A 2013 accord signed between the neighbors to save the dying Dead Sea by constructing a canal to transport water from the Red Sea is another example of rare strategic cooperation in a region often marred by tribal politics and existential threats.

However, growing internal opposition and calls against normalization of ties with the Jewish state are threatening to put the kibosh on the energy pact and the conduit.

Yet one country in the region is noticeably absent from the tribal map — Jordan.

Despite its proximity to Jerusalem and references to biblical Israelite settlement within its borders, no Jewish community in recent memory ever resided within the borders of the Hashemite Kingdom.

I turned silently back to the view, soaking in the smell of incense and fuel exhaust, my Jewish identity and Israeli passport neatly hidden in my pocket.

Keeping one hand on the wheel, he turned to me almost accusingly: “The Israelis, you know – the Jews – the Yahud, kicked us out.

For starters, open academic discourse on Jews residing in an Arab state has been a virtual taboo in the Middle East outside of Israel since the establishment of the Jewish state in 1948.

Jews are almost always synonymous with Israelis or Zionists, and therefore the subject has largely been overlooked or approached with hostility or suspicion.

AMMAN – Skilfully dodging mid-afternoon traffic, Tariq, my Palestinian taxi driver raced past a blur of mosques and hotels, blackened by the exhaust of the endless flow of trucks, cars and buses squeezing through the narrow streets of downtown Amman.

Two rusty keys dangled from the rear-view mirror – not a decoration, but real keys that belonged to his grandfather and once opened a door somewhere in Jaffa, beside modern-day Tel Aviv.

Today, the Jews of Jordan — a trickle of American aid workers in Amman who hide their identities, alongside Israeli officials at the local embassy — may be the first Jews to live on the east bank of the Jordan river for centuries.

Jews are prohibited under Jordanian law from owning property or acquiring citizenship.

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