Jordan Crossing Over

King Abdullah II, of the Hashemite Kingdom of ...
King Abdullah II

From the Jerusalem Post:

Two weeks ago, Iran scored a massive victory. Jordan, the West’s most stable and loyal ally in the Arab world, began slouching towards the Iranian Gomorrah.

On December 12, Ahmadinejad’s chief of staff Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei met with Jordanian King Abdullah II in Amman and extended a formal invitation from Ahmadinejad for him to pay a state visit to Iran. Abdullah accepted. . . .

Particularly interesting is Mashaei’s comment, “If Islamic states stand united, no country will be threatened,” making it obvious that a lot of what is driving the diplomacy is a push against the West–or at least an attempt to scapegoat the West. We noted a couple of weeks ago that one of the big things to come out of the Wikileaks documents was confirmation that the Arabs feared a nuclear Iran far more than they worried about “the Zionist entity” building homes for Jews.

Jordan has throughout it’s history made a point of letting pragmatism rule over principle. For example, in 1948 Gulda Meir approached the King of Jordan as the infant country of Israel faced annihilation at the hands of the Muslim nations surrounding it, looking for his support. His response was that he had no particular problem with the Jewish state and didn’t wish the Jews ill–indeed, he personally hoped that Meir would survive and would come to him for succor when Israel was destroyed–he wasn’t about to go against the will of his Arab neighbors, nor would he even take the risk of offending them by not sending his own armies into the war.

That same Jordanian pragmatism–which is probably the biggest reason there has been relative peace between Jordan and Israel–is at play here:

[King] Abdullah was one of the first world leaders to sound the alarm on Iran. In 2004, Abdullah warned of a “Shi’ite crescent” extending from Iran to Iraq, through Syria to Lebanon. His words were well reported at the time. But his warning went unheeded.

In the intervening six years, reality has surpassed Abdullah’s worst fears. Not only Lebanon and Syria have fallen under Iranian control. Iraq, Turkey, Qatar, Gaza and increasingly Oman, Yemen and Afghanistan are also either willing or unwilling members of the axis.

By claiming to be acting in the interests of Islamic unity, Abdullah can build diplomatic relations and curry favor with Iran without putting himself in the position of jumping sides in the Sunni-Shi’a feud.

I don’t see this move as doing anything to head off the coming Sunni-Shi’a war. For one thing, a few diplomatic overtures aren’t going to undo centuries of hatred. For another, the Arab states aren’t going to give up their dominance of the region lightly. But most importantly, Scripture tells us that there will be a war between the Kings of the North and South lands from Israel (see here and here for previous remarks on these prophecies).

However, it is possible that Abdullah’s careful positioning of Jordan will ultimately keep his country free and neutral in the coming wars:

At the time of the end shall the king of the south contend with him; and the king of the north shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow and pass through. He shall enter also into the glorious land, and many countries shall be overthrown; but these shall be delivered out of his hand: Edom, and Moab, and the chief of the children of Ammon. (Dan. 11:40-41)

As always, the more we see about the reshaping of the world’s geopolitical landscape, the more we can see the prophetic Scriptures come into focus. Jordan is clearly a key player in the coming Order (though not, I believe, as the land of the Antichrist) and we need to keep an eye on the doings of this tiny country.

Shalom.

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