Saturday, June 09, 2007

Double standards, arrogance, stupidity and meanness

A battle between residents of South Shuneh in the Jordan Valley and security forces was barely averted yesterday. The government had destroyed farms, homes and infrastructure that were illegally built on government land. The Minister of Interior is insisting that the rule of law needs to be upheld. Presumably, he doesn't mind blood being shed to do it.

After failing in their “anti-corruption” drive, the government started looking for villains in poor people trying to get by, as they seem unwilling or unable to get to the real crooks ripping off the country. Now, I have a number of problems with this. Nowhere have I read that there were any judicial proceedings were conducted before destroying the livelihoods of hundreds or thousands of families. Also, the alleged transgressions on government land took place over many years, and have taken on a de facto status. Insisting on reversing these transgressions should be gradual and with a more compassionate approach. These people are not thieves. They are farmers who are trying to make a living. If the government is so insistent on its property rights, it would have not allowed these transgressions to take place to begin with.

Nahid Hattar points out that had a foreign investor wanted to build a farm in this land, he would have been greeted with open arms. I would add that as part of the peace treaty, the government found a way to keep Israeli farmers (who also took the land illegally) on Jordanian land through a 99 year lease. If Israeli farmers can be accommodated, surely Jordanian farmers should be afforded similar concessions.

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UPDATE: Ammon News is now reporting that one person was killed and four police were wounded in the latest clash.

10 Comments:

At 10:16 AM, Blogger Mohanned Al-arabiat said...

I bet you that there is an "investment" in the area, And one more thing: what about the government's transgressions on the peoples land which is a country called JORDAN!! But enshalla el 3edwan will not be silenced:) they had a revoloution before ;)

 
At 10:28 AM, Blogger Mohanned Al-arabiat said...

and yes one more thing, my grand father used to own like 200 dunums in bag3a, can the government give it back to us?

 
At 3:41 PM, Anonymous Fouad Marrbneh said...

If the poor souls had a large tribe behind them, they would have been given the land as "makruma" (gift), but being worthless poor Jordanians with no political pull, they got shafted under the title of "reclaiming stolen public property." what a sad state of affairs. we are going from bad to worse in this country. this is Darwinist capitalism at its worst, thanks to the callous gov.

 
At 6:57 PM, Blogger Khalaf said...

Mohanned: Isn't the government paying something like 20 piasters a dunum for rent? Is that not enough? You are so greedy ;)

Fouad: Actually, they are from the Adwan tribe. Actually, this highlights the misconception that "powerful" tribes exist in Jordan. They do not, despite what people think.

 
At 2:48 AM, Anonymous Hamzeh N. said...

It seems to me like both sides are wrong here. You can't start stealing from the state if you're having a hard time securing a living, and the state shouldn't just seek to protect its unused assets and taking away your created livelihood without paying close attention to what alternatives you are left with in the end, as it is part of the state's duty to make sure viable alternatives exist.

Having said that, the issue of water in the Jordan Valley is painful for all farmers. Farmers are not supposed to dig wells to extract water even on their own land, let alone land that belongs to the state, and also, farmers are not allowed to plant new banana trees (because they require so much water) on their own land as well.

 
At 6:20 AM, Blogger Mohanned said...

Well, hamzeh what about the "masakeen" that digged the shit out of the disi? I think all jordanians deserve a part of their "profits", and you know what, let the poor steal instead of the corrupts, at least we know it goes for buying food and sending kids to school!! And I think the government should focus on fighting the corruption and the "whales" just like the king said! And I recall that not long ago bakhit said the he will fight corruption even if it means that he looses his job, and I think we know now who he was talking about! But I am sure that this thing will not go peacefully because I know the Edwan tribe...
Khalaf: Yes we used to buy chips with the money ;)

 
At 8:52 AM, Blogger Habchawi said...

In my opinion those poor people should have been given the opportunity to pay their fines and presented with some alternatives before the gov take such measures. At least they using empty public properties and asking social services for help, actually their effort to find means to support them selves and their families should have been rewarded.

 
At 9:40 AM, Anonymous Royal_Rumble said...

This story and most others in Jordan are different varitions of the same story, the story of corruption in the country, and no one, even the people who commented so far, are looking at the real issue here, selective vision? We keep tiptoe-ing around the real probem here and we throw blame around freely, with all the shit flying someone stands there with not a wiff of the whole shananagans coming near them. The real theives are watching admiring and smiling, with full impunity.

 
At 6:44 PM, Anonymous Hamzeh N. said...

royal_rumble, care to be the first one to point what you think the real issue is? For the benefit of othe readers.

 
At 7:35 PM, Blogger Mohanned said...

I am with hamzeh Mr/Mrs royal, can you point what we missed?

 

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