Qatari owned Al-Quds al-Arabi daily not happy to be banned in Jordan
Translated in today’s Daily Briefing (for a free trial email firstname.lastname@example.org):
On December 7, the Qatari-owned Al-Quds al-Arabi daily carried the following lead editorial: “We at Al-Quds al-Arabi were surprised by the Jordanian authorities’ adoption of measures to stop the printing of its paper edition, which is issued from the capital Amman, through a decision delivered to the printing house. Al-Quds al-Arabi appreciates Jordan and its positions, and respects its command and institutions, and has always made sure to take into account its interests and the Arab ones in general, by carrying objective opinions and accurate reports, and avoiding details that might provoke speculations or obstruct security and stability in a country such as Jordan, whose surrounding is aflame. But some in Amman decided to disregard this positivity by Al-Quds al-Arabi, and revive the mentality that specializes in creating enemies, attacking the high work ethics, and hindering the printing and publication liberties.
“In exchange, they allowed the emergence and spread of a large network of poor and lousy media, from which the Jordanians are suffering and the Royal Palace is complaining before anyone else. Unlike what is being claimed by the Jordanian command, the ceiling of media liberties in the Kingdom has dropped, and this last decision is the biggest proof of that, while the prohibition of the printing of papers points to a traditional mentality, which implies that the government in Amman does not trust itself and actually has something to hide. We remember the late King Al-Hussein ibn Talal, when he gathered the people in 1997, after Al-Quds al-Arabi in particular was prevented from entering the country and its offices were closed. Back then, he delivered a famous speech in which he said: “We trust ourselves and have nothing to hide, and the policy of monitoring the press must stop immediately.”
“And the authorities at the time succumbed to the Royal orders… Unfortunately, Jordan was and still is one of the few countries in the world where there is an administration specializing in monitoring and banning publications, even if the authorities have given it a different name or disguised it. And it is the same administration that wrote directly to the printing house and secretly decided, in a way that is unbefitting of Jordan, to prevent the publication of Al-Quds al-Arabi without contacting the paper and its representatives… The King of Jordan is touring the world to attract whatever “investments” he can, while presenting to those who visit his country two characteristics it has: Political and security stability, and the freedom of the press. And the side thwarting the King’s plans and countering his inclinations and projects is a group of bureaucrats, not the major papers or the professional and sensible writers…
“Hence, Jordan’s problem resides in this “schizophrenia” and divergence, which is becoming institutionalized by the day, between the reformatory royal discourse and the behavior of the executive bodies in all the sectors and on all arenas. Jordan’s problem cannot be limited to a longstanding and professional newspaper such as Al-Quds al-Arabi, and cannot be solved by preventing the publication of newspapers and the disregarding of this schizophrenia… The paper edition of Al-Quds al-Arabi will not reach its readers and family in the brotherly Jordan following this illegal decision, but it will remain with them in its electronic edition. And it will return in its printed form as a foreign newspaper, while this unjustified measure will not affect its position, principles and work ethics, especially when it comes to the preservation of the interests of Jordan and the Jordanians.”