Jordanian newspaper features front-page Hebrew article predicting Israel’s collapse

As IDF advances against Hamas in Gaza, prominent daily Al-Ghad addresses Israelis in their mother tongue, heralds ‘new world order’ that will rise once Israel is ‘vanquished’

Gianluca Pacchiani is the Arab affairs reporter for The Times of Israel

Front page of the printed version of the Jordanian daily "Al-Ghad," featuring an article in Hebrew titled "What will be after Israel?," November 15, 2023 (cropped from Al-Ghad website)
Front page of the printed version of the Jordanian daily "Al-Ghad," featuring an article in Hebrew titled "What will be after Israel?," November 15, 2023 (cropped from Al-Ghad website)

Wednesday’s printed version of the Jordanian newspaper Al-Ghad featured a front-page editorial in Hebrew titled “What will happen after Israel?”

The article, written in clearly non-native but intelligible Hebrew followed by an Arabic translation, began by saying that “the whole world is busy discussing what will happen after Hamas” in Gaza, but “nobody is looking at the other side and asking: what will happen after Israel?”

The paper, often described as the first independent daily in Jordan in a country with significant limitations to press freedom, has been publishing virulent propaganda against Israel. On the same day it ran the editorial, it also printed an article falsely accusing Israel of harvesting the organs and skins of Palestinian martyrs. It also printed antisemitically tinged caricatures depicting Israeli leaders as bloodthirsty.

The argument put forward by the paper in its Hebrew editorial is that the Jewish state will collapse under the pressure of its internal political, economic, social and military problems.

On the political level, Al-Ghad described the Israeli government as “extremist,” “unbalanced,” and “unable to make the right decisions,” adding that “its only strategy is to commit severe war crimes against civilians.”

On the economic level, the newspaper falsely claimed that the war has cost the Israeli economy $50 billion. That figure, an estimate put forward by the Israeli paper Calcalist in early November, referred to the total projected cost of a war that would last eight to 12 months.

A caricature published by Jordanian daily Al-Ghad depicting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu drinking the blood of children in the Gaza Strip, by Hamzeh Hajjaj (shared on November 8, 2023 on Al-Ghad’s Instagram page)

Al-Ghad also erroneously stated that the Israeli budget deficit has increased by over 400% because of the war effort, whereas in fact it rose to 2.6 percent of GDP, or $6 billion, in October from 1.5% in the previous month.

On the social level, the article argued that Israel sits on two “powder kegs,” the West Bank settlers and the families of the hostages in Gaza, either one of which could blow up at any time. Furthermore, it said the probable release of thousands of Hamas prisoners from Israeli jails in return for the liberation of Israeli hostages will represent a further step in the “defeat of Israel.”

On the diplomatic front, Al-Ghad claimed that Jerusalem is losing the international support it had been given following the brutal Hamas onslaught on October 7 — which the paper consistently referred to as the “Palestinian resistance,” with no hint of condemnation for the terror group’s massacre of 1,200 Israelis, mostly civilians.

The Jordanian paper also falsely claimed that the IDF is not “advancing on the ground” nor “achieving its targets.” The Israeli army has gained control of much of northern Gaza, uncovered and dismantled dozens of Hamas tunnels, and captured several Hamas strongholds as well as the Hamas parliament and other governmental sites, prompting Defense Minister Yoav Gallant to declare on Monday that “Hamas has lost control in the Gaza Strip.”

Al-Ghad posited that the current situation should convince the peoples of the region that Israel is not an “inevitable fate,” but rather a “cardboard settlement” that has not been able to withstand the “national resistance [i.e., Hamas], which carries the religious issue at its heart.”

The paper further predicted that Hamas’s victory in Gaza will “open the way for a new world order” that will replace the “ailing system” currently in place, led by the US. Israel’s failure to “police the region,” it argued, will dash its hopes to normalize relations with Arab countries, and will put an end to American influence over the Middle East.

While Israel’s relations with some Arab and Muslim countries have been strained by the war, with Jordan and Turkey recalling their ambassadors, the United Arab Emirates recently indicated that it plans to maintain ties with Jerusalem despite the war, and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said that normalization talks with Israel will resume after the fighting ends.

Troops from the IDF’s Golani Brigade pose for a photo inside Gaza’s parliament building in Gaza City, after capturing the site, on November 13, 2023. (Social media; used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)

Palestinian terror groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad, as well as the Lebanese Hezbollah, have repeatedly stated that one of the goals of the October 7 assault on Israel was to dissuade Arab and Muslim countries from seeking normalization with Israel.

Jordan, whose population is believed to be at least 50 percent Palestinian, has repeatedly condemned the Israeli war on Hamas in Gaza. Upon recalling Amman’s ambassador to Israel on November 1, Foreign Minister Ayman Al-Safadi said the step was “an expression of Jordan’s position of rejection and condemnation of the raging Israeli war on Gaza, which is killing innocent people and causing an unprecedented humanitarian catastrophe,” according to a statement released by Jordan’s Foreign Ministry.

Jordan also asked Israel’s Foreign Ministry to tell Ambassador Rogel Rachman, who was temporarily called back to Israel because of security threats in Jordan, not to return to Amman.

Jordan was the second Arab state to make peace with Israel in 1994, after Egypt in 1979. Thousands of protesters have called for Amman to rescind its peace treaty with Israel because of the war against Hamas, and some even attempted to break into the Israeli embassy in the Jordanian capital.

In addition, Jordan’s Queen Rania claimed in an interview that there is no verifiable evidence that Hamas terrorists beheaded children during their October 7 massacre in southern Israel, despite various materials available on the atrocities.

In a significant escalation of rhetoric, Jordanian Prime Minister Bisher Khasawneh warned on November 6 that any attempt to “displace” Palestinians from Gaza or the West Bank would be “a red line” and Jordan will consider it “a declaration of war.”

“There will be no displacement, no new Nakba, God willing, no resettlement, and no alternative homeland,” he says in a statement.

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