wikileaks ico  Home papers ico  Cables mirror and Afghan War Diary privacy policy  Privacy
IdentifierCreatedClassificationOrigin
07AMMAN2613 2007-06-18 14:07:00 SECRET Embassy Amman
Cable title:  

GOJ PUBLICLY SUPPORTS ABU MAZEN

Tags:   PREL KISL KPAL KWBG IS JO 
pdf how-to read a cable
VZCZCXRO8384
OO RUEHROV
DE RUEHAM #2613/01 1691407
ZNY SSSSS ZZH
O 181407Z JUN 07
FM AMEMBASSY AMMAN
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC IMMEDIATE 9135
INFO RUEHXK/ARAB ISRAELI COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
					  S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 02 AMMAN 002613 

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/18/2017
TAGS: PREL KISL KPAL KWBG IS JO
SUBJECT: GOJ PUBLICLY SUPPORTS ABU MAZEN


Classified By: Ambassador David Hale, Reasons 1.4 (B) & (D)



1. (C) Summary: King Abdullah and the GOJ registered strong
support for Abu Mazen and the new government of Salam Fayyad.
Local media were largely supportive of preserving the
legitimacy of Palestinian Authority institutions, although
some blamed the international community and Arab states for
forcing Hamas into confrontation. Establishment figures such
as the King, FM, government spokesman, and a retired diplomat
privately believe Hamas' popular image among Jordanians has
plummeted, and that the local Muslim Brothers are suffering
as well by association. The MB issued contradictory
statements, but one was defensive and distanced itself from
Hamas' actions. End summary.

GOJ PUBLICLY SUPPORTS NEW GOVERNMENT


--------------------------





2. (U) Following his June 14 phone conversation from London
with Abbas, Petra News reported that the King warned against
continued Palestinian infighting, the breakdown of security
and the grave consequences for the future of the Palestinian
cause. He called for safeguarding the Palestinian Authority,
and preventing the collapse of institutions which serve the
Palestinian people. Earlier that day, in a statement at a
joint press availability in Budapest with the Hungarian
President, King Abdullah expressed his deep concern that
finding a comprehensive solution to the peace process was in
increasing jeopardy. He urged the international community to
catalyze the Palestinians and Israelis to resume negotiations
and find such a solution. Note: These statements were made
prior to the declaration of a state of emergency and
formation of the new government. End note.



3. (U) Soon after Abbas' declaration, the GOJ issued strong
statements to support him, his declaration of a state of
emergency and subsequent formation of a new government. On
June 15, government spokesman Nasser Joudeh said, "Jordan is
committed to supporting this legitimacy and protecting the
Palestinian National Authority and its Chairman Mahmoud
Abbas." On June 17, Prime Minister Marouf Al-Bakhit
reiterated Jordan's position. During a briefing with the
Parliament's Arab and International Affairs Committee, he
"wished the newly formed Palestinian emergency government all
success in carrying out its mission to restore order and
security in troubled Palestinian areas." Local media
reported that King Abdullah called for "swift international
action to help Palestinians overcome their difficult economic
situation," during a phone call with Secretary Rice on June


16.

MEDIA COMMENTARY


--------------------------





4. (SBU) Major pro-government Arabic dailies supported
Jordan's position. Arabic daily Al-Dustour's editorial said
"Abbas' formation of a government, led by Salam Fayyad, is a
sensitive, but necessary step to try to stop the
"assassinations and crimes that are now committed against
innocent people in Palestinian society." Arabic daily
Al-Rai concurred, urging Palestinians to end this serious
situation. "Jordan is committed to supporting Palestinian
legitimacy and the need to protect and support the
Palestinian National Authority and support its President,"
read the editorial.



5. (SBU) Individual editorials also rejected Hamas' actions
in Gaza, but some asserted that Hamas was forced into a
corner. "Had the U.S. been sincere in its support for Abbas,
as its Secretary of State claimed yesterday, it would have
done something on the ground and armed Abbas with concrete
realities, the least of which is lifting the unjust siege on
Palestinian people," wrote Sami al-Zubaydeh on June 16 in Al
Rai. Others blamed Hamas, saying it has "done a significant
service for the Israeli occupation" and "Hamas has lost its
legitimacy." Political cartoons focused on the damage to the
Palestinian cause from self-inflicted wounds, although in
some instances suggested Israel and the U.S. instigated the
fight.



6. (SBU) Several editorials expressed concern about the
formation of two separate Palestinian entities. "Between the
two entities (Gaza and the West Bank) there is more than one
party, and more than one geography and popular mood," wrote
Tariq Masarwah in Al-Rai. Hasan al Bararai wrote, "the most
serious problem(is a Palestinian split between Gaza and the
West Bank."

JORDANIAN PUBLIC - MIXED FEELINGS


--------------------------





7. (C) Jordanian contacts expressed mixed feelings of regret
for the Palestinian infighting and concern for the future.

AMMAN 00002613 002.2 OF 002


Many Post contacts felt that Hamas' presence in government
was under fire from the world, other Arabs, Israel and Fatah.
Hamas was forced into a position to surrender, seek
confrontation now, or await confrontation after Fatah
security forces were strengthened by U.S. financial support.



8. (C) At the same time, many Jordanians expressed disgust
at the actions of Hamas gunmen. The King is of the private
opinion that TV images of Hamas gunmen stomping on photos of
Arafat, among other images, played against Hamas locally.
The Foreign Minister told Ambassador that a prominent
Islamist legislator had said privately that Hamas' action,
including images of violence and barbaric acts, was going
over badly with Jordan's public. He admitted it was
affecting the reputation of Jordan's Islamists, who are
associated with Hamas in many people's minds. Other
establishment contacts, such as the government spokesman and
a prominent retired diplomat, told the Ambassador over the
weekend that at least in the short-run, the local Islamists'
popularity would suffer by association with Hamas.



9. (C) All of these figures - including the Foreign Minister
and palace officials - stress that swift economic and
financial support for the Fayyad government, and renewed
diplomatic effort, will be crucial to show that the course of
moderation brings results relevant to Arab needs. But they
also caution that the U.S. should guard against statements
that appear to welcome Hamas' action as having provided the
political and diplomatic opportunity that in fact now exists,
or reflect satisfaction with the separation of Gaza and
ignore the humanitarian situation there.



10. (C) Government spokesman Joudeh noted to Ambassador that
de facto separation of Gaza from the West Bank inevitably
reignited discussion of Jordan's relationship with the West
Bank, a taboo, he said, that was best left untouched. At
least one editorial also cautioned against the concept of
confederation.



11. (C) With many elites already convinced that Iranian
actions are undercutting the interests of the Sunni Arab
world, Hamas' violent action directed against Palestinian
institutions and Fatah is providing them further evidence of
Iran's overall threat.

ISLAMISTS PREDICTABLY BACK HAMAS


--------------------------





12. (U) The Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan reacted
defensively. In an official statement on June 17, the
Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood blamed "international and
regional support for the Zionist regime" for Palestinian
infighting. However, the Brotherhood also affirmed that
"...true Palestinian consensus ...and reiterating the
legitimacy of President Mahmoud Abbas and the preservation of
Palestinian law" was the way to address the Palestinian
situation. Zaki Bani Irsheid, the Secretary General of the
Islamic Action Front (IAF), said the situation was an
"important step to get rid of quarters that were backed by
Israel and the United States...They are a group headed by
Mohammad Dhalan, the chief of the Palestinian Preventive
Security apparatus." Bani Irsheid did, however, call on
Hamas to "use the logic of pardon before applying the law on
those whom he considered "guilty".

CALLS TO POSTPONE ELECTIONS


--------------------------





13. (S) Columnist Fahd Al Khitan wrote that some Jordanians
had called for postponing parliamentary elections -- expected
in late 2007 -- in light of the chaos in the region.
Comment: The King remains strongly committed to holding
elections despite the counsel by some around him to postpone
them.

Visit Amman's Classified Web Site at
http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/nea/amman/
Hale