Political savvy, IAF style

الأحد 16 أيلول 2007

From Khalaf

Yesterday hundreds of people from the town of Mleih, south of Madaba, staged a protest against rising prices, corruption and falling standards of living. It is interesting to note that reports on this do not indicate the involvement of any political party in the organization or staging of this protest. Of course, this is typical.

So, what is the head of Jordan’s largest political party involved with these days? Well, he is busy halfheartedly denying saying that “those who live in […] marginalized regions are, with all due respect, people that are less knowledgeable and less educated, culturally and politically, thus they should not be the majority in the parliament.”

This statement has infuriated many Jordanians, largely because this is not true. Apparently, Bani Irshaid believes that only less knowledgeable people would refrain from voting for his backward looking party. His denial is mostly an attack on Al Rai, which reported the original interview published by Jordan Business in English. Why not attack Jordan Business? Because Al Rai is an easier target and because they probably realize that Jordan Business has a recording of the interview. In a pathetic play of words, he denies insulting Bedouins, which is true. He insulted people who live in marginalized areas.

But my question is simple. Who has more political acumen? People peacefully demonstrating for better living conditions in rural areas or politicians who turn their back on the needs of such people and accuse them of backwardness?