Gaza War Adds to Jordan King’s Struggles

Public Anger at Nearby War Fuels Anti-Monarch Rallies

by Jason Ditz, November 21, 2012

Rallies against Jordan’s Hashemite King Abdullah have become a growing problem in recent weeks, with last Friday’s rallies marking what some are calling a major threat to his continued reign.

A week-long war in the Gaza Strip may make things even worse for him, according to Jordanian officials who say public anger at the nearby war, which has spawned protests of its own across many Arab cities, may well add fuel to rallies that are mostly about opposition to the current regime.

Jordan has faced protests since early 2011 as part of the Arab Spring, with the government reacting harshly to anything deemed “insulting to the king,” in an attempt to keep the protests strictly focused on appointed politicians.

Far from working, the lingering anger at the harsh treatment of anti-royalist demonstrators has made the king very much the center of the debate, with protesters no longer content to simply ask for changes in government leadership, but wanting to re-examine the very nature of their regime.

King Abdullah has said to be among the loudest in pushing the Egyptian government to get a ceasefire in place, and while one finally is, an ugly week of fighting and a major civilian death toll in Gaza mean that the war is not going to be forgotten in the next few days, leaving another major Friday of protests expected.

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