TEL AVIV — A former Jordanian minister condemned U.S. President Donald Trump’s recognition of Israel as Jerusalem’s capital, but called on Jordanians to refrain from harming U.S. citizens, saying this would be precisely what the American and Israeli governments want.
Former information minister Saleh Al-Qallab wrote: “When the U.S. moves its embassy to Jerusalem, based on [the assumption that] it is the united and eternal capital of Israel, it will become, according to every international law and treaty, an occupying country just like Israel. And since the action of Trump and [his] wretched administration has turned the US into a country that is occupying Palestinian Arab land, and since U.S. Vice President Mike Pence is one of the architects of this historic crime, [Pence] is unlikely to find any door open to him in the Arab [world] or to be welcome in any Arab capital. …”
“[However,] we Arabs, Muslim and Christian, regard the Americans as a friendly nation that is suffering under President [Trump], who has proved to be incapable of doing anything except provide funds and [promote] historical illusions. Therefore, we must make absolutely sure that no U.S. national is harmed in any way. Indeed, the most extremist among the Israelis, chief of them [Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin] Netanyahu, will seek to motivate misguided or mercenary individuals to harm U.S. nationals, and that is what Trump wants, so he can tell the American people that Arabs and Muslims are all terrorists,” Qallab wrote in Jordanian paper Al-Rai earlier this week, according to a translation published by the Middle East Media Research Institute, a think tank monitoring Middle Eastern media.
Another Jordanian columnist, Bilal Hassan al-Tal, called on his readers to channel their rage toward cultural activity.
“Throughout our cultural history, Jerusalem has been a city that unified the ummah, reunited it and prompted its sons to trade humiliation and defeat for power and victory. Anyone who accurately reads the ummah’s history discovers this truth. … In order for this role to persist, and in order to make sure that Trump, his supporters, his protégés, and his agents and his servants will not win their gamble – that the rage over Jerusalem that we are currently witnessing in the streets of our ummah is only a momentary reaction and a storm in a teacup that will last no longer than a few days – a group of men and women from our ummah must rise up and keep the flame of rage for Jerusalem burning in the heart of our ummah and in its lands. [They must do] this by means of cultural-ideological activity of genuine awakening that will ultimately lead to the liberation of Jerusalem – for that is the real response to Trump’s arrogance and to all those who shelter in his shadow and hang on to his coattails. This is the way to liberate Palestine and its capital, Jerusalem,” Tal wrote.
However, some left-wing and pan-Arab parties and even some members of government have called for violence. Most of the political voices were from the Islamic Action Front, the political branch of the Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood, according to MEMRI.
The Muslim Brotherhood’s general supervisor in Jordan, ‘Abd Al-Hamid Thneibat, said during a a protest march organized by the party that Trump’s announcement was a new Balfour Declaration. Thneibat added that it must be fought by every means.
Overall, despite some local rioting , the announcement seems to have generated less violence and chaos than some of the leaders of the Palestinians hoped it would.