Thursday, October 21, 2004

Ten years on Jordan-Israel peace treaty remains cold

Ten years after Jordan signed a peace treaty with Israel, relations between the two neighbours are far from warm, with most Jordanians persisting in branding Israel 'the enemy', politicians and analysts say.

Political ties are cool, the economic benefits of peace limited and popular animosity towards Israel is widespread over the violence and bloodshed linked to Israeli policies in the occupied Palestinians territories.

Even intellectuals like Hassan Barari who lived three years in Israel to learn Hebrew say they are fed up.

'Every time I see the scenes of Palestinian deaths and destruction on television I feel disgust' towards the Israelis, said this researcher from the University of Jordan's Center of Strategic Studies.

'A poll conducted in 1999-2000 (before the terror uprising - EoZ) showed that 80 per cent of Jordanians consider Israel 'the enemy'. If it was conducted today the percentage would be much higher because of what has happened over the past four years,' he said.