Jun
21

RECOMMENDED READING: “Muslim Brotherhood Woos Palestinian Bloc In Jordan”

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The Al-Monitor has posted an article titled “Muslim Brotherhood Woos Palestinian Bloc in Jordan” that examines the efforts of the Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood to court Jordanians of Palestinian origin. The report begins:

 Sunday, Jun 17, 2012 For over a year, Jordanians of Palestinian origin refused to join the popular movement. However, their reluctance to join the movement is gradually declining as a result of the mutual escalation between the government and its bodies on one side, and the Muslim Brotherhood on the other. The majority of the Muslim Brotherhood members in Jordan have Palestinian origins.  Observers and political analysts interviewed by Al-Hayat in Amman spoke of a competition between the government and the Muslim Brotherhood to gain the favor of what Jordanians call the Palestinian bloc. National statistics say that this bloc constitutes 43 % of the total population, which equates to more than six million people. The Palestinian bloc has always been considered the stronghold of the Brotherhood’s activities and the main source of their votes in parliamentary elections. Those who are observing the rising level of tension and bickering in Jordan’s public can clearly see that this bloc has been sitting quietly on the fence since the protests broke out in January 2011.  In the past, none of the Palestinians have taken part in the movements that demanded reforms except for the supporters and members of the Islamic opposition. Another exception is the small number of Palestinians that have historically been counted as part of the nationalist and leftist trends. However, the largest segment of the people who live in the refugee camps — and who are part of the groups that were formed from within them — remained reluctant to join the demonstrations. According to observers, the Palestinians are reluctant because they fear they may lose the economic gains that they have achieved over the past decades through trade and liberal professions. The state views the Palestinians in Jordan as the economic lifeline of a country torn by external debt and an over $21 billion budget deficit. The Palestinian bloc also fears that participating in the protests could lead to the formation of a politically leading right-wing movement that would hold a grudge against them. This fear has prevented the Palestinians from joining the movement, which has largely been comprised of East Bankers. As the Brotherhood and the Jordanian government did not reach an agreement regarding the election law and constitutional amendments, the Brotherhood is now starting to appeal to the Palestinian camps. These camps had never been part of the political calculations of the state and the opposition before. The Brotherhood’s visit to the Al-Hussein refugee camp in downtown Amman — which is the oldest camp in the country — [recently] shuffled the political scene and confused the government and its concerned institutions.

 In April, a post discussed the long history of extremist statements and positions taken by the Jordanian Muslim Brotherhood.

 

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