Jordanian tribes warn Abdullah: Reform or risk revolt
Rapture Forum Staff: Chris
In another sign that the "protests and riots" in the Middle East may not be going away, it is being reported today that Jordanian tribal leaders have warned Jordan King Abdullah that reforms or needed now or that he might face the prospect or revolts. As we have seen in Tunisia, Egypt, Lebanon, Yemen, and other places the Middle East is experiencing a growing unrest of mass populations that are tired of the same old regimes that loot from the people and standby doing nothing about rampant corruption. Food prices have been going up and this places a strong burden on many countries as essential items go up while unemployment levels remain very high. The Jerusalem Post is reporting:
In an unprecedented move, leaders of powerful Jordanian Beduin tribes have warned King Abdullah II that he risks a popular revolt unless he implements political reforms. The tribal leaders also launched a scathing attack on Queen Rania, who is of Palestinian descent, and accused her of financial corruption and interfering in the government’s running of the kingdom.
The attack on the queen reflects increased tensions between Jordanians and Palestinians living in the country. The queen, “her sycophants and the power centers that surround her” are dividing Jordan, said the statement signed by 36 tribal leaders. The statement likened Rania to Leila Trabelsi, the wife of ousted Tunisian President Zine el Abideen Bin Ali.
Apparently the tribal leaders are upset that the government has surrounded itself by corrupt commercial partners and people who have looted the national treasury and kept the average Jordanian citizens in poverty and humiliation. The Jerusalem Post article goes on to further state:
The Beduin leaders urged the king to fight against corruption and those who have “looted the country and public funds.” A Jordanian news website that published their strongly worded statement said it had come under attack by “international hackers.” Some Jordanians, however, held the mukhabarat, or General Intelligence service, responsible.
“The Tunisian and Egyptian hurricane will come to Jordan, sooner or later,” said the statement. “We express regret over the fact that the regime has surrounded itself with a group of corrupt commercial partners. Jordan is suffering from a regime and government crisis, as well as a crisis of corruption.”
The tribal leaders are upset about the Queen's involvement in politics and sees her influence in the affairs of the country as being harmful. The tribal leaders compared the Jordanian queen with that of the disgraced Tunisia queen and said that Queen Rania was promoting herself abroad without concern for the suffering of the average Jordanian citizen. This is oftentimes the results of world leaders living what is seen a lavish lifestyle while the rest of the country is having significant problems with poverty, unemployment, etc. This sort of backlash can happen at any country in the world that is experiencing trouble at home. Even U.S. Presidents have had their share of problems with the public's perception of their concern about the average citizen.
A Haaretz news website had unusually harsh words from the 36 tribal leaders towards Queen Rania as they fingered out her Palestinian descent and complained of her influence in Jordanian politics. The threat is serious as the tribal leaders are from the conservative groups that make up the backbone of support for the Hashemites regime. The Haaretz news article reported:
The 36 figures are drawn from conservative East Bank tribes who form the backbone of the Hashemite monarchy's support -- as opposed to Jordanians of Palestinian, or West Bank, origin who are the majority of the country's 7 million population.
"She is building power centers for her interest that go against what Jordanians and Hashemites have agreed on in governing and is a danger to the nation and the structure of the state and the political structure and the institution of the throne," the petition said. "Disregard for the content of the statement will throw us into what happened in Tunis and Egypt and what will happen in other Arab countries," it added.
As we can see from these articles there are serious rumblings across the entire spectrum of the Middle East. As for Israel, these threats are particularly worrisome as the West Bank is next door to the Jordanian border. Any takeover of Jordan by radicals and terrorists would add yet another front in any future conflict between the Jewish state and the terrorists. There have even been retired military leaders from the United States that have emphasized the importance of the West Bank in helping to keep Israel secure against foreign invasion. The mountain ranges of the West Bank provide a critical buffer zone between the Israeli heartland and the surrounding Islamic countries. The last thing Israel needs is for unrest and riots to over throw King Abdullah and his regime which has for the most part been very peaceful with Israel for the last 40 years or so.
However, it appears that even the strongest regimes in the region are vulnerable to the chaos and protests being staged daily in the region against corrupt governments and their leaders. King Abdullah has already made some reforms in an effort to head off further unrest. The Jordanian government is being reported to have made some concessions in order to try to calm the potential unrest. The Haaretz article goes on to further report:
The unusually blunt statement reflects the deep rift between nationalist East Bank Jordanians and the majority Palestinian population, rather than a direct challenge to Abdullah's rule. But it keeps up pressure on the monarch who responded to anti-government protests last week by dismissing the cabinet and appointing former army officer Marouf Bakhit as prime minister.
The move, which followed a 500 million dollar package of state aid to raise civil service salaries and curb price rises, aimed to address East Bankers' alarm over economic liberalization by the previous government which threatened their state benefits. Publicly attacking royal figures is taboo in Jordan under tough sedition that limits discussion of Jordan's royal family.
The importance in these recent developments for Bible prophecy is that it appears that usually strong regimes are being taken down and being replaced by terrorist groups who have a common interest in seeing Israel destroyed. Lebanon has already been taken over pretty much by Hezbollah. Tunisia has had their leader replaced and the growing unrest in other places like Syria, Egypt, and Jordan could help to set the prophetic table for the fulfillments of the prophecies spoken of in Psalm 83 where Israel destroys her immediate enemy neighbors and actually grows in strength and area as a result. The potential of violent and unstable governments bordering Israel raises the possibility that conflict is inevitable. If Egypt ends up in the hands of the Muslim Brotherhood and Jordan ends up in terrorist hands then we could see a soon to be fufillment of the ancient prophecies spoken of in Psalm 83. This in turn could lead to even bigger prophetic fulfillments such as Ezekiel 38-39 and Isaiah 17 should the "outer-ring" of Islamic enemies make a move on invading Israel. But it appears that the "inner-ring" of Islamic enemies that are on the borders of Israel must be dealt with first. And the riots and unrest we are seeing today could be setting up the prophetic stage for tomorrow's conflict.
As students of Bible prophecy, let us continue to watch the region as the situation on the ground continues to play out. While we do not know the extent of the unrests and protests, we can be sure that the Middle East is undergoing a radical change right now that could have prophetic implications. As always, keep looking up, for our redemption is drawing nigh!