt.
In Egypt, though the riot against Israel’s diplomatic presence in Cairo was, no doubt, fueled in no small measure by the drumbeat of anti-Semitic incitement that has infected Egyptian culture, anti-Zionism has also become yet another way to vent the mob’s frustration with the failure of the Arab Spring to do more than topple the Mubarak dictatorship. But in Jordan, as the New York Times coverage of the incident indicated, some regard the effort to break the treaty with Israel as an effort by the Palestinians to overthrow their government. King Abdullah’s father Hussein fought a short war in 1970 in which thousands of Palestinians were massacred. While Jordan has not been helpful to Israel during the current diplomatic crisis, Abdullah’s regime has no intention of being sucked into the violence that may ensue in the West Bank as a result of the Palestinian Authority’s campaign at the United Nations.
It is also interesting to note those Palestinians who did show up made it clear they had no interest in the independent state in the West Bank and Gaza along the 1967 lines the PA is asking the UN to recognize. They, like most Palestinians, have a different and more ambitious goal: the destruction of Israel and its replacement with a Palestinian state.