Refugees and the Arab Spring in Jordan

Published in Sharnoff’s Global Views.

While Jordan appears stable and has consistently overcome challenges to the throne since independence in 1946, Arab Spring protests and the influx of more than half a million Syrian refugees pose new concerns for the Hashemite Kingdom. Continue reading “Refugees and the Arab Spring in Jordan”


October 1-8, 2012 Links

Jordan, a nation which lacks natural resources and is heavily dependent on foreign assistance, is a strong US ally. While King Abdullah has prevented “Arab Spring” uprisings like in Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Yemen and Syria, he faces unprecedented challenges. A growing number of Jordanians are advocating that Jordan transform from an absolute monarchy to a constitutional monarchy. A few have faced criminal charges for directly criticizing the King. Continue reading “October 1-8, 2012 Links”

Weekend Thinking

Weekend Thinking: The DNC and West Bank

The third and final day of the Democratic National Convention concluded yesterday evening with a speech by incumbent President Barack Obama. The economy and job creation were the themes of Obama’s speech along with Vice President Joe Biden and former President Bill Clinton. More than 20 million Americans are unemployed and more than 40 million rely on Food Stamps. It comes as no surprise that this is the leading  issue for voters. Foreign policy, the war in Afghanistan and the global threat of Al-Qaeda was barely mentioned. Continue reading “Weekend Thinking: The DNC and West Bank”


King Abdullah’s Growing Anxiety Over the Two-State Solution

Published in the Huffington Post on Feb. 15, 2012.

Jordan’s struggle with its political identity is not something new, but the social media, the Arab Spring and stalled Israeli-Palestinian negotiations has revived concerns about Jordan’s future. Jordan ruled the West Bank — territory which the international community now regards as Palestinian — from 1949 to 1967. However, after the 1967 War, the West Bank was referred to in the international press as “occupied Jordan” in the late 60s, 70s, and 80s. This description persisted even in the early 90’s after King Hussein formally renounced ties to this landlocked territory in 1988. Continue reading “King Abdullah’s Growing Anxiety Over the Two-State Solution”


Confronting Palestinian Reactions to Failed Talks With Israel

Published in the Huffington Post on Jan. 12, 2012.

In the autumn of 2011, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas embarked on a controversial diplomatic offensive to have the United Nations recognize the state of Palestine with East Jerusalem as its capital. While Abbas asserts that this strategy is neither intended to delegitimize nor embarrass Israel, the United States, Israel and most European nations view it as a mechanism to bypass direct talks with Israel. These countries have insisted that only direct negotiations between the two parties can achieve a political settlement. On November 11, the 15-member Security Council failed to reach a consensus and Abbas’ bid remains stalled. Continue reading “Confronting Palestinian Reactions to Failed Talks With Israel”