Israel Jordan Peace Treaty 1994 Research Paper

Peace is imperative and essential to the overall well-being of human beings. In a society where all peaceful conditions prevail, all activities occur in their proper form. Interrupting this atmosphere of peace directly affects the normal functioning of a society. Though peace is vital, it has regrettably eluded many nations for many years and has been hindered by conflicts, war and disagreements that have existed throughout human history. To bring an end to conflict and disagreements, warring nations have time and again been participants in peace processes which consist of agreements, meetings and negotiations (Bailliet and Larsen).Politicians participating in these meetings try to arrange a peaceful resolution between two countries or warring factions. One such process brought forth the Treaty of Peace between the State of Israel and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, commonly referred to as the Israel-Jordan Peace Treaty of 1994.

Significance of The Israel Jordan Peace Treaty 1994

The signing of the peace treaty between Israel and Jordan was responsible for the formalization of a de facto ceasefire that ended 46 years of war between the two countries. The main aim of the peace agreement was to achieve a just, comprehensive and lasting peace in the Middle East as per the United Nations Security Council’s resolutions 242 and 338 (Hahnemann 161) .The end of war was important in strengthening and maintaining peace based on equality, justice , freedom, and respect for the basic fundamental human rights thus promoting human dignity and overcoming psychological barriers. An end to conflict between the two countries would similarly reaffirm their faith in the principles of the United Nations Charter that recognizes their obligation and right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries.

For Israel, this treaty would be the second of its kind with an Arab neighbor and was therefore able to secure its extensive eastern frontier from future invasion from belligerents. The Israel-Jordan Peace Treaty of 1994 came close on the heels of the various Oslo agreements between them and the Palestinians, raising the possibility of new cordial relationships with the other Arab states around it (Herzog and Gazit). For Jordan, the peace process document was able to facilitate a reorientation of the kingdom that was a paradigm shift from the pro-Saddam camp. By so doing, Jordan was able to open up new sources of an urgently needed military and economic assistance that would come from the west. Jordan was able to cement its position in the list of the few pro-Western Middle Eastern states.

Close bilateral ties would result from the Israel Jordan Peace Treaty of 1994 and lead to progress in economic cooperation. After the signing of the treaty, Washington went forward to establish and incentivize Qualifying Industrial Zones. The QIZs were created in 1996 by the United States Congress to allow these goods that were produced in Jordan to eventually enter Israel, duty free (Susser 256). The only condition was that a certain percentage of content was to be from Israel or value added. Employment was to result from this agreement, and this came to reality when the U.S-Jordanian Free Trade Agreement came into effect between the 1996 and 2010. By the 2002, QIZ products accounted for 90% imports reaching the United States from Jordan.

 Participants and Involved Parties in The Israel-Jordan Peace Treaty 1994

The Israel-Jordan Peace Treaty of 1994 was between the state of Israel and the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.  The main participants in the signing of the treaty were the Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, the Jordanian Prime Minister Abdelsalam al-Majali, Jordan’s King Hussein, President Ezer Weizman of Israel, US Secretary of State Warren Christopher and President Bill Clinton of the United States who was the principal mediator(Migdal 2014). Other involved parties in the treaty included Foreign Minister Andrei V. Kozyrev of the Russian Federation and representatives from eight Muslim countries (Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco, Oman, Algeria, Qatar, Mauritania and Malaysia).

How And Where The Treaty Happened And Why The Time Was Ripe

During the summer of 1994, Jordanian and Israeli negotiation teams held open peace talks that culminated with the signing of the Washington Declaration on the lush White House lawn on July 25th .The declaration meant that the state of war had officially ended between Jordan and Israel, enabling them to embark on an expeditious peace process. The Israel-Jordan Peace Treaty of 26th October 1994 was signed at a desert outpost at Wadi Araba along the Isreali-Jordanian border. King Hussein of Jordan and the Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin formally made peace at this desert ceremony that was watched by about 5,000 guests and also relayed to the whole world on cable television (Mehler 51). The treaty was an indication that the two states were peace-seeking nations that sanctified, first and foremost, the lives of their human beings with no prejudice of gender, religion or race.

Under the agreement signed, the two countries were to establish full diplomatic relations and the exchange of ambassadors within one month in order to foster good relations between the two countries. It was necessary that these two countries sign this peace treaty to end the hostility that existed between them and ensure that there was lasting security for both states. The two states were to also to avoid any use of threats and force that would trigger hostilities while at the same time solving the problem of displaced persons and refugees who had come about as a result of the hostility between these two countries. The time was ripe for the signing of the peace treaty between Israel and the Hashemite kingdom of Jordan as this was the only way these two countries would quite their borders and maintain stability in the region.

 Key Successes and Failures Of This Process

Successes

The peace treaty was able to promote Israeli-Jordanian cooperation in various strategic realms such as water scarcity. The two countries have consistently cooperated on the allocation of water from the 1994 without any conflict arising. The cooperation that existed between these two countries culminated in a historic  agreement that stipulated that Israel would provide Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan’s capital with about 8-13 billion gallons of water annually, from the Sea of Galilee (Tucker 51).  Jordan would similarly provide the same amount of desalinated water from Aqaba to the Negev desert region of Israel. Such cooperation would be non-existent if the   Israel-Jordan Peace Treaty of 1994 was non-existent.

Once the treaty was signed, the United States provided both economic and military assistance to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. For instance, in the year 1993, economic support provided to Jordan was $35 million; $700 million was the figure in 2014. Similarly, the United States provided was at $9 million in Foreign Military Financing for the year 1993, as compared to $300 million in 2014 (Ehteshami and Murphy 717). Over the years, Washington has provided Jordan with fifty-eight F-16 fighter jets together with a state-of-the-art counter-terrorism facility (King Abdullah Special Operations Training Center) that was constructed between 2006-2997 by Army Corps of Engineers.

Additionally, the peace treaty was also responsible for international cooperation and agriculture between the two countries. An agreement on cooperation between Israel and Jordan was signed in 1995. Under the terms laid down in this agreement, the Israel’s Foreign Ministry’s Center for International Cooperation (MASHAV) would work with several ministries in Jordan for the promotion of socio-economic development of the citizens of both countries (Rodman 2016). The two countries have been able to embark on a joint enterprise to market agricultural produce with a progressive view to the development of new markets for agricultural produce coming from the eastern Jordan River Valley. The agricultural produce is grown with the help of Israeli technologies.

Tourism has also been promoted by the peace treaty that was signed between Israel and Jordan.125, 000 Israeli tourists visited the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan between 1996 and 1997. The official figure of Jordanian tourist visiting Israel, without including family visits, amounts to 50,000 annually (Buda 61).There has also been a surge in cooperation between tourism agencies in the two countries in marketing package tours for both Israel and Jordan. There is an agreement between the two countries in terms of cooperation which is aimed at increasing the number of tourists visiting the Holy Land.

Failures

            One major failure of the treaty is that it failed to conclusively deal with the controversy surrounding the Temple Mount. Jordanian officials often complain, correctly, to Israel about the fact that it has not protected Amman’s religious equities the shrines found in Jerusalem as stipulated in Article 9 of the peace treaty (Ciment 60). Israel started allowing the Palestinian authority to carry out actions of supplanting Jordanian officials in the 1990s. Most recently, the Knesset (parliament) in Israel held a debate over allowing Jews to pray on the temple mount, prompting the Jordanian Prime Minister to call for an immediate review of the treaty.

The treaty did not take into account the opinion of the Jordanian public. The treaty has been celebrated by Israeli politicians and civilians alike but it has not been popular among the Jordanian public. A poll conducted in 2011 found that 52% of Jordanians are of the opinion that their government should cancel the treaty (Looney 202). This is the main reason why the treaty has been periodically tested.  A rogue Jordanian army officer killed seven school girls of Israeli descent along the border. Relations also became strained in the summer of 1999 during which bilateral water talks broke down before reaching a compromise.

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