In this 48-minute webinar recorded Jan. 31, 2023, two experts on Jordan, the Washington Institute’s Ghaith al-Omari and Tel Aviv University’s Asher Susser, help CIE President Ken Stein explore more than a century of the “best of enemies” relationship between Transjordanians/Jordanians and Zionists/Israelis. Issues include clandestine cooperation across the Jordan River, the shared need for but ambivalence toward a Palestinian state, Jordanian identity, and changing ambitions and viewpoints among Jordan’s kings.
The following links and references provide more information about the Israel-Jordan relationship:
Department of State, U.S. Relations With Jordan, Bilateral Relations Fact Sheet, April 27, 2022.
Moshe Zaq, “Thirty Years of Clandestine Meetings: The Jordan-Israel Peace Treaty,” Middle East Quarterly, March 1995, pp. 53-59.
Kenneth Stein, “The Jordanian, Israeli, Palestinian Triangle,” Center for Israel Education, Jan. 26, 2023.
Jonathan Schanzer, “Neither Here nor There: Jordan and the Abraham Accords,” Research Memo, Foundation for Defense of Democracies, Dec. 8, 2022.
Alan Baker, “Jordan and the Temple Mount,” Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, May 9, 2022.
Ghaith al-Omari, “Making the Most of Jordan’s Peace Diplomacy,” Washington Institute for Near East Policy, March 29, 2022.
Avraham Sela, “Arab Historiography of the 1948 War: The Quest for Legitimacy,” in Laurence J. Silberstein (ed.), New Perspectives on Israeli History, New York University Press, Chapter 7, 1991, pp. 124-154.
David Makovsky, “A Behind the Scenes Account of King Hussein and Jordanian-Israeli Peace Ties,” with Prince Hassan bin Tal and Efraim Halevy and Robert Satloff, 2021, Decision Points video, 43 minutes.
Samir Mutawi, Jordan in the 1967 War, New York: Cambridge University Press, 1987.
Robert Satloff, From Abdullah to Hussein, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1994.
Avi Shlaim, Collusion Across the Jordan: King Abdullah, the Zionist Movement and the Partition of Palestine. New York: Columbia University Press, 1988.
Dr. Asher Susser
Asher Susser is Professor Emeritus of Middle Eastern History at Tel Aviv University (TAU), where he earned his PhD in 1986. He was the Director of the Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern Studies at TAU for twelve years and taught for almost four decades in TAU’s Department of Middle Eastern History. He is the author of The Rise of Hamas and the Crisis of Secularism in the Arab World ( 2010), Jordan: Case Study of a Pivotal State (2000), Political Biography of Jordan’s Prime Minister Wasfi al-Tall (1994) and edited Challenges to the Cohesion of the Arab State (2008), His online course on The Emergence of the Modern Middle East has been taken by more than 90,000 students in over 160 countries. He is the author of numbers shorter articles on Jordan, the Palestinians and the negotiating process.
Ghaith al-Omari is a senior fellow in The Washington Institute’s Irwin Levy Family Program on the U.S.-Israel Strategic Relationship. He is the former executive director of the American Task Force on Palestine. He served as advisor to the Palestinian negotiating team during the 1999–2001 permanent-status talks in addition to holding various other positions within the Palestinian Authority. In the capacity, he participated in various negotiations rounds, most notably the 2000 Camp David summit, and engaged various international and regional governments on this portfolio. Ghaith is a specialist on modern Jordan, covering Jordan’s domestic dynamics and foreign policy, the Israel-Palestinian-Jordanian triangle, and the internal dynamics of Palestinian governance in the West Bank.
Ghaith grew up in Jordan, where he did his undergraduate studies before pursuing graduate degrees from Georgetown and Oxford universities. Before getting involved in the Middle East peace process, Ghaith taught law in Jordan and was involved in human rights advocacy. He is a regular interlocutor with US and foreign governments on Jordanian and Palestinian affairs.