The Jordanian Opposition Coalition
The Jordanian Opposition Coalition (JOC) Office of the National Director of Intelligence (ONDI)
Jordan‘s Shadow Government
Summary: Jordan’s king has deep problems with Saudi Arabia because of its push to ban and exterminate the Muslim Brotherhood and its willingness to establish peace with Israel prior to the establishment of a Palestinian state. The king’s vision for peace is based on the 2002 peace initiative of a two-state based on 1967 borders. That initiative was launched by Saudi Arabia but is no longer supported by the current Saudi king, Salman Ben Abdel Azeez, or his son Mohammad Ben Salman.
The king’s drift with the Saudi royal family became most visible in the recent Muslim-American Summit in Riyadh, which President Trump had attended. During that summit, Jordan’s king referred to the Prophet Muhammad being “a Hashemite,” a term used to describe Jordan’s royal family. ONDI sources have confirmed that the term used was a premeditated provocation for the Saudi royals; the King was reminding them that he “is the alleged” descendant of the Prophet and therefore, entitled to rule all of Arabia. King Salman’s response was very firm and amounted to public ridicule of Jordan’s king in the presence of president Trump and all Muslim leaders.
Jordan’s king has thrived on war and unrest between Arabs and Israelis, and sees a real peace deal between Arab states and Israel-not involving a Palestinian state-as a direct threat to his existence. He also cannot afford to lose his allies, the Muslim Brotherhood, who have been supporting Jordan’s royal family since the late 1950. Therefore, the king’s differences with the Saudi royal family are expected to grow and have already become more public.
1-Arab media remains puzzled by an altercation that took place during the recent Muslim-American Summit in Riyadh. The incident took place after President Trump addressed the summit when the King of Jordan, Abdallah II, took the podium to address the conference. He began by saying in Arabic: In the Name of God the Merciful the Most Merciful, May Prayer be upon the Hashemite Prophet of God. The King then continued his speech in English.
2-During his speech, members of the Saudi Royal family could be seen moving around the conference hall. Video clearly shows that Saudi Deputy Crown Prince Mohammad Ben Salman was speaking to someone, presumably one of his advisors. Soon after, one of the royal staff is seen approaching King Salman and whispering something in his ear.
3-When Jordan’s king finished his speech, King Salman addressed those in attendance. He read part of an Islamic prayer: “God, please have prayers on Muhammad and the House of Muhammad, the same way you have prayed on Abraham and the House of Abraham, and bless Muhammad and the House of Muhammad, the same way you have blessed Abraham and the house of Abraham.” King Salman added: “This is my response to His Majesty the king”.
A Well–Calculated Provocation of the Saudi Royal Family
4-What provoked this response from King Salman was the fact that the statement by Jordan’s king was one of the most shocking and provocative statements a Muslim leader can make to the Saudis. In the first place, the reason for ‘shock and provocation’ is that the term “the Hashemite prophet” – is never used within the regular Islamic terminology. The term ‘Hashemite’ now refers to the royal family ruling Jordan. Had the king wanted to simply refer to his alleged blood connection to Prophet Muhammad, he would have used the common term “Al AlBayt”, which King Salman used in his response.
5- An ONDI source who is close to the king’s office explained the reason for the statement: king Abdullah II used the speech to remind Muslim leaders in General -and the Saudi Royal family in particular – that he was “a descendent of the prophet” with entitlement to rule Arabia.
[COMMENT – King Abdullah and his linage claim to be the direct descendants of the Prophet. The Hashemite family has used this status to rule Jordan since taking power in 1921 with ambitions to rule all of Arabs, which were shattered by Saudis taking over Mecca and Hedjaz from them and expelling them to Jordan. The king was reminding the Saudis of very dark history between the two ruling families-END COMMENT].
6-A knowledgeable source told ONDI officers that the king’s statement was not a “slip up” but rather a very well-calculated move. “He wanted to remind the Saudis that his family used to control the Muslim Holy Land and that in order to stay in power and relevant to the Arabic world, he is going to revive the claim that Hashemite descendants of the prophet are entitled to rule the entire Muslim world”. The source added: “Mentioning this at that particular conference was as if he was reminding Saudis of his rights to rule and of his significance, and even worse, trying to re-establish his self-proclaimed legitimacy to rule their own soil instead of them”.
King Salman‘s Response: A Very on Target Comeback
7- Analysists for ONDI see King Salman’s comeback as very powerful and embarrassing to Jordan’s king because it is an official prayer taught to Muslims by Prophet Muhammad himself did not describe him as a Hashemite. It was also a reminder that the prophet was a descendant of Prophet Abraham, whom the Arabs see as the father of all Arab tribes. This by itself nullifies Jordan’s king’s claim and amounts to putting him in his place. King Salman, who is known for being very prudent with his language, used the words: “This should serve as my response to His Majesty the king”. This was adding more insult and ridicule, as King Salman confirmed he was answering back to Abdallah.
8- Government-controlled Saudi online media (as well as social media) launched a campaign of ridicule against Jordan’s king, with videos and headlines titled: “King Salman teaches Jordan’s king a lesson,” “King Salman puts Jordan’s king in his place” and “King Salman teaches Jordan’s king how to praise the prophet”. This was the Saudis expose’ that they were very offended by the word Jordan’s king used at the conference, “Hashemite”.
Reasons Behind the Drift:
9- According to a source the relationship between Saudi Arabia and Jordan’s kingdom is at its lowest point in years. He added that it is “the worst it has been since 1990 when King Hussein supported Saddam’s occupation of Kuwait”. The source explained: “The Saudis had issues with the king before, but now, they are on a head-on collision course that will clearly deepen divisions in the region. The king of Jordan doesn’t like the fact that the Saudis are willing to make peace with Israel and support banning the Muslim Brotherhood”.
10- The king of Jordan is opposed to regional peace and normalization between Israel and Arabs for three reasons. First, it would establish peace without establishing a Palestinian state, with the “Jordan is Palestine” option being the most logical. Second, peace would hurt the Muslim Brotherhood and their “joint venture” with the king, a ‘venture’ that provides King Abdullah II and the royal family with a “piece of the action”. Finally, peace in the Middle East would lessen the King’s ‘importance to the region’ making him useless in today’s modern world – after all, right now, he is the main “go between’ between the PA, Israel, and USA. This begs the question – what role would he play in the Middle East if he is not the “main go between”? Combined, the king has been pushed into a position where he makes it no secret that he opposes President Trump’s intentions to recognize the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization, which would end their activities.
That is why JOC supports HR 337 – the Muslim Brotherhood Terrorist Designation Act of 2017.
11- This view is supported by an ONDI source with ties to the Royal Hashemite Court who has confirmed that the king’s “biggest problem” with the Saudi’s is their “willingness to establish normalization ties with Israel prior to reaching a peace deal”. An ONDI media contact who is close to the king and the Royal Court opined: “The king is afraid that he will lose his influence and significance in the world and region if Israel makes peace with the Arab world.” The source added that “The king has always acted as a conduit, Saudis stepping in to play that role would phase him out”, “The king has thrived on unrest and war between Palestinians and Israel and on Muslim Brotherhood support for him, Trump and the Saudis want both, the conflict and the brotherhood, gone, this means the king could disappear”.
Page 4 of 4 – Why Is The Moat Between Jordan And Saudi Arabia Growing?