[Video below.] A group of dancing Jews singing songs in Queen Alia International Airport arouse anger in Jordanian social media and the government.
The group of Israeli Breslover chassidim are being accused of carrying out a “ritual Talmudic dance” on Tuesday morning while waiting to board their plane in Queen Alia International Airport in Amman.
The circle dance, accompanied by guitar music and singing, has morphed into a social media controversy in Jordan, and was considered so offensive to Jordanians that it had to be denounced in the Jordanian parliament.
In the viral video, a group of eight men, identifiable as Breslovers by their attire, are singing Shlomo Carelbach’s Asher Bara and Od Yishama. They then sing Samcheim, which was first recorded by Mordechai ben David on his Double Album. Some Jordanian media misread the dance as a “ritual Talmudic dance” meant as a provocation.
One Jordanian tweeter, who according to his twitter profile is a doctor in the Health Ministry, wrote that: “He who was sitting in the airport and saw the dance and wasn’t provoked is a pig and more piglike then the Jews themselves.”
The editor-in-chief for the Hamas media outlet Siraj Media tweeted that the “airport dance” – the hashtag being used on social media in Arabic – “isn’t the problem, but rather the acceptance of Israel as a reality” is the issue.
According to The Jordanian Times, Jordanian MP’s discussed the “ritual dance” video during a Lower House session. MPs Yihya Saud, Bassam Btoush and Tarek Khoury reportedly criticized Amman’s “inaction” over the “provocative” dance performed by “Zionist Israelis” at the airport. The MPs argued that Jordanians would never be allowed to do such in act in Israel.
The Jordanian Interior Minister Hussein Majali sought to allay fears, saying that the Israelis’ dance at QAIA did not exceed five minutes, and that airport security immediately took the dancing Israelis to the plane they were taking.
In an article for Al Jazeera Arabic – in which the dance is referred to as a “ritual dance” – the management for QAIA presented a different picture from the press and the Jordanian MP’s who spoke about the incident. The Director of Media and Communication at the airport, Zahiya al-Na’asan, explained that “The video was very short and did not arouse anger to those present [at the time].”
She added that “the management of the airport did not receive a single complaint from any passenger about the incident that took place.” Na’asan also denied that the dance was “an expression of a Jewish religious ritual.”