Between Jafr and Rabia

By Mohammad Aburumman

تم نشره في Mon 24 July / Jul 2017. 12:00 AM
  • Mohammad Aburumman

Up until I wrote this article, the Jordanian version of the events which took place in the vicinity of the Israeli Embassy in Amman was not fully developed.

The incident took place inside an apartment leased to the Israeli embassy, as far as we know, from a single public statement issued by the police, preliminarily.

Israeli media, however, presented the world with their version of the story: Mohammad Jawawdeh was shot dead, the Israeli security personnel was stabbed with the screw driver.

In more details, Jawadeh had gone into the apartment to install a bedroom, in the time during which a dispute had erupted.

The dispute intensified, leading Jawawdeh to stab the Israeli in the chest, and the latter mistakenly opening fire at both, the youth, 17, and the doctor, who owns the apartment, and was pleasant at the time of the incident.

This is according to the Israeli statements.

Next to the incident itself, the Israeli press spoke about the repercussion of a diplomatic crisis intensifying with Jordan, since the Israeli killer was banned from travelling.

Israeli authorities opposed the Jordanian persistence on interrogating the security personnel, clutching tight to diplomatic immunity.

Notably, as confirmed by Jordanian sources, the Israeli killer does in fact enjoy immunity, given he was registered as a diplomat. This, regardless of what may have happened, places the Israeli side under protection of international law.

Naturally, since the incident took place, it took over social media like wild fire. And in the absence of a consolidated Jordanian story, for so long, the vacancy has expanded, which gave the Israeli version a chance to spread even further, in record time.

Justly speaking, the extended absence of the Jordanian story may be explained by the officials taking their time to put together and verify a clearer picture of the situation. Especially in such a precise and difficult time!

This doesn’t, however, warrant the full absence of public address; the state must address the public to clarify things, to at least respond to the Israeli story. The least is to not confirm it, until the preliminary investigation is concluded.

Keeping the public informed, with as little confirmed information as there is, to keep the people in tune, is much better than keeping the public in the dark.

If anything, withholding information only builds distrust and reinforces public scepticism of the official approach, which makes the current crisis a domestic one first and foremost.

Of course, this disregard of the public opinion has relocated the crisis to the streets. Now, it is no longer a diplomatic case in ned of a legal and political national framework to address, it is a struggle between the people and the government.

The terrifying thing about all this is that it has unveiled the scale of the public distrust in the government; the rift, widening between the two.

As one of the prominent politicians said, the two incidents, in Rabia and Jafr, are no longer issues of foreign policy, but have become central to the state-citizen relationship, internally!

The government media mechanism is broken, and the government is practically non-existent in the public scene, in the eyes of the citizens.

The political and media vacancy has given way to the rise of doubt and mistrust.

The ghost of the Martyr, Judge Raed Zuaitar, has taken over the public sentiment. The implications of the Jafr story and the official confusion in regards to how to contain the Huwaitat tribe, and the escalating situation, are now intensifying.

This the price we pay for limiting the government’s political capacities, in favour of empower the obscurity of the identity-less technocrat!

If we go over Jordan’s position, in regards to various incidents, including the Embassy incident, or the one in Jafr, not to mention the situation in Jerusalem, we will find that the public is fully capable of understanding and comprehending the situation.

We, however, address the public opinion with confusion and reservation, and as we do so, we look guilty. In some cases, we come across as if we have something to hide!

This article is an edited translation of the Arabic version, published by AlGhad.