Police bar Jordan Nakba activists from reaching Israeli border

[As this article points out, “The… treaty which (Jordan and Israel) concluded in 1994 commits Jordan to prevent using its territory to stage activity against Israeli targets.” — Frontlines ed.]

May 14, 2011

Amman – Jordanian security authorities on Saturday turned back buses carrying scores of activists hoping to get to the Israel-controlled border with the West Bank to mark the 63th anniversary of the founding of Israel, or Nakba (catastrophe), as the Palestinians call it.

Protestors attempting to reach Gaza from Egypt were similarly stopped in Sinai by Egyptian police Saturday.

The group, calling itself the ‘May 15 Youth’, was intercepted by police about five kilometres from the King Hussein crossing point on River Jordan, where activists had planned to spend the night. Continue reading

The “Arab Spring” and How the Opposition Disarms Itself: A View from Jordan

Jordan’s New Opposition and the Traps of Identity and Ambiguity

by Hisham Bustani, Jadaliyya

Apr 20 2011

Protesters took the streets of Amman, Jordan, on April 15, calling for governmental and constitutional reforms.

Protesters took the streets of Amman, Jordan, on Friday, calling for governmental and constitutional reforms.There are two major tribulations in Jordan from which all other issues stem.

The first is the autocratic authority that dominates the role of all “state institutions” (i.e., the Cabinet, the Parliament, and the Judiciary). This autocratic domination is legally sanctioned by the Jordanian constitution:

·      Article 26 states that “The Executive Power shall be vested in the King, who shall exercise his powers through his Ministers.”

·      Article 35 states that “The King appoints the Prime Minister and may dismiss him or accept his resignation. He appoints the Ministers; he also dismisses them or accepts their resignation, upon the recommendation of the Prime Minister.”

·      Article 34 states that “(i) The King issues orders for the holding of elections to the Chamber of Deputies in accordance with the provisions of the law; (ii) The King convenes the National Assembly, inaugurates, adjourns, and prorogues it in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution; (iii) The King may dissolve the Chamber of Deputies; (iv) The King may dissolve the Senate or relieve any Senator of his membership.”  Continue reading

Cairo’s shockwaves felt in Amman as king sacks government

By Catrina Stewart

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

The Independent

King Abdullah, a key ally of the US in the Middle East, had promised reform in the face of protests that provided the most serious challenge to his decade long reign

In a sign of further shockwaves reverberating across the Arab world, King Abdullah II of Jordan sacked his government in a surprise move after three weeks of street protests calling for economic and political reform.

The king dismissed Samir Rifai, the unpopular prime minister, after just over a year in the post, appointing the ex-premier and former army general Marouf Bakhit, whom many Jordanians see as a conservative hardliner with little appetite for reform.

The move was unexpected, not least because street protests in Jordan have remained manageable and largely peaceful, with protesters refraining from openly challenging the king. But Arab leaders have been badly rattled by the mass protests in the region.

The move is being seen as an attempt to head off further trouble from angry Jordanians, in the wake of the more violent unrest in Tunisia and Egypt.

King Abdullah’s decision to dissolve the government goes part of the way to meeting political demands of the opposition, which had called for the resignation of the cabinet, the right to elect the prime minister and an end to political appointments by the king. But it is unclear if it will be enough. Continue reading

Amman, Jordan: Thousands protest economic conditions

Protesters from opposition parties and labour unions hold pieces of bread as they shout anti-government slogans after Friday prayers in downtown Amman January 21, 2011. Credit: Reuters/Muhammad Hamed

21/01/2011

By Suleiman al-Khalidi

AMMAN (Reuters) – Several thousand Jordanians protested on Friday over soaring food prices and the erosion of living conditions, blaming corruption spawned by free-market reforms for the plight of the country’s poor.

Islamists, left wing and trade unions activists marched through the old downtown of the city chanting “The government is eating our flesh … O Samir (Prime Minister Samir al-Rifai), you have slaughtered us with high prices. You have left us broke.”

The 5,000-strong march was largest so far after several smaller protests last week, inspired by Tunisia, to try to force authorities to roll back austerity steps such as higher taxes imposed to repair public finances that have been severely strained by the global financial crisis.

Hundreds of members of Jordan’s Muslim Brotherhood, the country’s largest opposition group, chanted: “O people of Jordan revolt against poverty and hunger,” “The government must leave” and “No to theft of the country.”

Many Jordanians hold successive governments responsible for a prolonged recession and rising public debt that hit a record $15 billion (9 billion pounds) this year in one of the Arab world’s smaller economies that is heavily dependent on foreign aid. Continue reading