Jordanian MP Yahya Al-Saud, chairman of the Palestine Committee of the Jordanian Parliament, said that he was in favor of "both armed and peaceful" resistance and supported "martyrdom bombing operations" in Israel. Al-Saud was visiting Ramallah as part of a delegation of Jordanian parliamentarians. The interview, which was posted on the Palestinian Donia Al-Watan website on November 9, was held following the delegation's meeting with Palestinian PM Rami Hamdallah and prior to its meeting with President Abbas. In the interview, Al-Saud further said that women were unsuited for politics and that he would not accept a female parliamentary speaker, and he threatened to end the interview when the interviewer said that he would allow his wife to go out with her girlfriends at night.
Yahya Al-Saud: "We in Jordan believe that President Abu Mazen [Mahmoud Abbas] is the president of the State of Palestine, and that the Fatah movement is the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people. Having said that, I do support the option of the resistance. The resistance must continue to be a strategic option for all the Arabs, because I do not believe that..."
Interviewer: "What kind of resistance?"
Yahya Al-Saud: "The resistance that fights the occupation."
Interviewer: "Armed or peaceful resistance?"
Yahya Al-Saud: "Both armed and peaceful, sir."
Interviewer: "Do you support martyrdom bombing operations in Israel?"
Yahya Al-Saud: "Sir, if the purpose of these martyrdom operations in Israel is to defend Palestine and its people, then yes, I support these operations.
"French and American clothes are not for me or you. Boundaries should be set for women."
Interviewer: "In what sense?"
Yahya Al-Saud: "In everything. Women need boundaries."
Interviewer: "Are women unsuited for politics?"
Yahya Al-Saud: "In my view, they are unsuited."
Yahya Al-Saud: That's my opinion. Don't ask me why.
"If you give women a quota at my expense, it is unacceptable."
Interviewer: "But the participation of women in politics is a mainstay of democracy."
Yahya Al-Saud: "Sir, that's your opinion. Our democracy... Please let me finish... Our democracy is lame. Do you really believe that there is democracy in the Third World? Who are we kidding?
"In the Third World, you amend one law and get 50 million [in foreign aid], you amend another law and get 20 million. Our laws come from the West in exchange for aid. So if women want to become politicians... Well, I don't know what's left for me to say."
Interviewer: "You are being undemocratic."
Yahya Al-Saud: "That's not it. All I'm saying is that a woman can work as a teacher or a nurse, raise her children, be a homemaker, take care of her husband... My dear brother, I am a lawyer by profession, and I can tell you that the number of divorces is on the rise in Palestine, in Jordan, and in the Arab countries in general. The divorce rate is very high. There are reasons for this. It didn't just happen. I am not saying that a woman must shut herself up in her home, but there are limits to everything. They got us a new law about domestic violence. According to this law, one must not act or say... Let me ask you something: Would you allow your wife to stay at a coffee shop until 1 AM before coming home? Answer me!"
Interviewer: "Well, it has happened. She was out with her girlfriends..."
Yahya Al-Saud: "So you'd allow this?"
Yahya Al-Saud: "You can end the interview right now, as far as I'm concerned."
Interviewer: "If she's with girlfriends or relatives..."
Yahya Al-Saud: "I asked you a question..."
Interviewer: "If she's in a [decent] place..."
Yahya Al-Saud: "I didn't ask about the place. I'm asking whether you'd allow her to return at 1 AM."
Interviewer: "No, I wouldn’t. But if she's with her girlfriends or her aunts..."
Yahya Al-Saud: "Brother, I asked you a specific question. Would you allow your wife to go out without a head cover?"
Interviewer: "No, God forbid."
Yahya Al-Saud: "Fine, so we have the same ideas. It's just that you use diplomatic language to get closer to the women.
"Our Lord says: 'Men are guardians of women because Allah has made some excel over the other.' The Prophet Muhammad said: 'If I could order a human to bow down before another, I would order the wife to bow down before her husband.'"
Interviewer: "If a woman becomes the speaker of the Jordanian parliament, would you resign from your position as an MP?"
Yahya Al-Saud: "I wouldn't accept such a thing, and I don't think the Jordanian people would either."
Interviewer: "You would not accept it?"
Yahya Al-Saud: "No, I wouldn't.
"The [Israel-Jordan peace] accord has brought nothing but disasters to the Jordanian people. 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."