Home inContext New Development? Jordan Cleric Calls for Annihilation of Israel

New Development? Jordan Cleric Calls for Annihilation of Israel

Erin Dwyer and Samara Greenberg

A sermon televised by Jordan state TV last month is raising eyebrows. On March 23, Cleric Imam Ghaleb Rabab’a declared that “Jerusalem will be regained”, “the arrogance of the Jews will be defeated”, and “[Israel’s might] will be shattered by the will of Allah” due to the invincibility and resilience of Jordan’s army, whose “modest and pure hands… hold the Koran high and recite it day and night”.

While it is unknown if the sermon was originally given at a state or private mosque, its slanderous and hostile reflection against Israel violates Article 11 of the 1994 Israel-Jordan Peace Treaty, which states that both countries must “abstain from hostile or discriminatory propaganda against each other” while taking “all possible legal and administrative measures to prevent the dissemination of such propaganda by any organization or individual present in the territory”.

Egypt’s October Weekly magazine published this image in August 2011 along with an article titled, “The New Nazis: The Black Record of the Israeli Generals.” (Photo: MEMRI)

Of course, putting such words into treaties has rarely resulted in action by Israel’s neighbors. The Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty of 1979 states: “The Parties shall seek to foster mutual understanding and tolerance and will, accordingly, abstain from hostile propaganda against each other.” Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization have also agreed that “Israel and the Palestinian Authority shall seek to foster mutual understanding and tolerance and shall accordingly abstain from incitement, including hostile propaganda, against each other”. Both Egypt and the Palestinian Authority have allowed for vicious incitement against Israel and Jewish people.

It is next to impossible for Israel to ensure that incitement and propaganda are eradicated. The United States, however, as controller of its purse strings and provider of foreign aid to Egypt, Jordan, and the Palestinian Authority should have more leverage. As Michael Rubin recently wrote, incitement is the “primary hurdle” to peacemaking between Israel and its neighbors. Now, in Egypt’s case, with Mubarak’s ouster that incitement has turned towards the United States.

In light of recent changes in the Middle East, now is as good a time as ever for Washington to focus on the issue of anti-Israel and anti-American propaganda and incitement advanced by its supposed allies.