A firebrand Jordanian member of parliament recently said he supports terror attacks against Israel and believes the peace accord between his country and the Jewish state should be abolished.
Rabble-rouser Yahya Al-Saud, who is chairman of the Palestine Committee of the Jordanian Parliament, made headlines in Israel earlier this year when he challenged provocative Likud MK Oren Hazan to meet him at the Israeli-Jordanian border for a fistfight. Although Hazan tried to keep the rendezvous, he turned back at the last moment, at the request of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Saud’s recent remarks were made during an interview that was posted on the Palestinian media Donia Al-Watan website, on November 9, 2017. An English translation of the Arabic interview was provided by the Middle East Media Research Institute, a Washington-based media monitoring group.
After noting that the Jordanian people see Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and his Fatah party as the sole representatives of the Palestinian people, Saud went on to say that “the resistance must continue to be a strategic option for all the Arabs.”
Saud explained he meant “both armed and peaceful” resistance. When pressed for clarification, he included suicide bombings against Israelis.
“If the purpose of these martyrdom operations in Israel is to defend Palestine and its people then, yes, I support these operations,” he said, adhering to the Palestinian practice of referring to those who die in attacks on Israelis — whether civilian or military targets — as martyrs.
The peace accord between Israel and Jordan, signed in 1994, “has brought nothing but disasters to the Jordanian people,” he continued. “I’m in favor of abrogating that accord. I’ve called several times to expel the Israeli ambassador from Amman, to recall our ambassador from Tel Aviv, and to tear up the peace accord.”
Probed about the position of women in society and the need for women to participate in a democratic system, Saud said women are “unsuited” for politics and that he would never accept a woman as the speaker of the Jordanian parliament.
“Boundaries should be set for women,” he said. “That’s my opinion, don’t ask me why.”
Jordanian democracy is “lame,” he continued. He also charged laws are made to satisfy Western countries in return for pay-offs in foreign aid.
“Our laws come from the West in exchange for foreign aid,” he asserted.
In August, amid tensions between the Israel and Jordan, Saud urged troublemaker Israeli MK Hazan to meet him at the Allenby Bridge border crossing for a fistfight, according to an article on the Jordanian website JO24.net at the time.
Hazan accepted the challenge and both set off for the confrontation.
But with social media anticipation at a frenzy, minutes before the two were set to clash on the bridge, Hazan said that he was pulling out of the rendezvous, at the request of Netanyahu.
Tensions between Jerusalem and Amman were at the time strained, after an Israeli guard at the embassy in Amman killed two Jordanians, having been attacked by one of them. Netanyahu was photographed hugging the guard upon his return home, angering many Jordanians, and King Abdullah said the incident would have diplomatic repercussions.
On July 23, with Jordan and Israel at loggerheads over the shooting, Hazan berated the Hashemite Kingdom on Twitter. “It seems our neighbors to the east, Jordan, whom we douse with water and whose asses we protect day and night, need a little reeducation,” he wrote.
That tweet was apparently what prompted Saud to issue the challenge.
Saud has a history of violent behavior. In 2013, he was involved in an argument with another lawmaker, Qusay al-Damissi. In a video of the incident, Saud can be seen physically attacking his opponent and also appears to be brandishing a knife. Later, another MP, Talal al-Sharif, opened fire on Damissi outside the parliament building.