In blow to BDS, Jordan authorizes Israel’s participation in national investment fund

In an extraordinary move, the Jordanian parliament, known for making anti-Israeli resolutions, has authorized Israeli companies to take part in governmental projects run by the Jordanian Investment Fund.

The Jordanian MPs gathered on Sunday to pass the Jordanian Investment Fund Law for 2016. The law relates to the companies that are authorized to participate in national projects administered by the fund.

In the parliament’s morning session, a majority of MPs voted against the participation of Israeli companies in the fund, thereby banning them from taking part in the fund’s bids.

However, in the evening session, the parliament voted again on a new version of the law that authorized Israeli firms to participate in the investment fund. This amended version won a majority of votes, prompting the parliament’s about-face on the controversial resolution.

Ironically, one of the ardent supporters of the new resolution was a member of the Parliamentary Committee for Palestine, who announced proudly that she “raised her two hands in support for the inclusion of Israeli companies in the investment fund.”

The parliament’s move aroused mayhem on Jordanian social media networks, where local anti-Israel activists launched a campaign against the resolution under the hashtag “A Jordanian opposing Israeli investments.”

One of the activists suggested: “Apparently, we must forgo the “people’s representatives” and move to direct democracy.” Another Jordanian citizen, named Khaled al-Ansari wrote: “We can call these investments “occupation checks.”

Lamis Andoni, a well-known Jordanian author, commented on the resolution on her Facebook page: “While Western researchers, academics and artists are participating in the BDS movement, the Jordanian parliament renounces its decision not to allow Israeli participation in the Jordanian Investment Fund.

“It happens on the week when we commemorate our independence day, while people are talking about national sovereignty,” Adoni added.

The political activists and MPs who voted against the amended resolution took photos with Ahmad Dawabshe, the 5-year old Palestinian who survived the Duma arson attack that took place in July 2015, who attended the parliamentary session.