Jordan's first ambassador to Israel urges Amman to sever ties

Jordan's first ambassador to Israel urges Amman to sever ties
Marwan Muasher has called for Jordan to cut ties with Israel, saying that the current Israeli government was 'religiously and ethnically extremist'.
2 min read
17 April, 2023
Marwan Muasher served as Jordan's first ambassador to Israel in the 1990s [Getty]

Jordan's first ambassador to Israel has urged Amman to cut ties with the country over the establishment of a "religiously and ethnically extremist Israeli government".

Marwan Muasher, one of the leading voices in the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative, warned Jordan's top diplomats, in an interview with Jordanian Radio Al-Balad, that "this [Israeli] government does not recognise the right of Palestinians to exist on their land. 

It follows the establishment of a hard-right government in Israel, led by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, including ministers who have incited violence against Palestinians and hinted that Jordanian land should form part of a Greater Israel.

Muasher, who was Jordan's foreign minister from 2002 to 2004, warned that Israel could expel Palestinians en masse from the West Bank, causing chaos in Jordan.

Israeli extremists, including members of the current ruling coalition, have historically advocated the forcible "transfer" of Palestinians to other countries in the region.

"It is clear that this government does not recognize the right of Palestinians to exist on their land. There is only one solution left: transfer, which directly affects Jordanian national security," said Muasher.

"We are incredibly concerned with this issue, because it is not only a Palestinian-Israeli issue but also a Jordanian issue par excellence."

Last month, Israeli Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich spoke from a lectern that displayed a map showing Palestine and Jordan as part of Israel leading to calls from Jordanians to cut ties.

The Jordanian parliament voted to expel Israel's ambassador to Amman after this.

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Muasher said that young Palestinians were losing hope of an end to the occupation.

"The new Palestinian generation has lost all hope in its leadership, in the international community, and in the possibility of ending the Israeli occupation," he said.

Within the Jordanian government, signs that the relationship with Israel is deteriorating are continuing to grow. 

Jordanian Prime Minister Bashar Al-Khasawna said on Monday that "without an end to the occupation, there can be no hope for peace or stability in the region". 

Al-Khasawna repeated his belief in a two-state solution, within the 1967 borders and with East Jerusalem as the Palestinian capital, but said that prospects for it were fading.

"Dragging out the two-state solution without backing it up and planning to translate it into reality gives Israel more time to build settlements and bury this solution that we all support," he said.