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Cablegate: Antinormalizers in Jordan Rally Against Geneva

This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.



E.O. 12958: N/A

REF: AMMAN 08122


1. (SBU) The unofficial Geneva accord -- particularly its
provisions dealing with the Palestinian right to return -- is
the latest cause celebre for antinormalizers in Jordan. The
Professional Associations Council in Jordan -- headed by a
prominent Muslim Brotherhood member -- is leading the charge
against the accord, organizing rallies and a petition
campaign that reportedly has gathered 10,000 signatures so
far. The group is sending the message that if, down the
road, Jordan's official support becomes more than merely
rhetorical, it is in for a public challenge. End Summary.

--------------------------------------------- -----
--------------------------------------------- -----

2. (U) Following up on strong public statements condemning
the accord after the much-publicized (and debated) ceremony
in Geneva on December 1 (reftel), the 14-member Professional
Associations Council (PAC) has made good on its pledge to
organize events opposing the accord. The PAC on December 14
sponsored a conference in al-Baq'aa refugee camp -- the
largest in Jordan -- which attracted more than 600 PAC
members, representatives of opposition parties, and activists
from across the political spectrum, according to press
reports. The participants issued a statement at the end of
the conference rejecting the initiative and emphasizing the
Palestinian refugees' right to return to their original
homeland. The statement also called for armed struggle
against the occupation, saying force is the only viable
option. "Those who signed the accord represent only
themselves and not the Palestinian people."

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3. (U) The statement added that the accord "compromises
Palestinian rights," and that all attempts at resettlement of
refugees and compensation are unacceptable. Many of the
participants also signed a petition rejecting the accord and
other attempts at "depriving Palestinians' of their just
claim to their homeland." The petition thus far has over
10,000 signatures, a PAC official said in a press interview.

4. (U) Activists attended a similar rally on December 13 at
the Professional Associations Complex, blasting the accord
and its authors, demanding that they be tried in public. The
rally, which also featured national Palestinian songs and
music, urged the Arab public to join in condemning the
initiative and to reject all settlement deals that aim at
"liquidating the Palestinian cause." "The right of our
people to return to their homeland is sacred and we will not
compromise or negotiate that right," PAC President and MB
member Wael Saqqa declared in an interview.


5. (SBU) Members of the 14-member PAC serve as the backbone
of the disparate antinormalization movement in Jordan, which
advocates terminating Jordan's peace treaty with Israel and
spans all levels of society -- from the refugee camps to
Jordan's lower house of parliament. The initiative has
provided the antinormalizers another reason to challenge the
government about its unpopular peace treaty with Israel. The
group also seems to be sending a message to the GOJ that it
is in for a public challenge if, down the road, Jordan's
official support for the initiative becomes more than merely

Visit Embassy Amman's classified web site at or access the site
through the State Department's SIPRNET home page.

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