When the Jordanian and Israeli governments signed their peace treaty in 1994, both aimed to create a real normalization, unlike the cold peace between Israel and Egypt. Despite their joint goal of "good neighborly relations," the reality has been at best mixed, as well described in this scholarly but accessible account by Stewart, a geography professor at Georgia State University. She looks at the three parts of the relationship critical for its success—security, economics, and people-to-people relations.
Security cooperation has been generally good despite the strains caused by treaty-challenging Israeli actions, especially the botched assassination attempt against a Palestinian extremist in Jordan. Because security is by far the most important issue for Israelis, they have generally been pleased by the peace agreement.
In contrast, Jordanians have been much less satisfied by the agreement. For many Jordanians, the economic aspects have been a disappointment, in no small part because of inflated expectations. Stewart devotes separate chapters to the three main economic relationships, namely, water, tourism, and trade. Water cooperation has generally worked, despite the severe 1999 drought, but has not been well appreciated in water-short Jordan. After an initial boom, tourism has suffered from the region's security problems after the 2000 violence in the West Bank and the post-2003 Iraq-related violence, which has in recent years spilled over into Jordan. To be sure, Jordan's trade has benefited from the extraordinary access to the U.S. market provided to products from "qualified industrial zones" (QIZs) in Jordan, which make use of Israeli inputs, but Jordan has consistently down-played the Israeli angle of the QIZs from which more than a billion dollars a year are exported to the United States.
People-to-people relations have not developed much, largely because a strong anti-normalization movement in Jordan has vigorously worked to prevent regular contact with Israelis.
The concluding chapter draws the sobering conclusion that the relationship is unlikely to change in character.