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Reconciling politics with economy

Nov 07,2017 - Last updated at Nov 09,2017

According to Greek mythology, Pelias, king of Iolcus, had a very beautiful daughter, Alcestis, whose hand in marriage was sought by many kings and princes.

King Pelias, worried that if he promised his beautiful daughter to any of the suitors it would anger the rest and lose their friendship or bring upon himself their wrath, concocted a trick. He let it be known that he would marry Alcestis to the man who could yoke a wild boar and a lion to his chariot and drive them around the race course.

This beautiful mythical story aptly describes the current situation of Jordan. Looking at the Gulf crisis, we find that both parties of the dispute want Jordan to ally with them. Jordan cannot do that without angering one or the other. Thus, we have to look for a Pelias exit.

Our future economic relations with Iraq and Syria, whose troubles and civil wars have brought upon Jordan almost insurmountable challenges, hinge on our ability to make amends with Iran. Such a move would anger both the US and Saudi Arabia.

A Pelias solution is needed to this Catch-22 situation.

Israel, and on the occasion of Balfour centennial, boosted its spiteful acts against Jordan by holding conferences in Jerusalem to change Jordan’s political system and demographical composition in order to make it an alternative homeland for the Palestinians.

Such a proposition is not only illegal and atrocious aggression against Jordan’s integrity and sovereignty, but requires Jordan to take concrete steps to put an end to such toxic behaviour.

To do so, Jordan must continue to challenge Israel and to wage an international campaign against Israeli intentions.

Both British Prime Minister Theresa May and US President Donald Trump have demonstrated a clear bias in favour of Israel and little inclination to address Palestinian rights or the victimisation of Jordan.

Jordan’s policy has to find a critical path, under the current testing circumstances, which would defend the country and prevent any negative reaction from the US, the UK and Israel.

Jordan has the mixed blessing of being in a strategic geopolitical position.

Fires are blazing on its borders, which make it a place needed by all warring parties.

Such importance, if events intensify, would put Jordan and the warring parties in a dangerous zero-sum game.

Winning or appeasing one side would invoke animosity and even aggressive action against Jordan.

In order to dodge this difficult dilemma, Jordan must find a proper solution; this requires an acceptance of the rules of the game once a fair choice is made.

According to the Greek myth, Alcestis ended up marrying Admetus King of Pherae who managed to assemble the team of a wild boar and a lion. He only did that because Apollo and Heracles helped out.

The writer is a former Royal Court chief, deputy prime minister and member of Senate. He contributed this article to The Jordan Times.

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Well-considered and written article. Thank you for publishing.

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