A third front?

Dr. Norman Bailey

The weakness of the government in Jordan could lead to very difficult situations for Israel.

One of the many reasons the upcoming election in Israel is so important is a factor that has been largely overlooked--increasing instability in Jordan.

As if Israel, and particularly the IDF, didn't have enough to worry about, with Hezbollah, Syria, Islamic Jihad and Hamas on its northern and southern borders, they may very well be faced with a major threat in the east, on the very long border with Jordan.

A weak, bankrupt government in Amman, is now faced with a threat to its control of the Temple Mount because of the Abraham Accords and disappearing support for the Jordanian position there, as well as the importance of the Mount itself and the al-Aqsa mosque, increasingly coming under critical review by Sunni Muslim authorities.

In the upcoming months, Jordan may very well be subject to one of the following events:

1. A coup-d'etat by the Bedouin-dominated Jordanian army, overthrowing the Hashemite monarchy, which has shown itself increasingly unable to govern the country effectively, establishing a military dictatorship.
2. A revolution encouraged and supported by Islamist terrorist organizations, with Iranian support, on the part of the majority "Palestinian" population.

Obviously, alternative number two is the less desirable outcome from the Israeli standpoint, since any such upheaval would undoubtedly spill over into the West Bank, meaning that Israel would be threatened by Islamist extremist control all along its eastern border--an IDF nightmare.

Should such an upheaval take place, Israel would have little choice but to preempt anti-Israeli activity along its long eastern frontier by invading and taking over the West Bank, with all that that would entail, and perhaps Jordan itself, with the purpose of installing a more moderate government.

None of this is probable without a functioning government in Jerusalem, yet another reason to wish for a definitive result from Tuesday's election. Inch'allah.

Dr. Norman Bailey is professor of Economic Statecraft at the Galilee International Management Institute, and adjunct professor at the Institute of World Politics, Washington DC. Dr. Bailey was a senior staff member of the National Security Council during the Reagan administration and of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence during the George W. Bush administration.   

Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on March 22, 2021

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2021

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