Jordan's former PM says Amman should abandon 'soft diplomacy' with 'extremist' Israel, even if it leads to war

Jordan's former PM says Amman should abandon 'soft diplomacy' with 'extremist' Israel, even if it leads to war
Jordanian former Prime Minister Ali Abu Ragheb said that the 'extremist' nature of the Israeli state means Jordan must rethink its 'soft' approach to Israel, even at the risk of war.
2 min read
20 July, 2023
Israel has enjoyed close security ties with Jordan for decades [Getty]

Jordan's former Prime Minister Ali Abu Ragheb reportedly called Thursday for the Jordanian state to change its approach of "soft diplomacy" with Israel – even if it leads to war.

During a discussion organised by the Amman Group for Future Dialogues, Ragheb warned of the "ambitions" of what he referred to as the "ruling trio" of an increasingly "extremist" Israel, Arabi21 reported.

He identified this trio as National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir and Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich – both of whom belong to far-right parties – and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

"We must strengthen the internal front and prepare ourselves well for future challenges, regardless of the outcomes," Ragheb said during his talk.

The Jordanian ex-premier claimed during his talk that it is the goal of the "right-wing extremist Israeli government" to forcibly transfer Palestinians from the occupied West Bank, and Jordan’s diplomacy must therefore be "strong and not soft".  

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Ragheb claimed the Israeli plan offers Palestinians the choice between living within a Jewish state with diminished or no rights, migration, or death for those who resist the occupation.

He also claimed that "Israeli extremists" have previously mentioned transferring Palestinians to Egypt, Jordan or Syria.

"We will confront them even if it reaches war … the situation is not ordinary … it is critical and requires the utmost caution and vigilance," he said.

The politician claimed that a such a drastic shift in the nature of diplomacy towards Israel is necessary due to the country’s reckless disregard for international law, UN Security Council resolutions, and human rights, as well as the failures of normalisation between Israel and Arab states regarding Palestine.  

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Ragheb said Jordan cannot rely on its ally the US to curb Israel’s alleged plans to displace Palestinians, saying the US "will not intervene if Israel takes unilateral actions against the Palestinians, which will lead to conflict with Jordan".

He added that when Israel launches wars against the Palestinians, the US and EU tend to only issue "condemnatory statements" that do not yield any results.

Israel enjoys close security ties with Jordan, the Arab neighbour with which it shares its longest stretch of border, but political relations have soured in recent years.

Many of Jordan's citizens are of Palestinian origin.