US embassy cable - 02AMMAN3715

JORDAN: MEDIA REACTION ON IRAQ, OCCUPIED TERRITORIES

Identifier: 02AMMAN3715
Wikileaks: View 02AMMAN3715 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Embassy Amman
Created: 2002-07-08 14:04:00
Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
Tags: KMDR JO
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 AMMAN 003715 
 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR NEA/ARN, NEA/PA, NEA/AIA, INR/NESA, R/MR, 
I/GNEA, B/BXN, B/BRN, NEA/PPD 
USAID/ANE/MEA 
LONDON FOR GOLDRICH 
PARIS FOR O'FRIEL 
USCINCCENT/CCPA, USCENTCOM REAR MACDILL AFB FL 
NICOSIA FOR ILMG 
STATE PASS TO AID 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
 
TAGS: KMDR JO 
SUBJECT: JORDAN: MEDIA REACTION ON IRAQ, OCCUPIED 
TERRITORIES 
 
SUMMARY 
NEWS REPORTS TODAY CONCENTRATED ON TWO ITEMS: JORDAN'S 
DENIAL OF PRESS REPORTS THAT JORDANIAN TERRITORY WOULD 
BE USED TO LAUNCH AN ATTACK ON IRAQ, AND THE SACKING OF 
THE PNA'S CHIEF OF INTELLIGENCE IN THE WEST BANK. 
 
EDITORIAL WRITERS COMMENTED ON THE FAILED TALKS BETWEEN 
IRAQ AND THE UN, AND THE JORDANIAN GOVERNMENT'S 
DECISION TO FACILITATE THE PASSAGE OF PALESTINIANS 
COMING FROM THE WEST BANK.  SEMI-OFFICIAL INFLUENTIAL 
ARABIC DAILY AL-RAI'S COLUMNISTS ASKED IF THIS IS THE 
START OF THE TRANSFER, WHILE CENTER-LEFT, INFLUENTIAL 
ARABIC DAILY AL-DUSTOUR'S COLUMNISTS HIGHLIGHTED THE 
POSITIVE HUMANITARIAN CONSIDERATIONS INVOLVED. 
 
 
NEWS REPORTS 
 
JORDANIAN DAILIES ON JULY 8 WERE DOMINATED BY THE 
JORDANIAN MINISTER OF INFORMATION'S DENIAL OF PRESS 
REPORTS THAT JORDANIAN TERRITORIES WOULD BE USED AS A 
LAUNCHING GROUND FOR AN ATTACK AGAINST IRAQ, AND HIS 
ACCUSATION THAT THESE REPORTS ARE PART OF AN INSIDIOUS 
CAMPAIGN TO CAST DOUBT ON JORDAN'S NATIONALIST 
CREDENTIALS.  THE MINISTER OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS ALSO 
ADDED HIS ASSERTION THAT JORDAN RESPECTS IRAQ'S UNITY 
AND REFUSES THE USE OF VIOLENCE AGAINST THAT COUNTRY. 
 
REPORTS ALSO ADDRESSED THE SACKING OF THE DIRECTOR OF 
THE PALESTINIAN INTELLIGENCE SERVICE IN THE WEST BANK. 
SEMI-OFFICIAL INFLUENTIAL ARABIC DAILY AL-RAI REFERRED 
TO "CONFLICTING REPORTS ON THE DISMISSAL, WHILE OTHER 
DAILIES REPORTED THAT THE DISMISSAL HAS TAKEN PLACE, 
 
 
EDITORIAL COMMENTARIES 
 
-- THE TALKS AND THE POLITICAL FANTASIA 
PROMINENT JORDANIAN COLUMNIST TARIQ MASARWAH WROTE IN 
SEMI-OFFICIAL INFLUENTIAL ARABIC DAILY AL-RAI ON JULY 
8: "NO ONE SHOULD HAVE DELUDED HIMSELF INTO THINKING 
THAT A SUCCESSFUL CONCLUSION TO THE SABRI-ANAN TALKS 
WOULD HAVE OPENED THE ROAD TO A SETTLEMENT.  ANA'S TASK 
WAS TO ASK IRAQ FOR THE RETURN OF THE WEAPONS 
INSPECTORS, PERIOD.  SHOULD HE GO BEYOND THIS SCRIPT, 
HE REMEMBERS VERY WELL HIS PREDECESSOR WHO WAS SACKED 
BY WASHINGTON BECAUSE HE DISOBEYED INSTRUCTIONS AND 
PUBLISHED THE REPORT ON THE QANA MASSACRE IN KEEPING 
WITH THE SECURITY COUNCIL RESOLUTION. IRAQ'S PROBLEM IS 
WITH THE U.S. ONLY.  ARAB RELATIONS OR RELATIONS WITH 
THE GULF WILL NOT PLAY ANY ROLE IN LIFTING THE 
SANCTIONS, NOT IN PREVENTING THE AMERICAN AGGRESSION 
AGAINST THAT COUNTRY." 
 
-- HAS THE TRANSFER STARTED? 
PROMINENT COLUMNIST FAHED AL-FANEK WROTE IN SEMI- 
OFFICIAL INFLUENTIAL ARABIC DAILY AL-RAI ON JULY 8: "IN 
1948, JORDAN OPENED ITS BORDERS TO PALESTINIAN 
IMMIGRATION IN PREPARATION FOR ANNEXING THE WEST BANK. 
IN 1967, JORDAN DID THE SAME ON HUMANITARIAN GROUNDS, 
AND EACH TIME THIS ONLY SERVED TO EMPTY PALESTINIAN 
TERRITORIES OF THEIR POPULATION AND TEMPT ISRAEL TO 
ANNEX THIS TERRITORY.  EGYPT, BY CONTRAST, DID NOT ACT 
ON THE SAME HUMANITARIAN GROUNDS IN GAZA, WHICH IS NOW 
SO DENSELY POPULATED THAT ISRAEL CANNOT WAIT TO GET RID 
OF IT. IT IS NOT TRUE THAT THE NUMBER INCOMERS AND 
OUTGOERS ARE EQUAL, AN ASSERTION THAT ONLY AIMS TO DENY 
THE PROBLEM.  IF WE ARE KEEN TO KEEP THE WEST BANK 
PALESTINIAN, WE SHOULD START BY KEEPING JORDAN 
JORDANIAN." 
 
-- REGARDING THE  MINISTER OF INTERIOR'S STATEMENT ON 
PROCEDURES AT THE BRIDGE 
DAILY COLUMNIST YASSER ZA'ATREH WROTE IN CENTER-LEFT, 
INFLUENTIAL ARABIC DAILY AL-DUSTOUR ON JULY 8: "THIS IS 
A NORMAL SEASON WHEN MANY PEOPLE COME TO SEE THEIR 
RELATIONS, THEN RETURN HOME.  AS FOR THOSE WHO WISH TO 
ESCAPE, THEY PREFER A LESS BUSY MONTH TO GO TO ANY OF 
THE FOREIGN CONSULATES IN JERUSALEM TO GET AN EASY 
VISA.  THE MEASURES TAKEN BY THE MINISTRY OF INTERIOR 
WERE NECESSARY AND WE HOPE THAT THEY WILL RESOLVE THE 
SEASONAL PROBLEM.  WE ALSO ADD OUR ASSERTION THAT NO 
ONE MUST THINK OF THE PALESTINIAN PEOPLE AS A HERD OF 
SHEEP WHO CAN SIMPLY BE LOADED ONTO TRUCKS AND DUMPED 
ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE BORDER.;  DO YOU NOT REMEMBER 
THE HEROES OF MARJ AL-ZUHOUR?" 
GNEHM 

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