Majority of Jordanians consider Israel greatest threat to Arab security — poll

Israeli forces storm Al-Aqsa Mosque on May 5, 2022 at the compound, the site of Islam's third-holiest place. (File photo: AFP)
AMMAN — Jordanians consider the Palestinian issue the biggest issue in the Arab world and the presence of Israel the greatest threat to the region’s security, a poll by the Center for Strategic Studies (CSS) found, according to local media outlets.اضافة اعلان

A “representative sample” of Jordanians across provinces and education levels were polled from April 23 to 29. The center published the results among both the national sample and a smaller group of experts on Wednesday.

A vast majority of both groups — 87 percent of the national sample and 92 percent of experts — called the Palestinian issue the most important problem that the Middle East faces. Only 5 percent of the national sample said that the Syrian refugee crisis in Jordan was the most important problem, and a similar number chose regional conflicts in Iraq, Yemen, and Libya.

A plurality of the national sample, 45 percent, said that “the presence of Israel” was the greatest regional source of security threats to the Arab world. About a third said that they did not know, and less than 5 percent chose Iran, and the US.

A smaller plurality, 33 percent, named Israel’s presence as the greatest global source of threats to Arab security. Fourteen percent named regional instability and conflicts, while eleven percent named the US.

The expert sample was much more hawkish on Israel, with 87 percent naming Israel’s presence the greatest regional source of security threats, and 76 percent naming it as the greatest global source. Twelve percent of experts named the US as the greatest global source of threats to Arab security.

A plurality of experts, one-third, also argued that Jordanian foreign policy should focus on resolving the Palestinian issue and preserving the sanctity of Al-Aqsa Mosque/Al-Haram Al-Sharif.

Moreover, 46 percent and 58 percent of the expert and national samples, respectively, said Jordan should reduce relations level with Israel at the current stage, while 39 percent and 26 percent believe that Jordan should maintain the level of current relations with Tel Aviv, the poll noted.

However, most Jordanians see America as an ally, according to the poll. A little over half of national respondents — and a full 81 percent of experts — named the US as Jordan’s most prominent ally on the global stage.

Experts and the general population disagreed on the Kingdom’s regional allies. A plurality of the national sample, 35 percent, named Saudi Arabia as Jordan’s most important ally in the region. (One-fifth responded “I do not know.) Meanwhile, only 17 percent of experts considered Saudi Arabia the most important regional ally, while 35 percent chose Egypt.

According to the CSS survey, 35 percent of the national sample and 55 percent opinion leaders polled said they rely on TV “most often” to obtain Jordan-related political news.

In addition, 35 percent and 29 percent of the national and expert samples, respectively, rely on the Internet to get Jordan-related news, of whom 99 percent opinion leaders surveyed follow the Kingdom’s foreign diplomacy news, the survey showed.

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