The alarm goes off in the palace
On the surface, Jordan looks like a stable country in a complex region. Compared to the violent uprisings in neighboring Syria and Iraq, Jordan has long been a quiet oasis.
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But it is sinking beneath the surface, showing something news from the mother in recent days. The alarm went off in the royal palace. A conspiracy unfolded. A prince fell into disgust.
It is important to note the seriousness of the accusations against Prince Hamza and his circle: the fort calls it an attempt to undermine the security of the kingdom. This is referred to as a malicious conspiracy, with the support of forces abroad.
If it means a conspiracy, the attempt is too bad. All signs, armed forces and intelligence are completely loyal to King Abdullah II. However, what happened this weekend was a startling and very unusual view of a royal family feud.
On Monday Prince Hamza came to a preliminary conclusion declaring allegiance to his elder brother Raja. It was marked as a signal that the danger was over. This time.
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It’s no surprise that there’s competition behind the sleek facade. Prince Hamza was the son of King Hussein and Queen Noor. She is Hussein’s fourth wife. Abdullah is an older half-brother, from Hussein’s second marriage. When Abdullah took over as king after Hussein’s death in 1999, he appointed the Hamza crown prince in accordance with his father’s wishes. Queen Noor saw him as the future king. But in 2004, Hamza was ousted as prince, while Abdullah’s eldest son, Hussein, became crown prince.
Jordan’s fundamental problems are far greater than the old conflict that followed in the House of Commons. The economy is weak and unemployment is skyrocketing, especially among young people. Problems have increased with the epidemic.
When the first cases of Govt-19 were registered with tens of millions of people in the country, Jordan responded quickly with comprehensive and drastic measures. The epidemic killed 7,200 people, and neighboring Israel lost 6,200. The big difference is that Israel has vaccinated 60 percent of the population, while three percent of Jordanians have received at least one dose.
Former Crown Prince Jordan has been accused of a “malicious conspiracy”
What has apparently caused anxiety and annoyance in the royal house is that Hamza is said to have met frequently with groups of Jordanian people. There must have been open criticism of the king at these meetings.
In Jordan, criticism of the king and his men is forbidden. One of the few who did so was Prince Hamza. In a BBC interview this weekend, officials accused him of corruption, mismanagement and harassment. It happened two days before he was to sign a letter of allegiance to the king.
Not surprisingly, the attorney general on Tuesday banned the Jordanian media from covering up the confrontation between the king and the prince. This is how the monarchy behaves when they feel threatened. Jordan is not a democracy. The king has real power. He appoints and overthrows governments. Parliament is weak.
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The Royal House did not specify which foreign powers were involved in the plot. The most important was the former commander-in-chief of the fort, Passem Avatalla. In recent years, he has been an adviser to Saudi Arabia’s powerful and controversial Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
The monarchies of the Persian Gulf could use their oil wealth to counter the economic damage of the epidemic. Jordan did not have that opportunity. Depends on the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and additional assistance from other countries. The economy is expected to shrink by three percent this year.
Travel is now an important source of income for the arid. Jordan has a lot like the ancient city of Petra, the east coast of the Dead Sea and the beaches of Aqaba. Now one in four Jordanians is unemployed. Among university graduates, unemployment is even higher.
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Jordan is an important ally of the United States and other Western nations in the Arab world. The royal family guarantees these strong ties. Abdullah went to school in the UK from the age of four. He attended high school in the United States and later attended Oxford and Georgetown. In the years before he became king, he was a paratrooper and flew combat helicopters under Jordanian protection.
Jordan is of great strategic importance along the borders of Israel, Syria, Iraq and Saudi Arabia. The country is a partner in the Alliance Against Violent Terrorism. Jordan plays a key role in the relationship between the Palestinian Authority and Israel.
Prince Hamza could not challenge his elder half-brother. The biggest challenge to King Abdullah II was popular dissatisfaction with the economic downturn. This crisis especially affects young people who cannot find work and lose hope for a better future. Such conditions triggered the Arab Spring ten years ago. There were protests in Jordan as well, but not as in many Arab countries. The king promised reforms and made changes in government. The situation calmed down.
What happened this weekend was not a conspiracy or the beginning of a new Arab spring. But it was a warning of unrest and discontent beneath the surface. Problems will not go away if a prince goes to meditation or the media gets word of mouth.