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November 06, 1992 - Image 40

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1992-11-06

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

POST-HUSSEIN

page 39

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necessarily see their inter-
ests as best served by the
present form of the monar-
chy.
In his provocative article,
for example, Mr. Houri, a
Palestinian Christian, wrote
that the crowning of a new
king might be an ap-
propriate time to readjust
the balance of power bet-
ween the regime's
legislative and executive
arms — giving more power
to the parliament at the ex-
pense of the crown — and
turn Jordan into a
"pluralistic democracy."
Such thinking would be
unlikely to emerge from the
circles of "blue bloods" sur-
rounding the court.
Radical political groups
such as the leftists and espe-
cially the fundamentalists,
whose strength has grown
markedly in recent years,
could also pose difficulties
for the regime. For the pre-
sent, King Hussein has
reached a modus vivendi
with the fundamentalists.
They are opposed to the
peace negotiations with
Israel and constitute a
source of pressure on the
court, but no one is predic-
ting the likelihood of a
Khomeni-style revolution in
Jordan.
Neither does a Palestin-
ian-perpetrated coup appear
anywhere on the horizon.
However, if the stability of
the regime were seriously
threatened —from within or
without — Western, Arab,
and Israeli interests would
all feel threatened along
with it, and King Hussein
(or his successor) would
probably receive outside
support from a number of
quarters.
The reason is simple: Jor-
dan is the Middle East's
"buffer state" par
excellence. Not only does it
keep Iraqi ground forces a
healthy distance from Israel,
it also comprises a barrier
against President Hafez al-
Assad's dream of con-
stituting "Greater Syria"
where Lebanon, Syria, Jor-
dan, and Israel now lie.
Thus any move against
Jordan's government or ter-
ritory would constitute a
threat to the security of its
neighbors, as well. And it is
reasonable to expect that
one or more of the elements
cited above would move to
restore the status quo.
If Jordan's political status
does change in any way, it is
more likely to be as a result
of a peace settlement in the
Middle East. The most pop-
ular scenario making the
rounds these days is that
Amman would enter into

some form of confederation
with the "Palestinian en-
tity" that grows out of the
autonomy arrangement in
the occupied territories.
To enhance its viability,
such a confederation could
be extended to embrace
Israel, too. In fact, one ver-
sion or another of this idea
has been bandied about in
Israel's Labor Party for
years. Palestinian leader
Feisal al-Husseini has also
toyed with it in public —
though he of course
stipulates that the Palestin-
ians could join a confedera-
tion only after they, like the
Jordanians and Israelis, had
a state of their own.
One way or another, Jor-
dan plays a more critical role
in the Middle East peace
equation than its profile in
the present talks suggests.
The question is whether,
after keeping his country in
a precarious balance for
almost 40 years, King Hus-
sein will endure to enjoy the
new equilibrium that will
presumably be engendered
by peace.



Christians
Repent Edict

Madrid (JTA) — Some 1,000
Christians from 50 countries
staged a massive act of
repentance in Toledo last
week for the edict that ex-
pelled Jews from Spain 500
years ago.
They made public petitions
signed by thousands of
Christians worldwide call-
ing for the restoration to
Jewish administration of an
ancient Toledo synagogue,
Santa Maria la Blanca.
The imposing 14th-century
synagogue, which later
became a church, is now a
museum under the Spanish
Ministry of Culture.
In an address to the
gathering, former Israeli
president Yitzhak Navon
said he was moved by the
"sympathy and affection"
which brought together
Christian friends of Israel at
the initiative of the Interna-
tional Christian Embassy in
Jerusalem.
The Embassy was created
in 1980 as a response to the
Arab boycott. and to the
Israeli annexation of
Jerusalem, which caused
most national embassies to
move to Tel Aviv.

C

c,1

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