Trade unions in Jordan plan to host a conference in Amman next week of anti-Israel activists from across the Middle East and North Africa to discuss efforts to confront Israel’s “attempts to establish ties with Arab countries”.
“Dozens of activists will discuss the latest efforts to fight normalisation with Israel including measures taken by civil society groups to raise awareness on the dangers of normalising with Israel,” said Abdullah Obeidat, president of the Jordan Engineers Association, which is hosting the conference.
Union leader called on to resign after meeting with Iranian envoy earlier this year
Obeidat recently came under political fire from his union opponents after hosting the Iranian Ambassador in the offices of the Jordanian engineers union.
The dissidents within the JEA claim that the meeting in November this year, between the JEA leaders and the Iranian envoy was held secretly with a press blackout ordered.
However despite their claim the meeting was ’illegal, unprofessional, and violates JEA laws” their call for Abdullah Obeidat to resign immediately has been ignored.
Fight Israel policy of ‘infiltrating’ Arab world
Next week’s anti-Israel meeting will be held under the title, “Resisting normalisation is an Arab priority”, and aims to unify Arabs around the region to “fight the Israeli policy of infiltrating markets and social institutions”.
“We need to unify efforts to resist normalisation with Israel at a time when Israeli extremists are holding a conference to promote agendas that oppose the creation of a Palestinian state,” Obeidat told The Jordan Times over the phone on Wednesday.
Obeidat accused Israel of trying to “empty Palestine of the Palestinians and rewrite history according to its own agendas”.
Unions in Jordan the leading anti-Israel voice
Jordan’s union movement has been the leading anti-Israel voice in that country since Jordan signed the 1994 Wadi Araba Peace Treaty with Israel.
According to Badi Rayah, president of the unions’Professional Associations Anti-normalisation Committee, civil society institutions need to “stay up to date” with the latest normalisation trends.
“Israel must know that all Arabs are against it. Our role as activists is to highlight the importance of fighting Israel and its agenda in the region,” he added.
Union members reprimanded for contacting Israelis
In Jordan union members are reprimanded for making contact with Israelis and face losing membership in their associations if they are found to have any ties with Israel.
Expulsion from union can stop you working
Under the law, association membership is mandatory for practicing doctors, engineers, lawyers, nurses and pharmacists, among other professions – and failure to be a union member can stop you working in your field.