King says Jordan to reclaim land leased to Israel under 1994 deal

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF AL-JAZEERA)

 

King says Jordan to reclaim land leased to Israel under 1994 deal

King Abdullah II says Amman will terminate parts of peace treaty which allowed Israeli farmers to use Jordanian land.

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Jordan's King Abdullah II [File: Jordan Pix/Getty Images]
Jordan’s King Abdullah II [File: Jordan Pix/Getty Images]

Jordan has told Israel that it intends to reclaim two tracts of territories leased under a 1994 peace treaty, King Abdullah II has announced, in a move that was welcomed by activists and civil society groups opposing the deal.

As part of the agreement, Israel leased about 405 hectares of agricultural land in the southern sector of its border with Jordan called al-Ghumar, as well as the small al-Baqura area near the confluence of Jordan and Yarmouk rivers.

The territories – water-rich farmlands currently cultivated by Israeli farmers – were leased for 25 years, with a 12-month notice period needed to prevent an automatic extension. The deadline for renewing the leases is Thursday, October 25.

“We have informed Israel of an end to the application of the peace treaty annexes regarding al-Baqura and al-Ghumar,” the king said on Sunday, according to Petra state news agency.

“Al-Baqura and al-Ghumar have always been on top of my priorities. Our decision is to end the annexes of the peace treaty based on our keenness to take all that is necessary for Jordan and Jordanians,” the king added.

“Al-Baqura and al-Ghumar are Jordanian land and will remain Jordanian.”

عبدالله بن الحسينPrime Minister 

@KingAbdullahII

لطالما كانت الباقورة والغمر على رأس أولوياتنا، وقرارنا هو إنهاء ملحقي الباقورة والغمر من اتفاقية السلام انطلاقا من حرصنا على اتخاذ كل ما يلزم من أجل الأردن والأردنيين

Following the king’s announcement, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that Israel would negotiate with Jordan an extension of the leases, which expire next year.

“We will enter into negotiations with [Jordan] to option an extension of the existing lease agreement,” Israeli media quoted him as saying.

It is unclear how and when the territories will be returned back to Jordan’s ownership. The territories have been under Israeli control since 1948.

Growing pressure

Jordan is only one of two Arab countries that signed a peace treaty with Israel – the other being Egypt.

Observers said the king’s announcement is expected to be positively received by the Jordanian public amid increasing efforts by activists and civil society groups aimed at forcing the government to end the leasing of Jordanian territories to Israel.

It also comes a week after 85 Jordanian members of parliament signed a petition urging the king to intervene so that the lease agreement would not be renewed, according to MP Khalil Atiyeh.

“For over a year, we have been demanding the scrapping of this agreement that was not in the interest of Jordan or the Jordanian people,” Atiyeh told Al Jazeera.

Oraib al-Rantawi, a political analyst in Jordan’s capital, Amman, said “the king saw the popular rejection against keeping this agreement with Israel, especially in the last few months where economic decline in the country has led to mass protests – and he wisely decided against it”.

Thousands of angry Jordanians took to the streets in June to protest against price hikes, an income tax reform bill and official corruption, in a country where national poverty and unemployment rate stand at around 20 percent.

Political activist Hussam Abdallat praised the king’s decision as one that would “endear him to the public”.

Sufyan al-Tell, a former United Nations environmental official and outspoken critic of the Israel-Jordan peace treaty, told Al Jazeera the king’s announcement is “timely and reflects the will of the people of Jordan”.

Public sentiment in Jordan against Israel is strong because of its continued occupation of Palestinian territories and its treatment of Palestinians.

Follow Ali Younes on Twitter: @ali_reports

A Dose Of Truth About Israel And The Palestinian/Arab Reality

(THIS ARTICLE IS FROM THE BLOG OF ‘SEELISTENUNDERSTAND’. HE (AMIR) MADE THIS COMMENT TO THE HUMAN RACE)

 

Post July 25th 2017

  1. From Israeli science park in Rehovot all the way to Japan’s stock exchange. All of it for just $1.1 billion. This is the price that Mitsubishi Pharma paid to the Israeli start up “Neuroderm” the Israeli developer of biomed to fight Parkinson. This medicine is in the 3rd phase of tests by the FDA. The so far results are 100% satisfying. If it would not be like that Mitsubishi would have never payed this money. There were another 3 companies that were looking at “Neuroderm”, Pfizer, Glexo, and Novartis. Congratulation to you Israel that instead of killing, like its enemies do, we look to save and make people enjoy their lives.
  2. More from Israel: who is the designer of the dresses of Byonsse, Kim Kardishian, Lady Gaga, Christi Tigen, Paris Hilton, Naomi Campbell, Kendal Jenner and more that I don’t know? Yes, you are right. He is Israeli, His name is Alon Livneh and he is the hottest designer of clothes for VIP. Lets congratulate him as Israel doesn’t get that much appreciation, like other countries, not because its inability. It is because people like to hate us. We don’t worry about it as we, compared to our total number, are leading the world in many subjects. In any rate Israel contributes to the world’s economy much more than many countries.
  3. Oren Almog was sitting with his family, in 2003, in a restaurant after enjoying the Israeli beach. A Palestinian terrorist/suicide bomb, lady, explodes herself in the restaurant. Alon lost 5 of his family and he became blind since then. This explosion changed his life completely. At that time, till the explosion, he was 10 years old. He was playing, with his friends, like children of this age were doing. He had to change the entire of his life. He had to adopt completely different/new life style. He has recovered. He finished his high school studies and got a university degree. He served, full service, in the army. . Today he will speak in the UN telling the representatives there, hopefully if they will be kind enough to listen to him, about his life and the damage that the inhumane terrorists cause to Israel and it will infect the world. He will speak about the terror ideology and try to convince the UN to establish rules/laws against it. He will tell the UN that 4000 innocent Israelis were murdered by Palestinians. He will remind the UN that Palestine encourages killing/murdering by paying the murderers/their families a constant fairly/descent salary. He will submit figures like the total salaries in 2016 exceeded the enormous figure of $270 million. $100000 were paid directly to the family of the Suicide bomb that killed his family. The interesting point is that 30% of this money, the payment to Shahid’s family, are coming from charities and international assistance. So, in other words, by paying this money you, the payer, encourage the murder of Jews. Why do you do it? Would you like If I was paying it to kill your family? If your reply is “no”, please stop all payments to the funds that support the Arabs. All of them.
  4. Jordan is a small state. 80% of its population is Palestinians that support Hamas. The balance 20%, that are Bedouins, support the King. This is a very funny composition. The king, Abdullah, is suppose to rule the kingdom. But he is not. He must follow the opinions of his state’s majority. They, of course are anti Israel. But he/they need Israel as Israel gives them backing with water, power, gas and most importantly, security. Abdullah would have never survived without the support of Israel. So, he must play the game of the strong man. He makes it by submitting to the UN a vast quantity of complains against Israel. These complaints are discussed to the sun rays. But, at night, when the darkness takes place, he calls Israel to apologize. We understand it very well and we support him. He knows that he depends on the good will of Israel. So, he was very anxious about the last conflict concerning the installation of the Magnetoneters, that detects metals. It was too dangerous for his rule. He was doing his utmost to finish it a.s.a.p. So, when Israel sent to him its messenger, he was very happy to solve the problem.
  5. The solution was that he, Abdallah will release the security man that killed 2 Jordanians and in return, Israel will uninstall the Magnetometers. This is quite a fair solution as both, Israel and Jordan climbed too high on the tree. Everybody thought that the issue was solved. But it is not.
  6. Today this morning the Magnetometers were removed, like decided. But, in spite of it the Muslims were praying outside “Al Aqsa”. (To remind you “Al Aqsa” is not a mosque. It is the entire of the area where the 4 Muslim mosques are standing). The reason for the outside praying is that they refuse to enter to “Al Aqsa” because they don’t want/need Israeli permission to enter it and just the removal of the Magnetometers, by Israel, they see it as Israeli rule of the “Al Aqsa” and therefore they will not enter. OK. This is Muslim logic that I don’t understand. Do you?
  7. It must be clarified that the Muslims resistance to the installation of the Magnetometers is misunderstood. All over the world, in airports, in mosques, like in Mecca and Medina, that are the 2 most holy mosques in Saudi Arabia. Magnetometers are a standard equipment to secure the prayers. But, what is good to the Palestinians when they enter the other mosques are not good for them when they enter to “Al Aqsa”. If you understand it, please explain.
  8. Israel and Jordan have 2 common enemies that are the enemies of more Arab Sunni countries: Daesh and Iran. Instead of combining forces the stupid Arabs fight their stupid wars that does not resolve any of the problems. It should be made clear to the Arabs that they need Israel, because of its advanced fighting/battle technology. If they carry on talking to themselves they encourage their enemies and weakening themselves. This must be their guide line. If they want to win, they must have Israel fighting with them.
  9. I am telling/offering you, Arab countries. Please, be sensible and stop fighting Israel and fight you real enemies-the Shea.

Please buy Israeli products.

In friendship

Amir

The Temple Mount Is On Israeli Land So Jews, Christians And Muslims Should Be Allowed To Pray There If They Want Too!

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF HAARETZ NEWS)

Israeli Ministers Join Call to Permit Jewish Prayer at Temple Mount: ‘Status Quo Discriminates Against Jews’
Ministers and Knesset speaker attend conference on changing status quo at Jerusalem’s most politically sensitive site against backdrop of right-wing pressure on Netanyahu to reverse ban on their visits.

Nir Hasson Nov 07, 2016 5:36 PM

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An ultra-Orthodox man looks at the Western Wall and the wooden ramp leading up to the Temple Mount in Jerusalem’s Old City, December 12, 2011. Ronen Zvulun, Reuters
Israel Police to Netanyahu: Let lawmakers visit Temple Mount again
Record number of Jews visit Temple Mount for holidays
Palestinian envoy: UNESCO vote was about ‘occupation,’ not Temple Mount
Israeli parliament speaker Yuli Edelstein joined three cabinet ministers and three lawmakers for the launch of a new Knesset “Temple Mount Lobby” on Monday during a conference on the prospect of altering the status quo at the Jerusalem holy site.
The session was held against the backdrop of increasing demands by right-wing lawmakers and cabinet ministers for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to end his yearlong ban on their visits to the Temple Mount, who said last month that he would revisit the issue with security officials.
Netanyahu had banned these visits as part of an agreement with Jordan’s King Abdullah in response to the outbreak of a wave of Palestinian attacks a year ago.
The prime minister had also ordered lawmakers to avoid discussing the Temple Mount in an attempt to calm the violence attributed to Palestinian claims that Israel intended to change the status quo and permit Jewish prayer at the site.
Most had kept quiet on the subject for months, until Monday’s event.
“In my opinion, our right to the Temple Mount is unshakable,” said Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan. “The Temple Mount is the Jewish people’s holiest site. I have said many times, the current status quo at the Temple Mount discriminates against the Jewish people.”
The Temple Mount, holy to Judaism as the site of two ancient temples, is a flash-point of conflict with the Muslim world, which reveres the plaza as the Noble Sanctuary and site of the al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock shrine. The area is a frequent source of Israeli, Palestinian tensions and violence.
Since the Six-Day War, Israeli policy has barred Jewish prayer at the site while permitting worship at the Western Wall below.

Palestinian protesters react during clashes on the compound known to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary and to Jews as the Temple Mount in Jerusalem’s Old City September 6, 2013. Ammar Awad, Reuters
Monday’s Conference of Zion Seekers was the 10th annual such meeting but the first to be held at the Knesset. The event fell on the anniversary of the Jewish sage Rambam’s visit and prayer at the Temple Mount 850 years ago. It was organized by Yehudah Glick, a veteran activist for greater Jewish access and prayer rights at the site.
Glick was shot and seriously wounded by a Palestinian assailant as he exited the same conference two years ago in Jerusalem.
Temple Mount activists said on Sunday that the past year has seen a rise in the numbers of Jews ascending to the Mount – over 14,000, compared to 11,000 the previous year.
Environmental Affairs Minister Zeev Elkin applauded the Temple Mount advocacy groups, adding that “often you are doing the work that the government doesn’t do.”
Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel called on Netanyahu renew permits for Knesset members and cabinet ministers to visit the Temple Mount. He said Israeli security officials supported this demand, “but unfortunately the prime minister’s advisers and he himself unjustifiably prevent this from happening.”
Ariel said that the Mount must be opened to the Jewish people, adding, “enough of the shame.”
Deputy Defense Minister Eli Ben-Dahan demanded the publication of rules he conceived when he was Deputy Religious Services Minister to arrange for Jewish prayer at the Temple Mount.
“The Temple Mount is a place where members of other faiths may visit, but only those of the Jewish faith are denied prayer at the Temple Mount,” he said. “We must not agree to this shame. We have to call upon the government and Knesset to permit Jewish prayer, to make Jewish prayer something normal and permitted.”
The founder of the Return to the Mount movement, Rafael Morris, stated: “When we can say the Temple Mount is ours and only ours and there isn’t room there for anyone else, then we can be victorious in Amona, then we can conquer not only the Temple Mount but Jordan, and Syria, too, and establish a real Jewish state over all the land of Israel.”
Erdan’s appointment as Public Security Minister marked a turning point in police handling of Jews seeking to visit the Temple Mount.
Activists said that conditions for these visits have grown more flexible in recent months and restrictions against prayer are enforced less strictly than in the past.
read more: http://www.haaretz.com/israel-news/1.751583

Saudi Arabia’s ‘Male Guardianship System’ Shows The Immaturity And Spiritual Weakness Of Their Men

(I FOUND THIS ARTICLE ON TWITTER UNDER ‘BOXED IN’)

Saudi Arabia, a woman’s life is controlled by a man from birth until death. Every Saudi woman must have a male guardian, normally a father or husband, but in some cases a brother or even a son, who has the power to make a range of critical decisions on her behalf.

As dozens of Saudi women told Human Rights Watch, the male guardianship system is the most significant impediment to realizing women’s rights in the country, effectively rendering adult women legal minors who cannot make key decisions for themselves.

Rania, a 34-year-old Saudi woman, said, “We are entrusted with raising the next generation but you can’t trust us with ourselves. It doesn’t make any sense.”

Every Saudi woman, regardless of her economic or social class, is adversely affected by guardianship policies.

Saudi Arabia’s male guardianship system remains the most significant impediment to women’s rights in the country despite limited reforms over the last decade.

Adult women must obtain permission from a male guardian to travel, marry, or exit prison. They may be required to provide guardian consent in order to work or access healthcare. Women regularly face difficulty conducting a range of transactions without a male relative, from renting an apartment to filing legal claims.

The impact these restrictive policies have on a woman’s ability to pursue a career or make life decisions varies, but is largely dependent on the good will of her male guardian. In some cases, men use the authority that the male guardianship system grants them to extort female dependents. Guardians have conditioned their consent for women to work or to travel on her paying him large sums of money.

Saudi Arabia’s male guardianship system remains the most significant impediment to women’s rights in the country despite limited reforms over the last decade.

Women’s rights activists in Saudi Arabia have repeatedly called on the government to abolish the male guardianship system, which the government agreed to do in 2009 and again in 2013 after its Universal Periodic Review (UPR) at the United Nations Human Rights Council.

Following both hearings, Saudi Arabia took limited steps to reform certain aspects of the guardianship system. But, these changes remain insufficient, incomplete, and ineffective; today, the guardianship system remains mostly intact.

Saudi Arabia’s male guardianship system remains the most significant impediment to women’s rights in the country despite limited reforms over the last decade.

Until the guardianship system is removed entirely, Saudi Arabia will remain in violation of its human rights obligations and unable to realize its Vision 2030, the country’s “vision for the future,” that declares women—half of the country’s population—to be a “great asset” whose talents will be developed for the good of the country’s society and economy.

Reforms

Saudi Arabia has made a series of limited changes over the last 10 years to ease restrictions on women. Notable examples include allowing women to participate in the country’s limited political space, actively encouraging women to enter the labor market, and taking steps to better respond to domestic violence.

For example, in 2013, then-King Abdullah appointed 30 women to the Shura Council, his highest advisory body. On December 12, 2015, authorities allowed women to participate in municipal council elections, with women voting and running as candidates for the first time in the country’s history. The elections were a significant, symbolic victory for women, particularly as many women had campaigned for this right for more than a decade.

In recent years, Saudi Arabia has also issued a range of decisions significantly increasing women’s access to the labor market, as part of a broader economic reform program aimed at decreasing the country’s reliance on oil. These include removing language in the labor law that previously restricted women’s work to certain fields “suitable to their nature,” and no longer requiring that woman have guardian permission to work. Authorities have provided incentives to employers to hire women and earmark certain positions for women and provided thousands of scholarships for women to study in universities abroad.

Saudi Arabia has also taken steps to better respond to violence against women and to provide women with better access to government services. In 2013, it passed a law criminalizing domestic abuse and, in 2016, established a center specifically tasked with receiving and responding to reports of family violence.

Saudi Arabia has also worked to improve women’s access to government services, including enabling women to secure their own ID cards; issuing to divorced and widowed women family cards, which specify familial relationships and are required to conduct a number of bureaucratic tasks; and removing requirements that a woman bring a male relative to identify them in court.

Limitations of Reforms

While the reforms are a step in the right direction, they remain partial and incomplete. The male guardianship system remains largely in place, hindering and in some cases nullifying the efficacy of these reforms.

As Hayat, 44, said, “I don’t believe we can change this in small steps. It is what is happening right now. We need a very brave call from the government to remove this [guardianship] and make it equal.”

While women now serve on the Shura Council and on municipal councils, these victories remain limited and authorities continue to curb women’s ability to participate in public life. Women made up less than 10 percent of the final list of registered voters for the December 15, 2015 elections.

Many women faced barriers linked to the guardianship system when registering to vote, such as a requirement to prove residency in their voting district—a difficult or impossible task for many women whose names are not generally listed on housing deeds or rental agreements—or a requirement to present a family card, often held by a male guardian. In the end, only 21 women were elected to the municipal councils out of 2,106 contested seats. Municipal councils themselves have limited authority and, in January 2016, the government decreed council meetings would be sex segregated—women councilors must participate via video link. Following the announcement, a woman councilor stepped down.

The guardianship system also impacts women’s ability to seek work inside Saudi Arabia and to pursue opportunities abroad that might advance their careers. Specifically, women may not apply for a passport without male guardian approval and require permission to travel outside the country. Women also cannot study abroad on a government scholarship without guardian approval and, while not always enforced, officially require a male relative to accompany them throughout the course of their studies.

Zahra, 25, whose father refused to allow her to study abroad, said, “Whenever someone tells me, ‘You should have a five-year plan,’ I say I can’t. I’ll have a five-year plan and then my dad would disagree. Why have a plan?”

If the Saudi government intends to end discrimination against women as it has promised and to further the reforms it has already begun to undertake, it cannot allow restrictions inherent within the guardianship system to continue. For example, the government does not require guardian permission for women to work, but does not penalize employers who do require this permission. The government does encourage employers to hire women, but requires employers to establish separate office spaces for men and women and to enforce a strict dress code on women, policies which create disincentives to hiring women.

The need for substantial, systemic reform is perhaps starkest with regard to the state’s response to violence against women. Saudi Arabia has taken steps to better respond to abuse, but has done so within the framework of guardianship. The guardianship system allows men to control many aspects of women’s lives and makes it difficult for survivors of family violence to avail themselves of protection or redress mechanisms.

The extreme difficulty of transferring male guardianship from one male to another and the severe inequality in divorce rules make it difficult for women to escape abuse. Men remain women’s guardians, with all the associated levers of control, during court proceedings, and until a divorce is finalized. There is deeply entrenched discrimination within the legal system, and courts recognize legal claims brought by guardians against female dependents that restrict women’s movement or enforce a guardian’s authority over them.

Women who have escaped abuse in shelters may, and in prisons do, require a male relative to agree to their release before they may exit state facilities.

Dr. Heba, a women’s rights activist, explained, “The [authorities] keep a woman in jail… until her legal guardian comes and gets her, even if he is the one who put her in jail.”

Failing to abolish these and other tools available to male guardians to control and extort female dependents will guarantee that women continue to face tremendous obstacles when trying to seek help or flee abuse by violent guardians or simply to pursue paths different than the ones their guardians have determined best.

The Time is Now

Saudi officials often argue that the failure to end discrimination against women is not due to state policy, but due to difficulties in implementation, and that the country must move slowly as the government’s hands are tied by a conservative culture and a powerful clerical establishment’s interpretation of Islamic law.

Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman told the Economist that women’s travel was not entirely restricted, and pointed to social and religious criteria to explain the restrictions that he believed existed. When asked why women’s labor force participation was so low, he said, “The culture of women in Saudi Arabia. The woman herself.”

Saudi Arabia’s imposition of the guardianship system is grounded in the most restrictive interpretation of an ambiguous Quranic verse—an interpretation challenged by dozens of Saudi women, including professors and Islamic feminists, who spoke to Human Rights Watch. Religious scholars also challenge the interpretation, including a former Saudi judge who told Human Rights Watch that the country’s imposition of guardianship is not required by Sharia and the former head of the religious police, also a respected religious scholar, who said Saudi Arabia’s ban on women driving is not mandated by Islamic law in 2013.

The state clearly and directly enforces guardianship requirements in certain areas, including restricting women’s ability to travel and requiring guardian consent for a woman to marry. In other areas, there appear to be no written legal provisions or official decrees explicitly mandating a guardian’s consent or presence, but public officials and private businesses ask women for either without fear of sanction.

Saudi Arabia, which acceded to the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) in 2000, is legally obligated to end discrimination against women without delay, including by abolishing the male guardianship system. As long as it fails to take steps to eliminate the discriminatory practices of male guardianship and sex segregation, the government is undermining the ability of women to enjoy even the most basic rights.

In April 2016, Saudi Arabia announced Vision 2030, which declares that the government will “continue to develop [women’s] talents, invest in their productive capabilities and enable them to strengthen their future and contribute to the development of our society and economy.” The government cannot achieve this vision if it does not abolish the male guardianship system, which severely restricts women’s ability to participate meaningfully in Saudi society and its economy.

In discussing the role of women in Saudi Arabia and the pace of change, Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said in his Economist interview, “It just takes time.”

That time is now.