Saturday, March 24, 2007

Sell outs

Remember when the Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood stuck up for Hamas? They accused the Jordanian government of falsifying the weapons case, and earned the anger and scorn of said government. One would think that gratitude for such loyalty would be in order, no?

Well, Hamas has sent a letter to the MB, saying that they don’t want to be affiliated with them any more. This Dear John letter is somewhat puzzling, since both Hamas and the MB have always denied any organizational links between the two movements. I guess that the whole world misunderstood them. Here, Salem Falahat, Head of the MB says that “So there is a difference; Hamas is a Palestinian Islamist movement that has its special duties, while the Brotherhood in Jordan, as in Egypt and other countries, are independent movements. There is no organizational overlap at all. Hamas is not part of the Brotherhood; it is an independent organization with its own leadership, by-laws, and special councils”. Oh well, I guess that confusion is the result of an honest mistake.

So, the MB met to discuss the request for separation from Hamas, and decided to refuse. Rana Sabbagh has been following this story. Here, she reports that the impasse between the MB and Hamas has been referred to the world head of the MB in Cairo by Khaled Meshaal. The Cairo decision is pending.

Anyway, the hawkish Meshaal seems to be at odds with the hawkish members of the MB, who were the ones who refused to agree to the breakage of the linkages. Meshaal’s move seems to be more related to internal Hamas politics rather than any grand political principle. He is trying to out maneuver the internal Hamas leadership in Palestine by achivening legitimacy through the Palestine National Council. Jordanian officials are worried that Hamas will try to organize itself as an alternative to the MB in the refugee camps. Remember this? On the other hand, the question of recognition of the 1988 severance between the West Bank and Jordan seems to have been resolved.

Both the internal and external Hamas factions are getting in line trying to make amends to the Jordanian government. Ismail Hanieh is scheduled to come to Jordan next week with Mahmoud Abbas, on their way to the Arab summit in Saudi Arabia. Meshaal has also stated that he is eager to resume a good relationship with Jordan. In fact, one of the biggest sticking points between Hamas and Jordan has been the interference of the Palestinian organization in Jordanian politics, specifically the MB.

So, after everybody kisses and makes up, the MB will get the short end of the stick. Where is my Kleenex?



At 4:17 PM, Blogger Omar said...

On a very side note, what happened to the whole Hamas-terror issue in Jordan in the end?

At 5:10 PM, Blogger Benjamin Fribley said...

Hey Khalaf, I am going to be conducting some research in the coming while on Jordanian emergency law and I would be curious about your input. I am an American student studying in Amman. Please feel free to contact me @ benjamin.fribley @ (take out the spaces obviously) or check out my Amman blog@

At 6:20 PM, Blogger Mohanned said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 6:31 PM, Blogger Khalaf said...

Omar: The case is in the courts. After the MB claimed that the defendents who showed up on TV were Fateh operatives who are conspiring with the government, they are providing them with legal assistance. Next court session in the beginning of April.

Benjamin: I will email you.

Mohanned: I would disagree about your 80% number. Obviously, you are trying to broach a sensitive subject. I would steer away from discussing the intentions of people, and instead talk about behavior. Intentions are difficult to prove, but behavior is out in the open. You will get better discussions this way.

Good luck.

At 9:58 PM, Blogger Habchawi said...

Given the background of Fatah, Hamas and the MB. It seems to me that this move is to score some political points internally and externally. I am pretty sure at the urge of any conflicts we will realize that all of this doesn't make any difference.

At 11:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Khallaf,
Sorry about the irrelevance.
Is it true that there is a deal on the way to sell JUST by about 2 billion dollar to a saudi investor? The uni, the Hospital (old story again) and its 11000 donms. The lot. Can you sniff try and sniff this out?

Very naive professor.

At 9:01 AM, Blogger Khalaf said...

Habchawi: You are probably right, although it is difficult to fix thinks after they break.

Prof.: I have heard such a rumor. I think that it would be very difficult from both legal and political perspectives to try such a thing. Unless I hear something official, I tend to dismiss such rumors.

At 7:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Khalaf,
I'm doing some research on toxic waste (nuclear) in southern Jordan. I've been surfing the web and talking to people; but I haven't been getting any solid info. I wonder if you, or your guests, could help.
Please write to me on


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