Source: Associated Press
By MOHAMMED DARAGHMEH
RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) — A fictional caper about an antiquities heist set in an ancient Jordanian city has stirred widespread outrage over the film’s portrayal of historical Jewish ties to Jordan, shining a light on the tenuous peace with neighboring Israel and prompting the government to suspend the movie’s production.
Based on a book of the same name, the movie, “Jaber,” follows a Jordanian boy who uncovers a stone in the rose-colored, rock-hewn city of Petra with a Hebrew inscription on it. He sets off to sell it to the highest bidder, but interested parties in Israel catch wind of the find, dispatching a Russian organized crime group to pursue the boy and retrieve the stone at any cost.
Opponents of the film say merely discussing a historical Jewish presence in Jordan could open the door to Israeli territorial claims to the Hashemite Kingdom. They point to Israel’s claims over the West Bank and east Jerusalem — war-won territories sought by the Palestinians — which Israel says are rooted in millennia-old Jewish ties, backed up by archaeological finds.
While such a scenario is unlikely in Jordan, the concerns reflect the hostility Jordanians feel toward Israel despite the two countries’ 1994 peace agreement.