Middle East Briefs

Parallel to the Center’s scholarly work, Middle East Briefs provides a brief analysis of a single issue at the top of the region’s political, social, or economic agenda. Targeted primarily at decision-makers and opinion leaders, the publication was launched in 2005.

Latest Brief

Saudi man waving Saudi and Turkish flagsJanuary 2020 – Israel and Jordan: A Peace in Ruins

Dror Zeevi

Middle East Brief 133 (Summary) — The peace treaty signed between Israel and Jordan twenty-five years ago, often referred to as the Wadi Araba Treaty, was meant to usher in an era of friendly relations and cooperation between the two countries, open the way for reconciliation between Israel and the wider Arab world, and place Jordan in a position to mediate a fair settlement between the Jewish state and the Palestinians. Today, little remains of those lofty promises and Israeli-Jordanian relations remain a "cold peace." In this Brief, Dror Zeevi explores the domestic, bilateral, and regional issues that contributed to this impasse. Zeevi highlights the unwillingness of the parties to follow through on cooperative projects meant to link Israel and Jordan economically, the role of violence in shaping public opinion toward cooperative endeavors, and how the rise of Iran has led the Israeli government to increasingly look toward Gulf Arab states instead of Jordan for regional partnerships. The Brief concludes by exploring how the treaty’s failure to deliver real peace dividends could impact future efforts by Israel to sign peace treaties with other Arab states.

Read Middle East Brief 133 (PDF)

Dror Zeevi, full professor in the Department of Middle East Studies at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev and was a visiting scholar at the Crown Center in 2006-2007.