President Cyril Ramaphosa has described the US middle east plan as another apartheid. The US plan proposes to allow Israel to annex all its illegal settlements as well as the strategic Jordan Valley. Israel has imposed a ban on the export of Palestinian farm produce via Jordan. In an escalating trade war, this will make it impossible for farmers in the occupied West Bank to connect with markets around the world. The Palestinians have described the export ban as a dangerous action. Palestine said the Israeli move is part of a dispute that began in October when their authorities ordered a halt to the import of calves from ranches in Israel. They said at the time they wanted to decrease their dependency on the Israeli market. But Israel saw the move as a breach of a trade agreement. Matshidiso Motsoeneng is a researcher at the Afro-Middle East Centre, a think tank based in Johannesburg. She joins us via Skype for more on this.
By Afro-Middle East Centre
For the third time in only six years, parliamentary elections were held in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan on 23 January. Again, there was little suspense about the possible outcome. Cosmetic reforms were implemented in the past two years, but had not persuaded the public or the political opposition that meaningful change was on the way. The parliament was again composed of independent candidates, rather than political blocs which could seriously oppose the will of King Abdullah II. The elections did not signify a break with the past and Jordan’s ‘democracy’ remains as shallow and the king’s path to reform as slow and hollow as ever.