Op-Ed: Things Are Turning Ugly in Jordan
Ted BelmanThe author is a retired attorney and the editor of Israpundit. In 2009 he made aliya and is now living in Jerusalem.
Things are turning ugly in Jordan. Just two days ago, a beautiful young co-ed, Enass Musallam, was brutally stabbed in the abdomen five times by a masked man who was “professionally covered like he was on a SWAT team”.
Luckily she survived the vicious attack. What was her “crime”?
She is a Palestinian student at the University of Jordan. She is active in opposing King Abdullah’s discriminatory policies towards the Palestinians. Recently, King Abduallah’s uncle made threats to the Palestinians –out of the blue– on Jordanian national TV. She responded immediately with a posting on her blog. Shortly after her article was published, when she was heading to college, a masked man who reportedly spoke in a Bedouin accent, attacked her.
Her blog is called, Myth Pen with this sub-title “Here is flowing ink pens in the rebellious, the flow of blood in the veins rebel!” It can easily be translated into English. Here is the article in question.
After the attack, the Government made a public statement about the crime: “This girl has been involved in an affair with a former boyfriend who wanted revenge when she dumped him”.
In the Palestinian culture such an allegation is like the ultimate death sentence. It means that the girl is a “whore” in the eyes of Palestinians who accept it at face value. It suggests that her family is a low-class ill-mannered family. In other words, the Jordanian regime has attacked the untouchable with the Palestinians, their honour.
The girl’s family did not take it lightly and accused the Government of the vicious attack. And they were not alone. Her friends also quickly connected her attack to her anti-discrimination article and her political views. So did UNESCO in Jordan. It sent out a message of support, stating the attack was political retribution. She reported that her attacker at one point held the knife to her throat and told her to “stop your lying.”
One day after the attack, the smiling King Abdullah had a love-in with the delegation of American Jewish Presidents from the Conference of Presidents
Recently, I highlighted the plight of the Jordanian Palestinians in my article, The Poor Palestinians.
Just today David Keyes wrote an article in Israel Hayom in which he wrote:
“Simmering beneath the surface in Jordan is tremendous discontent, fear and inequality. On my last trip to the Hashemite kingdom, I was astounded by the contrast between crushing poverty in the slums of Amman and the king’s Royal Automobile Museum. It boasts hundreds of Lamborghinis, Ferraris, Porches, Mercedes Benzs and Aston Martins once driven by the king or his father. Few people living in a fear society will admit it, but imagine the latent outrage many Jordanians must feel seeing such conspicuous consumption by an unelected, hereditary leader with a lifetime appointment.”
And now they have one more thing to be outraged about. Where will it end? Probably with a repeat of the mass killings which are taking place daily in Syria.