Troubles on the East Bank: Challenges to the Domestic Stability of Jordan

Troubles on the East Bank: Challenges to the Domestic Stability of Jordan

Troubles on the East Bank: Challenges to the Domestic Stability of Jordan

Troubles on the East Bank: Challenges to the Domestic Stability of Jordan

Synopsis

"Jordan today is pivotal in Middle Eastern diplomacy, hence the importance of forming some idea of its present position and prospects. Mr. Satloff's report is of great value by bringing an informed judgement to bear on the current situation. His work transcends mere reporting or the covering of current events. What he has to say about the economic situation in Jordan and about religious movements will be new to most readers, even those who are generally well informed about the country." Elie Kedourie, Professor, London School of Economics, Editor, Middle Eastern Studies

Excerpt

One thing is certain: if there is ever to be peace in the Arab-Israeli conflict, Jordan, by its geographic position, its large Palestinian population, its previous occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem, is and must be at the center of any serious peace negotiations.

This fact automatically focuses attention on the internal stability of Jordan and the survival of King Hussein and the Hashemite dynasty, which has ruled the country ably and courageously for 40 turbulent and dangerous years. The author of this study, Robert B. Satloff, deserves great credit for concentrating on this important and frequently neglected subject.

As the author makes clear, Jordan faces a multiplicity of troubles. The plunge in oil prices has diminished the kingdom's income and subsidies as well as remittances from Jordanians working abroad, especially in the Gulf States. For a country with a diverse population, the threat of large-scale unemployment poses not only an economic but also a political problem.

Jordan is the only Arab state that has generously opened its borders to Palestinian refugees and has granted them citizenship. This and King Hussein's deep sense of responsi-

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