September 15, 2021 in a NYC hotel: Jordan's king hosts some of America's
most prominent Jewish leaders in an off-the-record gathering - again [Image Source]
First came the annual "King-Worship Gala". This is when the presidents of major US Jewish organizations are invited to an event centering on a speech by King Abdullah II of Jordan in a New York City hotel banquet room. And which they never fail to attend. As is traditional in these encounters, the sycophantic participants were instructed by the host and the officials who run his Washington embassy to hold secret every word uttered at the event. And to keep the event itself confidential.
Second, there was the extradition to the US of a terrorist from Syria - a Saudi-born Canadian citizen, Mohammed Khalifa. Now in FBI custody, he is charged with supplying material terrorism support via his English voice-overs of ISIS films and of being a combatant.
Meanwhile Ahlam Tamimi, self-confessed brutal mass-murderer of patrons in a bustling eatery - some of them Americans including our Malki - enjoys a life of celebrity and freedom.
The US State Department has acknowledged - but barely and very quietly - Jordan's refusal to extradite Tamimi in breach of a 1995 treaty that State itself says is valid. Senior officials assured us this past week - and as emphatically as always - that the unresolved extradition of Tamimi from her homeland, Jordan, remains as it has been for years a top priority.
Yesterday, in the week of the tenth anniversary of her release from Israeli prison in the lopsided Shalit Deal, an Arabic-language Facebook article showed a woman who looks somewhat like Tamimi being a guest of honor at a Jordanian girls school. The text that accompanies it mentions both Tamimi explicitly and the Shalit Deal in an adulatory way. [I am checking whether it was Tamimi herself who appeared and spoke and will update here when I have a clearer picture.]
The question now dogging Arnold and me is this: Will the dictator's embezzlement of his poor constituents' cash tarnish his stellar image? To put numbers on that, within 3 months of the pandemic's outbreak, the poverty rate in Jordan leapt from 15% to 26%. Unemployment rose five points, reaching 24.7% by the end of 2020.
|From Haaretz, October 19, 2011|
I find myself hoping at this point that some, at least, of the above penetrates the hearts and minds of the powers that be (they know who they are) who refuse to help us win justice for Malki and in many cases actively block the process.