A sexual harassment complaint against a Jordanian politician is sparking controversy online
With a career that predates Jordanian King Abdallah's own rule, Judeh's presence is something of a legend in Jordanian politics. (AFP/File)
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Last week, Jordanian Arabic daily al-Ghad published an article claiming an American aid worker had filed a sexual harrassment complaint against a high-positioned figure in the Jordanian government.
Because his office is responsible for dealing with foreign organizations, Jordanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Nasser Judeh's name was quick to surface among social media conversations following the story's release, though al-Ghad never explicitly named him. The attention launched an uproar from Judeh, who took to social media alleging the newspaper had made false claims and spurred a controversy out of "rumors." On Saturday, he said he planned to press for further investigation into ah-Ghad's article.
اعزائي، البعض يرى أن لا داعي لطلبي التوضيح وقد جاء لو متأخراً.لكن أصرّيت على طلبي حتى نعرّي هذه المواقع ونكشفها على حقيقتها. #مصيرهم_القضاء— Nasser S. Judeh (@NasserJudeh) August 29, 2015
Translation: To my friends, while some might not see a need and this is coming late, I am insisting on an investigation to these papers (al-Ghad) and expose them for what they truly are.
By Sunday, the original article had been removed from al-Ghad's website and an apology had been issued. Media outlets outside Jordan have suggested the move was the result of pressure from Judeh's office.
This is a big deal because, politically speaking, 54-year-old Judeh has a presence that's nearly unmatched.
He's served as the foreign affairs minister since 2009, before that he served as Jordan's deputy prime minister. He's been around Jordanian politics since beforeJordanian King Abdullah II himself, serving in the royal court and the press office of Abdullah's father, King Hussein bin Talal.
So far we're still waiting for a follow up, neither an official statement from the female aid worker who filed the complaint nor from Judeh's office has shown up.
The article itself may have been removed, but it's not stopped Twitter users in the Hashemite Kingdom from bringing their own opinions to the table — even Judeh himself has spent the last few days retweeting his supporters. Have a look at some of the tweets below.
ما ضل غير يعملو group hug على اكاونت ناصر جوده— Sajedah Dmour (@SajedahDmour) August 28, 2015
Translation: i think people in Nasser Judeh account will do a group hug for him :-)
#ناصر_جوده يمكن الزلمه ما تحرش بس عرض خدماته اتحسبت عليه تحرش .. يلى منيح الي ما فيها ابتزاز.— Ghazi (@Ghazi_Albtoosh) August 29, 2015
Translation: I don't that he sexually harassed her, he might only have offered his services to her.
ناصر جودة .. معقول انتهى وقتك ؟— Ahmad Obeidat ✌ (@McLOVViINN) August 29, 2015
Translation: I think his (Judeh) time is over in the government.
ناصر جودة وزير الخارجية الاردني متهم بالتحرش جنسيا بالدبلوماسية الامريكية في #عمان! بصراحة نظرة متعمقة لملامح جودة تؤكد كلام الدبلوماسية!— Mohd Kheir Freihat (@Fraihat99) August 28, 2015
Translation: Nasser Judeh, the Jordanian minister of exterior, is accused of sexual harassment with an American diplomat, Honestly, a deep look into Nasser Judeh’s face confirm her accusations.
Translation: Nasser Judeh is very big with his ethics. I am sure he will not treat them the same way they did.
نجاحات وانجازات معالي ابو طارق وراء استهداف شخصه بطريقه مقززه لااخلاقيه تنم عن فراغ فكري @NasserJudeh— Ra'ad Al-Faouri (@raadalfaouri) August 28, 2015
Translation: Nasser Judeh’s success speaks of itself, they are the reason that he targeted in a very unhealthy way.
@NasserJudeh الشجرة المثمرة دائماً ترشق بالحجارة— Issa Gammoh (@IssaIGammoh) August 28, 2015
Translation: the big, fruitful tree is the tree they threw stones at.
Translation: A very honest and polite man, he has been a diplomat for so long and we've never heard such a rumor about him.
And from Judeh himself:
عندما تنشر صحيفة مثل الغد تعتقد بأنها محترمة خبر مبهم ينتج عنه اشاعات وأقاويل واتهامات وتجريح تجاه شخص فعليها مسؤولية كبيرة ان توضح. يا عيب— Nasser S. Judeh (@NasserJudeh) August 28, 2015
Translation: When a big journal like Al-ghad publishes an ambiguous article that result in big rumors and accusations towards someone, puts a big responsibility on it to clarify the truth to the public. How awful.