The Financial Times published an article by David Gardner, in which he talked about the punishment of Bassem Awadallah, the former Jordanian finance minister who later became head of the royal court, and Sharif Hassan bin Zaid, a relative of King Abdullah II, on charges of sedition.
Before pronouncing their verdict, the military judge said that the defendants “attempted to create chaos and strife within Jordanian society.”
Prince Hamzah’s ambitions to assume the throne of Jordan were thwarted when he was relieved of the position of crown prince in 2004, and the king later appointed his first son, Prince Hussein bin Abdullah.
Prince Hamzah was placed under house arrest in April, renewed the pledge of allegiance to his brother, and was not brought to trial.
The secret trial of Bassem Awadallah and Sharif Hassan bin Zaid
The writer believes that the result of the secret and short trial of Awadallah and Sharif Hassan was known in advance, and they were not allowed to call Hamza to testify, the person who was at the heart of the conspiracy, according to the leaked list of accusations, nor was anyone to testify.
Jordan is in debt and dependent on aid; Due to the scarcity of its sources and the problems stemming from the scarcity of water; That is why there are no jobs for more than a third of young Prime Time Zone under the age of 24. Under Abdullah, who lacks the populism and paternalism of his father, the late King Hussein, the palace has become far away, and he is not quick to respond to criticism.
Read also: For this reason, the court refused to summon Prince Hamzah and his two brothers Hashem and Ali to testify in the sedition case
Outdated royal methods, such as changing the government, which King Hussein has done 56 times in 46 years, or forming a royal reform commission, which King Abdullah announced for the fourth time, are more vulgar than ever.
Prince Hamzah bin Al Hussein
At the height of the tension in April, Hamza released videos in which he denounced the Jordanian regime, accusing it of corruption, impotence, and nepotism. Gardner comments that this may be true, and it is part of Jordan’s many problems, and the recent explosion of palace intrigue stems from the fact that the kingdom can no longer maintain the social contract that it built; The cornerstone of the Hashemite family is the tribes of Transjordan. They control the army, intelligence and security services, and their main source of employment is the public sector.
The Palestinian majority, who came from the territories occupied by Israel in 1967, dominate the private sector, and its members usually occupy technocratic positions in the Ministry of Finance and the Central Bank. While the Jordanian army fought a war against the Palestine Liberation Organization in 1970-1971, it was East Bankers who organized the protests and uprisings.
Moreover, the financially struggling army are tribesmen in uniform, as the rebellion of groups representing hundreds of thousands of former soldiers revealed at the start of the Arab Spring.
Has Prince Hamzah crossed the red lines?
Hence, Prince Hamzah crossed the Hashemite family’s red line, actively approaching the tribal leaders, and presenting himself as a pulpit for ordinary Jordanians.
At first glance, Awadallah appears to be an unlikely conspirator. As finance minister and director of the royal court, he oversaw reforms such as the privatization of mining, telecom and energy companies.
Critics say he and others have benefited from these deals, but state assets remain fief of the East Bankers, and are seen almost as a tribal inheritance, which is one of the reasons he is a fit man to fall.
Read also: Bassem Awadallah’s American lawyer: My client was beaten, tortured and forced to sign a false confession
Apparently, there is real enmity in the royal court of Awad Allah, whom the king sent to Saudi Arabia as his special envoy, not to become an advisor to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who in Amman is believed to have encouraged the plot in Jordan.
The Jordanians accuse the Trump administration of inciting bin Salman to normalize with Israel
Jordanian officials believe that the Trump administration incited Mohammed bin Salman to normalize relations with Israel, as other countries in the Gulf have done, by brandishing the Saudi guardianship card over the Islamic holy sites in Jerusalem, which together with Christianity are under the guardianship of the Hashemite family. The green light Trump gave Israel to annex swathes of the West Bank and push the Palestinians to the east bank of the Jordan River was a source of concern to King Abdullah.
But next week, the king will be the first Arab leader to meet Joseph Biden at the White House, as the current administration deals with Jordan as an indispensable ally.
And this, with American support, is invaluable capital. But the king still faces his half-brother’s echoes of the grievances of East Bankers, which reflects Jordan’s malaise. What Prince Hamzah has done is he has distorted the sacred character of the monarchy, and made the royal family a part of this contentious debate.
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