Jordan unions blast senator over Israel

Jordan’s powerful professional unions are demanding the resignation of a lawmaker for inviting the Israeli ambassador to Parliament earlier this week. The 14 syndicates stated Thursday that Upper House of Parliament member Akel Biltaji must quit for meeting Israeli ambassador to Jordan Yacov Rosen inside the National Assembly building Monday.

The unions also asked Senate Speaker Zaid Rifai to launch an investigation and punish those responsible for facilitating such a meeting in Parliament.

Comprising more than 100,000 members, the unions have banned normalization with Israel following the signing of the unpopular 1994 Jordan-Israel peace treaty.

They demanded an apology from the senator and said they were “surprised by such a provocative act towards the sentiments of the Jordanian people by a member of the Senate.” Addressing Biltaji, the activists added, “If you insisted on holding this condemned meeting with a criminal enemy, you could have held it in your own house, not in the offices of the Assembly that belongs to the Jordanian people.”

Biltaji, who was a member of the peace delegation negotiating peace with Israel in the early 1990s, had said the Israeli ambassador came to Parliament because of his participation in a seminar organized by the European Union over tourism development.

Rosen, who was also a negotiator on the Israeli side, was the first Israeli ambassador to visit the Jordanian Parliament.

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