Released to the Media – 2nd August 2015
The Jordanian Opposition Coalition’s (JOC) Mission
The JOC consists of Jordanian leaders and civilians from all walks of life who are seeking to replace the Hashemite King and his regime through the establishment of a peaceful government that will promote and enhance civil the political rights of everyone in the country, while promoting peace and stability for the region. The purpose of this new government is to secure, define, promote and implement democratic institutions that ensure secularism, expanded human rights, peaceful coexistence and economic prosperity in Jordan, for the good of the people of Jordan and the region.
In an attempt to construct a platform that will be supported by a wide majority of the people,
the JOC has devised a platform that is comprised of a series of planks. The Planks are
designed to be used as the constitutional foundational for the concepts we will implement, and
will be expanded as needed over time. As such, this document contains positions on the
4) Religious Freedom
5) Terrorism (Counter-Terrorism)
8) Saudi Arabia
9) Roadmap To Power
10) Once In Power
The JOC envisions that once in office and making positive economic decisions with the
citizenry’s elected officials, that within 10 years Jordan will enjoy a thriving economy that
offers an equal opportunity to everyone and leaves no Jordanian behind educationally. The
JOC will achieve this by:
? Eliminating of the wide-spread corruption under the current regime through the
introduction of strict counter-corruption laws, as well as the creation of a Counter-
Corruption Commission that is empowered with the jurisdiction to investigate, search,
arrest, confiscate and prosecute those suspected of economic corruption.
? Eliminating the current unfair and extreme tariff system that charges a fee of up to
200% for a family car, making the basics of life a distant dream for most Jordanians.
Instead, the JOC will enact policies that will expand our economy and as such,
enhance Jordan’s income and sales tax. Combined, the income – if it’s not stolen
through corruption – should be sufficient in the short run to cover the Jordanian state’s
budget and help us implement educational and economic reforms.
? Enforcing accountability and responsibility for public servants and state officials by
establishing a clear salary system, transparency through government oversight and
limited access to the state’s assets. This will be done using a similar equation that is
used by western governments, including the US Federal Government, with a focus
being on salaries, compensations and use of state vehicles. Combined, the JOC aims
to end the incredible waste that currently occurs under the current regime, including the
elimination of the King’s lavish life style that is paid for by taxpayers.
? Expanding economic cooperation with the west, including the United States, UK,
France and Germany. This will be done through the establishment of a full free trade
agreement, establishment of economic development zones and policies that will not
only help US goods could enter Jordan’s market, but allow Jordanian products leave
the country for foreign markets with minimal restrictions and fees. This will benefit the
world economy, as well as those in Jordan by creating jobs, income and enhancing
consumer purchasing power.
? Expanding and reinforcing economic cooperation with our neighbors, including Israel
on the manufacturing and delivery of imports and exports. Additionally, as partners, we
hope to use Israel’s knowledge and expertise on water, energy, telecommunications
and agriculture to enhance Jordan’s future in the economic market place. The best way
to do this is by signing a free trade agreement between Israel and Jordan that benefits
both parties and reinforces peaceful ties between both sides for generations to come.
? Introducing strict anti-trust laws that will create competition, help multiple products
reach the market place and in return, not only reduce the prices of consumer goods by breaking the extreme monopolies, but enhance the quality of those products sold in
? Turning Jordan into an educational hub by expanding not just the eligibility and
financing for students to attend universities, but to expand the current university system
to include more campuses and educational facilities. The JOC believes that Jordan has
the infrastructure to welcome regional students and expand its intellectual capacity, but
currently many of those choose not to study in Jordan because of the high inflation
rate, the current unrest and political instability. The JOC will seek to implement policies
that not only will establish open universities for all, but will establish ways for the
Student Loans to be distributed to those who qualify. Additionally, the JOC will work
hard to address and eliminate issues that have caused economic stagnation and
increased prices. Finally, the JOC will enact policies that provide students with
economic incentives (tax breaks) for attending schools. One of those policies will be
providing both computers and free access to the internet for everyone who graduates
from High school, 2 year college, 4 year college and graduate school. Finally, we will
launch a vigorous campaign to recruit foreign students to Jordan in the hopes that they will not only bring hard currency to Jordan, but also diversity to the country as a whole.
? Inaugurating the American University of Amman in an effort to serve as a regional hub
for American undergraduate and graduate studies in the region. The JOC believes that
the university’s mission statement will serve as a beacon of enlightenment and peace
throughout the region, and open the country to the dialogue of modern civilization. To
achieve this, the JOC will recruit faculty members from the top ranks of the Western
? Downsizing and reorganizing the army’s expenses will be a dynamic way to invigorate
Jordan’s economy. Currently, the Jordanian army consumes 52% of the country’s
budget, and much of that is with duplication and waste. Overall, it has never contributed
substantially to any regional war in the last 70 years, nor is it able to effectively defend
Jordan today. Further, American forces are present in Jordan and Israel has openly
pledged to protect Jordan from ISIS and other regional threats. As such, the JOC firmly
believes that it is in Jordan’s best economic and political interest to restructure, refocus
and reduce the army to provide and include modern capabilities and technologies, thus
cutting its huge expenditure and making sure that it fits in with the actions of the
modern government that we are proposing.
? Expanding US military training and bases in Jordan must continue, with their focus
being not just protecting the country, but training future soldiers so they can defend and
protect their homeland.
? Introducing a revitalized economic and supportive education-based welfare system that
provides the same type of cash payments as those found in many western countries,
including but not limited to unemployment and disability benefits, as well as benefits for
students, educators and careers for those working with children with special needs and
the elderly. Finally, we will enact both private and public investment programs that
will/can be used for the establishment of pensions for the elderly and those who may
have not contributed to system earlier. This system will be established as a blanket to tect the future of all Jordanians, including those recently naturalized or those
returning to Jordan upon enacting of the Jordanian citizenship law which is currently
frozen under the Hashemite regime. To do so, the JOC will seek to restructure the
military, cutting its waste, with the savings used to cover the expense of the new
The JOC envisions Jordan’s future being one where everyone is equal under the law,
regardless of their race, background, religion, sect, or life style. This will be assured by the
? A new constitution dictating that all people on Jordanian soil are equal under the law.
? A counter-discrimination act criminalizing discrimination against different religions,
sects, ethnicities, background or life style, be the discrimination in action or verbal.
? The introduction of an affirmative action program designed to spur public employment
and the attraction of major companies (above 100 employees) to the country. The JOC
hopes that the future of Jordan and this program will be representative of the ethnic
and religious makeup of the country.
? A once a decade census that will help to put our affirmative action into effect.
? A hate crime act, which maximizes the penalties for crimes if motivated by or
associated with hate towards race, religion, background or life style.
The JOC will seek to enhance and develop the Jordanian education system to a global
? Ending the Jordanian unified high school examination system (known as Tawjeehi) and
making admission to universities based on each university’s standards and own
admission requirement(s). As such, each school will conduct their own exams rather
than have standardized, outdated state exams which have been ineffective.
? Expanding Jordan’s university system by expanding or constructing facilities and
accepting more students into critical majors such as medicine and law. Additionally, the
JOC will end the “exclusive clubs” where entry into a program is assigned directly by
the King’s office, and is only provided to privileged people who are favored by the
? Inaugurating the American University in Amman, which will have international faculty
members who are Western educated. As mentioned above, the American University of
Amman will serve as a regional hub for undergraduate and graduate studies in the
region, and will have as its foundational mission statement to serve as a beacon of
peace and tolerance and dialogue of civilization for the Jordanian people.
? Establishing education agreements with other countries that fosters the exchange of
academic knowledge and students in an effort to not only help spread the knowledge,
but enhance dialogue and tolerance between Jordan and its people, its neighbors and
the rest of the world.
In order to fit in with today’s modern societies, the JOC envisions a Jordan where freedom of
worship is constitutionally secured for all people, and as such, be guaranteed by law. This
will be done by:
? Creating a constitution and related amendment that ensure the right to practice the
religion as each citizen chooses.
? Creating a civil state, one that represents all the people, no matter which religion or
political party they belong to.
? Reinforcing and highlighting the values of acceptance, tolerance and love within the
state’s religious education at public schools.
Terrorism, violence and social disharmony are some of the most important issues facing
Jordan, every Jordanian citizen, the JOC and each and every citizen of the Middle East. As
such, the JOC will work hard to establish fundamental social principles and legislative
concepts in law that will protect and enhance civil rights while diffusing fundamentalism,
terrorism and hate.
In an effort to stem terrorism and enhance fundamental rights, the JOC believes that the
establishment of a strong secular state goes hand in hand with dynamic policies that create
strong economic policies and incentives that create jobs, expands the economy and provides
the citizenry with enhanced consumer purchasing power.
To do so, the JOC will approach the problem in three ways. First, the JOC will work with
international experts to legally define the term “Terrorism”, and then enact it into law and apply
it to the everyday life of each and every Jordanian citizen. Second, the JOC will work with
experts to identify those who fall under both the definition and law, and then identify and
prosecute them as terrorists. Finally, the JOC will work hand in hand with the international
community to stamp out and eradicate terrorist practices, thus dissuading the use of Jordan
as a base for terroristic activities. Because of the high unemployment in the country, the main
tool the JOC will use, will be to establish solid economic policies that benefit the citizenry,
business, the economy and country, while dissuading them from fighting and waging violence
Fundamentalist Ideology: the JOC believes that one way to bring peace to the region is to
work on establishing policies that fight the establishment of fundamentalist ideologies that are
found in the region. The JOC believe that the best way to do this is by enhancing civil,
personal and religious rights, while ensuring that policies are created that will ensure that
Jordan enters the 22nd century as a secular state.
The Muslim Brotherhood (TMB): As an internationally recognized terrorist organization, the
TMB is influential in the region and as such, has deep ties and working relationships with
other organizations and governments in the region. In fact, many believe that some of today’s
ISIS leaders used to either be, or currently work with, TMB on the establishment of regional
policy. The JOC is outraged and alarmed by the apparent growth, partnership and
cooperation between recognized terrorist entities, not to mention the mutual tolerance that
currently exists between the Hashemite regime and groups like the TMB. In an effort to fight
their influence and bring Jordan into the 22nd century, the JOC will enact policies that enhance
political, religious and civil rights. One of the best ways to do so is to establish policies that
enhance the development of political parties, followed by the establishment of fundamental
civil rights, including freedom of speech, religion and assembly. Additionally, after establishing
a firm definition of terrorism and how to combat it, the JOC hopes to radically curtail activities
of terrorist organizations like TMB. The JOC will send a strong signal to the rest of the world just how serious Jordan is about joining the civilized world, as well as a direct message to
terrorists that a secure and peaceful Jordan will fight against terrorism and stop the spread of
fundamentalist Islamist ideology in the region. Furthermore, once terrorist entities are
identified and law is enacted, the JOC will curtail their activities; confiscate recognized
assets/funds (estimated net value of $3 billion in TMB’s Islamic Charitable Center) through
the court process and reign in their media by helping expand the country’s TV, radio and
The Palestinian Authority (PA): The JOC is committed to the welfare and progression of the
Palestinian people. The JOC also recognizes that the PA is severely divided between the PA
in the West Bank and Hamas who controls Gaza with an iron fist. Further, the JOC believes
that Jordan must accept its responsibilities towards its citizens living in the West Bank, as per
Jordan’s very own constitution, which is based on world accords and international design. As
such, the JOC strongly believes the PA must expand its thinking and in turn, improve not only
the way it handles its internal affairs, but provide enhanced transparency to its constituency in
an effort to avoid corruption at all costs. The PA must also either reign in Hamas and thus
provide for the elections and civil rights it provides in the West Bank, or separate themselves
from them. The JOC believes that this can only be done through enhanced economics and
civil rights that include free speech, freedom of travel, freedom of religion and the right to vote
in bi-yearly elections. The JOC views this as the only viable choice for our Palestinian
brothers, especially as Hamas tightens its iron grip on Gaza. The JOC hopes that the PA will
support peace rather than hinder it with fundamentalist doctrine and hateful incitement. To
overcome this, the JOC will propose measure to end both the corruption and hateful
incitement from the part of the PA that have deepened the unrest and instability of the
Palestinian people. In the absence of their ability to participate in a peaceful manner, the JOC
sees no future in the West Bank or Gaza for Hamas which has terrorized the Palestinian
people since gaining office.
Hezbollah: In the North, political instability comes from a group called Hezbollah. As stated
above, the JOC is committed to the welfare and progression of the Palestinian people in all
corners of the world, and therefore strongly believes the actions of this group harm, rather
than help the cause of peace. As such, the JOC will urge, through speech and action, that
Hezbollah abandon its violent actions and work towards peace with all its neighbors, as well
as establish economic cooperation and ties between Jordan, the PA and Lebanon.
Additionally, until Hezbollah abandons its violent ways and actions against its neighbors,
including but not limited to civilians in Syria, Israel and elsewhere, the JOC will continue to
recognizing Hezbollah as a terrorist organization.
Hamas: As stated several times in this document, the JOC is committed to the welfare and
progression of the Palestinian people. Therefore, we strongly believe that Hamas must give
up all violent acts and reform its ideology, including its “Constitutional Charter”. If they can’t
then they should disband for the benefit of the Palestinian people. To do so, the JOC calls
upon Hamas to not only lay down its arms and use the money they spend on arms purchases
for the people by building schools, hospitals and libraries, while establishing a viable
economic system. The JOC believes that through enhanced economic practices, the lives of our Palestinian brothers will be enhanced. We also call upon Hamas to establish regular
elections and clearly enunciate what their constituencies’ civil rights are. Finally, we call upon
them to sit down with Israel and discuss peace, today, and not tomorrow. Like with
Hezbollah, until Hamas undertakes all of the above actions, the JOC will not recognize, nor
deal with Hamas as a legitimate entity, nor tolerate their presence in Jordan. Because of their
negative impact on the people of Jordan and Palestinians, the JOC currently has no option,
but through law, will seek to ban Hamas and its activities in Jordan, and through the use of
courts and laws, will confiscate all illegal assets and facilities, with a focus being those that are
now currently allowed to operate by King Abdullah.
The JOC is committed to securing Jordan’s identity and national pride, especially through
upholding the value of citizenship as the core of the state’s identity. To do this, the new
Jordanian state will observe the current Jordanian citizenship law, recognized as article
number two. This article dictates that all non-Jewish Palestinians who have lived in Jordan—
and thus their descendants—are born Jordanians. The JOC will not seek to return Jordan
into an alternative homeland for anyone. As such, the new Jordanian state will never deny
citizenship rights, naturalization and/or absorption of all eligible Jordanian citizens, regardless
of their place of birth or current place or length of residency.
Also, the JOC is committed to the welfare and the safety of Syrian refugees already in Jordan,
all while feeling concerned by the pressure, created by their presence, on Jordan’s economy
and infrastructure, therefore, the JOC will seek further international help, in kind and in cash,
to soften the obstacles Jordanians have been facing as a result of the presence of hundreds
of thousands of Syrian refugees in Jordan.
The Jordanian Opposition Coalition (JOC) views peace with Israel as a strategic choice
that is fundamental to the growth and development of Jordan’s stability, economy and social
prosperity. As such, it is in the interest of the each and every Jordanian citizen, as well as the
region, to settle any and all disputes with our neighbors in the region as soon as possible. To
do this, we plan to:
? Recognize and honor all treaties and agreements with international bodies and our
? Fortify and expand the peace agreement between Jordan and Israel, focusing in on
fulfilling parts of the agreement that King Abdullah, has refused to expand, implement
or honor. Those areas include, but are not limited to economic, educational and cultural
? Eliminate all hate and terror incitement that is currently tolerated, empowered and even
promoted by the current regime. This will be done by introducing strong civil rights
policies, along with specifically designed counter-terrorism laws that criminalizes the
incitement of violence and hate against different races, ethnicities and religions.
? Recognize Israel as an economic and political partner, not a competitor. To do this, we
will avidly seek to turn the current cold peace between Israel and Jordan into a thriving
regional example of co-existence. This will be based on tolerance, recognition and the
establishment of mutual economic and cultural exchanges with the Jewish state.
? Expand economic cooperation with Israel. Using successful models from around the
world, including designating, constructing, expanding and operating qualified Industrial
Economic Zones in development agreements with individual trading partners. In these
expanded economic zones, Jordanian manufacturers will be able to import and export
products into the world commerce, using lower customs fees, tax incentives and
enhanced transportation processes. These zones currently exist on a rather limited
scale and have been aiding Jordan’s economy for over a decade now. The JOC sees
them as a model to expand and reinforce. As such we will establish enhanced financial
programs that will help expand financing for the construction of machinery and the
purchase of raw materials clearly designed to help produce product for the world stage.
? Enact legislation that will support the importation of raw materials from our neighbors
for use in the manufacturing process.
? The JOC highly values Israel’s role in stabilizing the region and therefore has an
ambition to sign a mutual defense agreement that is open to Jordan, the US, the UK,
Israel and Saudi Arabia. We hope that this peaceful regional alliance, structured using
the NATO umbrella, will help expand personal rights while protecting regional stability
and keeping terrorist and fundamentalist forces at bay.
? Expand Jordan-Israel-US-UK intelligence cooperation and counter-terrorism effort(s),
and share vital and pertinent information with our allies.
The JCO views Saudi Arabia as a major force of moderation and a cornerstone of stability for
the Middle East region. As such, the JCO will remain committed to the long-standing
friendship between the people and government(s) of Saudi Arabia and Jordan. Furthermore,
the JCO will seek to cooperate, coordinate and assist Saudi Arabia and its outstanding efforts
to counter-terrorism, as well as Iran’s influence in our region.
The JOC’s Roadmap to Power
Establishing an interim government the day the Hashemite regime falls is vital to ensure both
the safety of its citizens, and the future of the country. This government will run the country for
an interim period of 2 years before elections. During that time, it will create and implement a
variety of electoral laws that will help establish parliamentary and presidential elections, as
well as the adoption of a new constitution. A constitution drafting commission will be
established to help draft a modern constitution, and it will be voted on by the citizenry. The
presidential elections will be held after the parliament has been elected. The President will be
elected by public vote.
? The vote: All Jordanians of legal age, male and female over the age of 18, will have the
vote and will be eligible to run for president or a seat in the national assembly
regardless of ethnic or sectarian background. Those convicted of a felonious crime or
have had any relation to terrorism, not including a traffic infraction, are ineligible to vote
or run for public office.
? There will be two houses of government, one called a Senate, and the other called an
Assembly. The Senate will be voted on directly from each state, while the Assembly will
operate as a parliament. To accomplish this, the number of seats in the body will be
raised from 150 to 400, and will be designed to secure direct representation for all
Jordanians, thus ensuring that all areas, sects and ethnicities will have more
representatives in the parliament than under the current regime. The distribution of
seats will be based on the population’s concentration and geographic distribution.
? Like other Parliaments around the world, they will have the ability to override or revoke
presidential decisions with a two-thirds vote.
Once in Power
Once in an interim government is established in Jordan, the JOC intends to take the following
steps to establish a stable, democratic and peaceful Jordan:
? Establish a constitution drafting committee that will work to write a constitution and then
place it on the ballot for a vote of the people. The constitution will be focused on
securing not just human and economic rights, but enhancing the image of Jordan
around the world.
? Conducting Presidential elections where the president is elected by popular vote.
? Introducing a temporary electoral elections commission by which the new Jordanian
parliament is to be elected.
? Introducing a counter-terrorism act that will stop anyone inciting terrorism verbally or by
action through laws ranging from a misdemeanor to a felony (depending on the act).
Felonies will be decided based on both law and court trials, and will be based on wither
the offender’s incitement has led to terrorist acts or physical harm or the destruction of
property either in Jordan or abroad. The JOC believes that this counter terrorism act
will bring tougher punishment for convicted terrorists. Such an act will secure Jordan for
Jordanians while banning hate-preachers and terrorism inciters from running for office
as they are guilty for their actions and statements, including those made in the past.