The daily beast
The removal of a prince from the Jordanian monarchy is a master class on eliminating dissent
Getty The palace intrigue that rocked Jordan took a mysterious turn on Monday when the former heir to the throne, who claims to be under house arrest after being accused of plotting a coup against his half-brother king, promised to “escalate”
; the situation – just to have the royal family later issued a statement suggesting he agreed. In a voice recording released Monday, the defiant Prince Hamza bin Hussein said he would “disobey” government orders to remain silent and isolated – the most confrontational demonstration of dissent Jordan has seen in recent years. But by evening, the situation in Jordan had become even worse. The Royal Jordanian Court has issued a letter allegedly from Hamza in which he sounds remorseful: “I place myself in the hands of His Majesty the King … I will remain committed to the constitution of the expensive Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan,” the Ruler wrote in it. of Dubai convicts his runaway wife, Princess Haya, on Instagram – in a poem This was the latest confusing twist in a drama that began on Saturday when The Washington Post reported that Hamza, along with about 20 other senior Jordanian officials, had been arrested for conspiracy to overthrow the seated monarch – Hamza’s half-brother – King Abdullah II. Senior intelligence officials and the palace had told the Post that the alleged plot had been developed and backed by foreign entities threatening the kingdom’s stability and security. Initially, palace officials denied reports that Hamza’s movement was restricted. But then Hamza blew up the royal family’s ten-year golden rule – to keep fighting behind closed doors – by recording and sending a video to the BBC explaining what happened. In it, he describes a visit by a senior military official who ordered him not to leave his house or communicate with anyone outside his family. “It may be the last time I can communicate,” said the 41-year-old prince, who claims to have been placed under house arrest. “I’ve talked to people and tried to stay in touch with people in the hope that they realize that there are members of this family who still love this country … obviously it’s a crime worthy of isolation, threats and now broken.” In the video, the prince denied being part of a larger conspiracy with foreign relations, but outlined Jordan’s “government system” as “overwhelmed by corruption, nepotism and mismanagement.” “It has reached a point where no one can speak or express an opinion about anything without being harassed, arrested, harassed and threatened,” he said, adding that his telephone and internet lines had been cut off. “I ask all Jordanians to remember that I have always tried to serve them in the best way with the limited resources I have, and that I will always do so.” This was not the first sign of tension between Hamza and the others. of the royal family. Hamza was appointed heir to the throne in 1999, making him the next in line for the throne – but in 2004 the king transferred the title to his eldest son, 26-year-old Prince Hussein. In the Arab Spring demonstrations in Jordan a decade ago, protesters called for Hamza to take the place of King Abdullah as a seated monarch – the very proposal that threw some people in prison. Hamza’s video prompted the government to give up fine things and make an unconditional accusation against the former heir to the throne. They associate him with one of Jordan’s most notoriously corrupt public figures, suggest he is backed by an Israeli operative, and link his name to all the words needed to give up the support he may have received from the general public. . At a press conference on Sunday, Jordan’s deputy prime minister announced that the activities of the prince and his associates had reached the threshold of “encouraging rebellion”. He said the prince had conspired in coordination with Basem Awadala, a highly unpopular Jordanian government official who was an adviser to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and whose reputation was mired in corruption scandals. The Jordanian State News Agency also reported that a former Mossad intelligence officer worked with the prince to take his family out of the country. “Avadala’s arrest was a planned distraction and necessary,” Waterloo professor Besma Momani, a senior fellow at the Center for Innovation in International Governance, told The Daily Beast. “His name makes up everything you would think about corruption in Jordan. But there is another purposeful purpose to include Awadala in this story: This is a way to signal that there is a foreign dimension, “Momani said, citing Saudi Arabia’s ties to Awadala. The Mossad agent in question, Roy Shaposhnik, issued a statement to offer his personal friend Hamza a place to stay, “he has never served in any service in any intelligence branch in Israel or in any other country on the subject,” although “bold reporting” states The dumbest kind of traitor: Israeli spies aren’t exactly happy about Jonathan Pollard’s release Hamza has publicly called for government corruption in the past and met with tribal leaders known to be his in the weeks leading up to the crackdown. While the veracity and extent of this alleged plot remain unclear, many in Jordan question the carefully crafted account provided by the government, which appears to portray the prince as a a foreign-backed wire that has long planned to oust the king and claims the government thwarted the plot with what it calls a “zero hour” sign. In a tweet on Sunday, his American-born mother, Queen Noor, described the allegations against Hamza as “knit slander.” Momani explained that despite the “usual tropes” used by the government to direct the prince’s narrative in a certain direction, “I think the majority are the silent majority. These are the ones who just don’t want unrest. They don’t want disintegration.” Some Jordanians are extremely hostile to all kinds of unrest, especially given Jordan’s troubled pandemic economy. However, restrictions on freedom of speech and freedom of the press in Jordan are hard to deny – as most Jordanians first heard about the incident through social platforms or Western media, rather than their local news agencies, and the United States largely turned a blind eye to stifling the word in the kingdom, viewing Jordan – which borders Israel, Iraq and Syria – as a key strategic ally and all the risks to its security as a potential destabilizing for the whole region. spokesman Ned Price was adamant about where the United States was in the royal clash, writing on Saturday that “King Abdullah is a key partner of the United States and he has our full support.” Saudi Arabia, the UAE and a dozen other allies have issued similar statements. Hamza’s future is unclear, but a statement issued by the Royal Court on Monday is far from the relentless challenge he showed over the weekend. He also came after Hamza offered a warning for the “official line” issued by the kingdom. “It is clear to the world,” he said in a recent video statement, “that what you see and hear regarding the official line , is not a reflection of the reality of the place. “Read more in The Daily Beast. Get our best stories in your inbox every day. Register now! Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside delves into the stories that matter to you. Find out more.