Having left Amman…

Now that I’ve left Amman, a nice tidbit: a prominent jour­nal­ist there told me that when jour­nal­ists publish anything mildly critical of the gov­ern­ment, they get death-threats from anonymous callers (sometimes such attacks aren’t even that anonymous). Of course all of their phones are tapped, too — he indicated that he kept his phone in his rear pocket, where the sound pick-up would be muffled. He also suggested that Arab gov­ern­ments love unrest and resis­tance in Palestine, because it diverts their populace’s attention from domestic dic­ta­tor­ship to the far worse repres­sion west of the Jordan, adding that their pop­u­la­tions postpone domestic social struggle under the premise that the Pales­tini­ans have it far worse. So from his and others’ per­spec­tives, the worst thing for the gov­ern­ment  would be a “permanent” set­tle­ment, because then problems that are postponed under politics-as-usual would finally have to be dealt with. Another friend added that a lot of the commerce in Jordan is owned by Pales­tini­ans. What would happen if there were to be a just set­tle­ment? Would the Pales­tin­ian pop­u­la­tion repa­tri­ate its resources to Palestine? The treadmill peace process suits the monarchy quite well. Also the Amman airport, whose replace­ment is inci­den­tally being built by a French company, which will get to operate it for 10 years, is also using retinal scanners for departees, which the US doesn’t do, at least for nationals or under normal cir­cum­stances. US tax dollars, only the best!

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