Nice try, but it won't work
It is widely recognized that the base of the Islamist movement in Jordan is strongly rooted with Jordanians with Palestinian origins. Thus, much of the defense of Hamas last year when the arms smuggling case broke came from this perspective. Many people, even who don’t identify with the Islamists, viewed Hamas as a legitimate resistance organization that had not been tainted with Arab or Palestinian blood. Recent events in Gaza changed this myth for most.
So, in an interesting turn of events, the head of Hamas, Khaled Mish’al has met with Nahid Hattar. In their meeting, Mish’al told Hattar what he wanted to hear: Hamas loves Jordan, and is grateful for King Hussein saving his life; Hamas can become a gateway for Jordanian influence in Palestine; the peace process is at dead end and the liquidation of the Palestinian cause is a grave threat to Jordan; and hardships imposed by Israel on the Palestinians will lead to mass displacement from the occupied territories towards Jordan. He also admitted involvement in the smuggling of weapons to Jordan, but said that they were only destined to be transported to the West Bank (yeah, right).
Hattar, like many East Bank Jordanians, worries about changing the character of the state in a way that decreases the influence of traditional power structures that purport to defend East Bank Jordanian interests. So, playing on this, Misha’al told him that he is totally against the calls for increasing Palestinian Jordanian political representation, as Adnan Abu Odeh continues to do.
Now, Mish’al continues to hold a Jordanian passport. Moreover, Hamas and Jordanian Islamists still call the 1988 disengagement unconstitutional, and demand its revocation. So, basically, Mish’al has sold off his Palestinian Jordanian constituency, with all their demands, in favor of trying to appease and woo East Bankers for their support. I suppose this started with Hamas’ demand to break organizational links with the Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood. However, the depth of cynicism and political opportunism has never been more on display. Machiavelli would be proud.