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The minister with no political agenda in Amman

Maher Abu Tair
Maher Abu Tair (Photo: Jordan News)
This is not the first time a US secretary of state visits Jordan or the region, and Antony Blinken, who will be in Amman on Wednesday, is here with a new old agenda.اضافة اعلان

After what we witnessed during the reign of the former US administration and blind actions against the Palestinian people and unprecedented bias in favor of Israel, the new US administration comes in preoccupied with dozens of other issues. The Middle East is not the only matter on the table in Washington, in fact, the region’s issues are customarily delayed for months following the new president taking office, particularly since domestic matters take precedence.

The US secretary of state, accompanied by the head of the US intelligence service, is not bringing anything new today, rather he will express Washington’s known position on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, including Washington’s will for relaunching negotiations, establishing a Palestinian state, stimulating the economy in Gaza and the reconstruction of the blockaded strip, and the importance of shunning violence and protecting civilians. These are statements we’ve heard from all US presidents and secretaries of state.

For the tour, which includes Israel and Egypt, not to be a mere attempt to improve the US administration’s reputation in the region or a public relations visit, the secretary of state must understand beforehand the red lines crossed by Israel. These include its rejection of the establishment of a complete Palestinian state, its assaults in Jerusalem and on the Al-Aqsa Mosque/Al-Haram Al-Sharif in a manner that harms Palestinians and Jordanian custodianship, its refusal to concede occupied East Jerusalem, the impossibility of launching peace negotiations in light of insistence of the Israeli project in the West Bank and the Jordan Valley, and insistence on maintaining settlements, among others.

Why would the secretary of state be here if he had no specific perception on the Palestinian issue, when everyone in the region is aware that all US administrations, be it Democratic or Republican, have maintained bias in favor of Israel. These administrations even bought valuable time for Israel to continue its project in Palestine without having to worry about Washington. If the current administration had any will to change the course of events it would have reversed the former president’s recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, which is the bare minimum show of good intentions for the region.

This is Blinken’s first tour of the region, and all that is on the US administration’s mind at the moment is mitigating the Iranian threat under American standards that might not be acceptable to even Israel. As for the Palestinian cause, there might be a rearrangement of priorities in the region, where the Iranian issue would take the lead, followed by the Palestinian issue. This is particularly so since the occupation would attempt to prove to Washington that Iran has its people in Gaza, which they train and finance, and that Gaza is Tehran’s agent, which bombed Israel in an attempt to shuffle the cards and reduce pressure on Iran during negotiations over Iranian nuclear activity.

This means that the secretary of state’s tour will be a failure, as he is coming in the context of PR, to prove that Washington is not biased, and that it has a vision for resolving the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. But, most probably, the administration, like those that came before it, will leave office without having achieved anything on the matter, not to mention that the current administration will make Iran the center of its focus, and all it cares about in Palestine is to keep things generally calm in the coming period.

The secretary of state will leave the region having heard a lot from the occupation, Egypt, and Jordan, and will recite the same old rigid templates of American foreign policy on the region, pledging to come back, with a vision for relaunching peace negotiations. But in light of the Israeli crisis in terms of forming a government and the possible fifth elections, the tour will amount to nothing, as it was carried out solely to affirm Washington’s interest in regional issues so long as that does not involve preventing Israeli encroachment, and keeping all eyes solely on Iran, deeming Tehran the head of the snake and the source of all the region’s crises, be it directly, or through its agents across the region’s countries.

We have seen many faces in this region, and they have all left having achieved nothing.

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