TV Report: Jordanian Public Supports Minister Who Walked over Israeli Flag
On December 31, 2018, Al-Arabiya TV (Saudi Arabia) aired a report about a Jordanian minister who walked on the picture of an Israeli flag that is painted at the entrance to the trade union complex in Amman while on her way to a meeting. The minister in question in Jumana Ghunaimat, who is Jordan's Minster of State for Media Affairs and Communication, and the spokesperson for the Jordanian government. The report explained that Israel condemned the act and issued official complaints with the Jordanian government, and it said that reactions in Jordan have been supportive of the minister. Mazen Rashidat, who is the head of the Jordanian Bar Association and who was interviewed for the report, said that the flag will remain painted on the floor of the building's entrance as long as the Zionist occupation continues to exist. Khaled Balawi, a Jordanian citizen who was also interviewed, said: "We reject the existence of this plundering and occupying state, and the least we can do to express this is trample on this flag."
Reporter: Because of these pictures, Jordanian-Israeli relations are heading towards another crisis. Jordanian Minister of State for Media Affairs and Communications, Jumana Ghunaimat, who also serves as the government’s spokesperson, walked over a picture of the Israeli flag at the entrance of the trade union complex [in Amman], while she was on her way to a government meeting. This evoked unprecedented protest on the part of the Israelis. Israel condemned the incident in a statement by its Foreign Ministry, and it summoned the Jordanian ambassador in order to issue a complaint. The [Israeli] embassy in Amman issued a similar complaint. However, reactions in Jordan were supportive of the minister.
Mazen Rashidat: The painting of the [Israeli] flag at the entrance of the trade union complex has been there since the signing of the Wadi Araba Treat [in 1994]. It has not been removed, and it will remain there as long as the occupying Zionist entity exists.
Reporter: Despite the peace treaty between Jordan and Israel, the Jordanian public strongly rejects the Israeli actions against the Palestinians.
Khaled Balawi: By Allah, it is the flag of the occupying state, and we reject the occupation in its entirety. We express this rejection with every means at our disposal, including [trampling] on the flag. We reject the existence of this plundering and occupying state, and the least we can do to express this is trample on this flag.
Reporter: This new development is causing the ties between the two countries to become more tense and complex, especially in light of the escalation on the ground between the Palestinians and Israel.