Perspectives

January 16, 2009
All eyes gaze at Gaza in Amman, Jordan

A demonstration in Amman in response to the war in Gaza.

The war in Gaza has generated strong reactions across the globe, particularly in Arab countries. Protesters have marched in support of either side, from Tel Aviv to London.

Rawan Jabaji is an associate producer for PBS’s “Wide Angle” and writes about visiting family in Amman, Jordan when Israel began to launch its offensive in Gaza. For additional resources, view the “Wide Angle” episode “Gaza E.R.

In Amman, all eyes on Gaza

Missiles started falling on Gaza the day I arrived in Amman, Jordan, to attend my cousin’s wedding and visit with family members I hadn’t seen in eight years. Then a few days later, Israeli ground troops entered Northern Gaza.

From that moment on Gaza was all people talked about. CNN International, BBC, Al Jazeera, Al Arabiya–all the TV stations were reporting on Gaza around the clock. At family functions, my aunts, uncles, cousins and friends all engaged in heated discussions about the crisis. Every taxi driver had the radio tuned to the news. New Year’s Eve celebrations throughout the city were canceled in solidarity.

An estimated 60 percent of Jordanians are of Palestinian origin or descent—including my family. Palestinians were issued citizenship in Jordan following the wars of 1948 and 1967, when they fled to Amman as refugees. Historically, they’ve attempted to blend in, fearing that their Jordanian loyalty may be questioned.

But now, almost 60 years later, the children and grandchildren of Palestinian refugees, who were born and raised in Jordan, are showing their Palestinian pride. Events in Gaza have mobilized the youth to express solidarity by participating in rallies throughout the city, and by wearing the keffiyeh, the traditional checkered scarf that you’ve seen worn by hipsters on the Lower East Side of Manhattan.

The black-and-white scarf is customarily worn by Palestinians, while the red-and-white version is worn in Jordan. Jordanians of Palestinian descent usually choose red, as part of their effort to assimilate. But at a hair salon I went to in Amman, the trendy hair dresser in Nike Dunks threading a woman’s eyebrows was wearing the black-and-white keffiyeh, and not around his neck, but around his head, in the traditional style usually only seen on older men. And in Amman’s most exclusive and chic mall, Al Baraka, young girls shopped for designer clutches sporting black-and-white keffiyehs togged around their necks.

During my stay in Amman, demonstrations and donation drives were taking place almost daily.

To read more, see the original post.

The views expressed by contributing bloggers do not reflect the views of Worldfocus or its partners.

Photo courtesy of Flickr user hopeless128 under a Creative Commons license.

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Comments

8 comments

#8

Joe you are right, marcel is insane

#7

The cult of death call their weapons ‘holy’
and worship death.
Death they shall have.
And those of you who stand with them will follow them to hell.

Spokesman for organization’s armed wing tells press conference only 48 Hamas fighters killed in IDF operation. ‘Manufacturing the holy weapons is our mission and we know how to acquire weapons,’ he states
Hamasses vowed on Monday to rearm in defiance of any Israeli and international efforts to prevent the Islamist group from replenishing its arsenal of rockets and other weapons after the Gaza war.
“Do whatever you want. Manufacturing the holy weapons is our mission and we know how to acquire weapons,” Abu Ubaida, a spokesman for Hamas’ armed wing, told a news conference.

#6

Dont bother reading marcels comments its 100% rubbish

#5

It is evident that the western media,UN,Red Cross,EU,CFR all pander to the Islamic hordes out of pure fear and terror.
These cowards ,hypocrites at heart know they cann attack Israel ad infinitum without getting their heads cut off and so they gove the violent clan who chant ‘death to infidels’ a pass and a wink of approval.Moral cowards can only blame Israel and turn a blid ey to the new Nazi party.
The Israeli leadership has become too tired to win and can only grasp at a useless ceasefire which gives Hamas the open door to rearm and fight another day.
The darling idiot Livni raced to her masters in Washington for more worthless paper and empty promises to comfort Israel with.
My how the idol worshipers have such great faith in their useless idols even after the 100% record of failure starting with Oslo,Wye,Tenant,Mitchell,Zinni,Aquaba,Sharm El Sheikh ,Road Map,ect failures ect.
They have great faith in their useless idols to deliver Israel.
The concept of victory,defeating Hamas in Gaza is no longer a goal with the losers of Kadima and Labor.
They choose another failure for Israel.
The stupid leadership think that after many years of Egypt assisting Hamas in smuggling weapons into Gaza that anything wil change now with a worthless ceasefire.
It was not possible for Hamas to smuggle in Grads and Katushya’s without Egypts help.
Now you will trust the wolf Egypt ?
Israel ,the peace is killing you.
It used to be that an ounce of pervention was worth a pound of cure but with Israel the fantasy truce and ceasefire has replaced both.
Not too long ago Israel understood the importance of defeating those who threatened it’s existence.
The new Israel has degenerated under the U.S. led counterfeit peace scam to a nation which can only snatch defeat from the jaws of victory as we see the clowns Barak and Livni press for failure once again.
Once again no goals met , no Gilead Shalit but an emboldened and no where near defeated Hamas understanding Israel’s weak and fearful state.
I am sure Kadima and Labor will dance around and call it another victory for Israel as the Kassems,Katushya,Grads and Fajhr rockets rain down on Tel Aviv and Jerusalem only days after their great diplomatic success of an agreement with pathological liars Hamas and the wolf Egypt..
All of this incompetence,defeatism,weakness and stupidity at the highest level make it sure that Israel will have to engage her last stand Sampson Option in the very near futute so that never again really means never again.
———————————————-
It is incorrect to say that it’s not permitted to marry off girls who are 15 and younger,” Sheikh Abdul Aziz Al-Sheikh, the kingdom’s grand mufti, said in remarks quoted Wednesday in the regional Al-Hayat newspaper. “A girl aged 10 or 12 can be married. Those who think she’s too young are wrong and they are being unfair to her.”
The issue of child marriage has been a hot-button topic in the deeply conservative kingdom in recent weeks.
In December, Saudi judge Sheikh Habib Abdallah al-Habib refused to annul the marriage of an 8-year-old girl to a 47-year-old man.

#4

Dear World Focus,
Tonight (Friday 16 January), Martin Savidge interviewed Charles Sennot of Global Post. Mr. Sennott noted the importance of the history of the area. He asserted that neither the Israelis nor the Palestinians had learned from the past. The Palestinians always rocketed Israel, and then Israel responded with massive force. Neither approach worked.

Mr. Sennott seems to have ignored part of the history. The Israelis have tried other approaches.
(1) They tried negotiations and making concessions to Arafat and got a new war, the second intifada. Indeed, shortly after rejecting former Preisdent Clinton’s Camp David agreements, Arafat promised that “we will drown them in our own blood”. A great many Palestinians still follow that dictum.
(2) They tried territorial withdrawal from Gaza - and south Lebanon. In each case, the result was Iranian backed Islamist movements whose main stated goal is the destruction of Israel, and the death (and/or) expulsion of all its Jews.

Maybe the Israelis have finally learnt from history. They have tried negotiations, concessions, apologies, … . Nothing has changed the basic attitude. Namely, that Israel cannot be accepted as a permanent state, behind any boundaries. And the “peace process” is accepted by even the “moderates” in the Arab world only as long as it produces Israeli withdrawals. All this fits neatly into Arafat’s idea of the step by step destruction of Israel, formulated in 1964, three years before Israel acquired the West Bank and Gaza.

This is not something most Israeli politicians will say openly. But the man in the street knows it. They know there is no peace partner. They have seen Olmert concede more even than Barak, only to face rejection by Abbas (see Jackson Diehl’s recent op-ed in the Washington Post about Olmert). Indeed, Abbas has stuck to every hardline position of Arafat on the main issues - refugees, borders, Jerusalem.

In the attempt to be even-handed, Mr. Sennott will at least assign equal blame to Israel, if not more. He will assert that Presidents Clinton and Bush had the wrong approach. He’ll never impute blame to basic Arab rejectionism. Come on, involvement by the US, the EU, the man in the moon won’t make a difference. It is not the approach, it is the refusal to accept any Israel at all.

This is something grasped by Israelis, especially the majority whose parents were Jewish refugees from Arab lands. They have realized that there are stark choices ahead. If they want Western sympathy, most of them must die, and the rest can return to the dhimmi status they suffered for 14 centuries. Or they can be unpopular and alive. Most will choose the latter.

#3

Marcel, do I hear paranoia?

Truth is, Israel will never have peace with this new invasion of Gaza. Do you honestly think that the Arabs are going to forgive this?

Just like the young in this country, they don’t think before the act, they don’t think about the consequences of their actions.

Israel has killed brothers, sisters, sons, daughters, fathers, mothers, grandfathers, grandmothers - everyone has lost someone - do you think they are going to let this go away and not do anything?

#2

Marcel: You are simply a sick man and not worthy of debate

#1

send the Palestinians to Jordan ,annex the west bank and stop cowering to the Moslem world.
Make it clear the Israel is here to stay and it will no longer be shrunk in size to make the intolerant cult of hate and death fell good.
The 2 state solution is a continuation of Hitler’s finasl solution.
The Arab world does not respect weak,apologetic appeasers who retreat and capitulate to them, they eat them for breakfast.
This is why Israel gets no respect for all the goodwill gestures,surrender of their land and painful sacrifices they have done for peace with the Palestinians.
They want all of Israel and this is why they always cry about occupation.
To them Tel Aviv is occupied moslem land.

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