Jordanian Official: Public Disappointment with Peace Pact

Disappointment with results of the Israeli-Jordan peace treaty is growing in Jordan, a political source from Amman has told Israeli officials.

The Israeli daily Ha’aretz identified the source as Foreign Ministry official.

“We are far from peace,” he reportedly told Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin in a letter.

The source said last week that criticism has been growing in Amman due to recent steps taken by Israel regarding the Palestinians, including the closure of the territories and activities in Jerusalem.

Israel’s decision to suspend the planned land expropriations in eastern Jerusalem was positive and averted a crisis, the source said.

“Even moving a single stone in Jerusalem unites the Muslim world against Israel and against peace,” he said.

The message, in which the official wrote about the growing opposition in Parliament to peace with Israel, said 23 of 80 members in the House of Deputies are opposed to the treaty.

Meanwhile, a minister in the Jordanian government reportedly resigned over his reservations about peace with Israel. Ibrahim Izzedine, minister of state for prime ministerial affairs, is a liberal pan-Arabist.

In addition, the Ha’aretz article cited a report from Israel’s ambassador in Amman, Shimon Shamir, who said even though King Hussein and Crown prince Hassan are committed to the peace process, there is disappointment and disgruntlement among the Jordanian public, which has yet to see the economic fruits of the peace treaty.

Despite this pessimistic assessment of the current state of relations, other israeli officials just back from Amman said they drew an altogether different conclusion.

“Frankly, I was surprised by the newspaper report,” said Jacques Neria, head of the Histadrut trade federation’s international division.

Neria had accompanied Histadrut Secretary-General Haim Ramon to meetings with political leaders in Amman.

The trade federation leaders went to Amman to discuss resistance from their Jordanian counterparts to associate with Israel. They said they received assurances that relations would improve.

Neria said he got positive impressions from official meetings as well as from people on the street.

The Jordanian Parliament was scheduled to repeal anti-Israel legislation, he added.

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