Tuesday, October 08, 2019

08-Oct-19: Again: Jordan's inscrutable US relationship

The Jordanian government harbors and safeguards within its borders the Sbarro pizzeria bomber, Ahlam Tamimi, a Hamas jihad agent.

It has been doing this since at least March 2017, days after the US Department of Justice unveiled terrorism charges against her and announced that it had called on Jordan to extradite her under their 1995 treaty.

Since then, and despite repeated efforts by us - Frimet and Arnold Roth whose daughter Malki was murdered in the terror attack masterminded by Tamimi - the US government has not once stated publicly in any form or any language that it views Jordan's unstated failure to extradite as being in clear breach of the 1995 Extradition Treaty signed by the two countries.

(But there's this: In correspondence addressed to us specifically and said to be official and quotable, a spokesperson for the US government made clear that the US "continue to dispute the Jordanian government’s claim [namely] that the bilateral extradition treaty we signed in 1995 is null... as we exchanged instruments of ratification, bringing the treaty into force on July 29, 1995, and the treaty has not been terminated.")

From US law enforcement services, we have learned that they are ready to take Tamimi into custody. That's been the case since March 2017 at least ["14-Mar-17: Sbarro massacre mastermind is now formally charged and extradition is sought"].

The problem, and it's a stunning one given how dependent Jordan is on its American allies, Jordan won't allow it.

We have written polite and carefully drafted letters to a variety of senior officials in the Department of Justice, to officials in the State Department, to the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, to a variety of US diplomats posted in the Middle East.

Not one of these has produced a satisfactory response, no matter how generously "satisfactory" is defined.

Image Source: Jordan Times, a newspaper controlled by
the Jordanian government. It blocks us on Twitter. So does
Jordan's ambassador to Washington.
Jordan continues, despite the outrageous finger-in-the-American-eye, to be treated by the United States as if nothing had happened. Our objections, as the parents of a child, a US citizen, murdered in the Sbarro massacre, are for all practical purposes ignored.

The government-controlled Jordan Times (a newspaper that blocks us on Twitter) has just produced the next chapter in this ongoing process of US self-debasement.
King receives US congressional delegation
Meeting focuses on Jordanian-US cooperation, strategic partnership, latest regional developments
Jordan Times | October 6, 2019
AMMAN — His Majesty King Abdullah, accompanied by HRH Crown Prince Hussein, at Al Husseiniya Palace on Sunday, received a US congressional delegation headed by US House of Representatives member Jason Crow.
The meeting, attended by HRH Prince Feisal, focused on Jordanian-US cooperation and strategic partnership, in addition to the latest regional developments, according to a Royal Court statement.
King Abdullah expressed Jordan's appreciation for the support provided by the United States in development and defence, emphasising the important role of Congress in this regard, the statement said.
Discussing the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, His Majesty stressed the need to step up international efforts to end the conflict based on the two-state solution, which guarantees the establishment of an independent Palestinian state on the June 4, 1967 lines, with East Jerusalem as its capital.
The King also stressed the need to de-escalate and resolve regional crises through dialogue.
Discussing the Syrian crisis, His Majesty called for a political solution that preserves Syria's territorial integrity, the unity of its people, and the voluntary, safe return of refugees, underscoring the importance of maintaining stability, especially in southern Syria.
The meeting also covered regional and international efforts to counter terrorism within a holistic approach.
For their part, the US lawmakers highlighted the deep-rooted US-Jordan relations, commending Jordan’s role, under the leadership of His Majesty, in achieving peace and stability in the Middle East.
Adviser to His Majesty for Communication and Coordination Bisher Al Khasawneh and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Maj. Gen. Yousef Huneiti attended the meeting.
Also on Sunday, Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi discussed with the US delegation regional developments, with a focus on the Palestinian cause and the challenges facing the two-state solution, the Syrian crisis and the war against terror.
Safadi highlighted the deep Amman-Washington relations and expressed appreciation for the US’ support to the Kingdom, according to a ministry statement.
Members of the delegation lauded King Abdullah’s role and his efforts to achieve regional security and stability reiterating continued support to Jordan as a strategic partner to the US, according to the statement.
We're speechless.

UPDATE October 21, 2019 Another high-level US Congressional delegation has gone to Jordan to pay homage to the king ["19-Oct-19: House Speaker Pelosi led an official visit today to the chief protector of our child's killer"]. And once again, there's not a word about any US official or representative even raising, let alone tackling in a meaningful way, the issue of Jordan harboring a fugitive from US justice.

UPDATE December 16, 2019  There's been another delegation from Washington paying puzzling homage to Jordan's king in his royal palace. This time, the Congressman's office expressed real desire to discuss and explain and listen and so on. But it turns out the delegation, led by chairman of the House Armed Forces Rep. Adam Smith, actually doesn't. We say what we experienced in this post: "16-Dec-19: Like talking to the wall"

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