Saturday, April 25, 2009

Jordan: Israel must choose integration, or isolation

King Abdullah urges US to fully back Palestinian statehood, says Jewish state can 'integrate into the region ... or remain fortress Israel, isolated, holding itself and the entire region hostage to continued confrontation'

Israel News

Israel must make a choice between integrating into the region or remaining isolated, Jordan's King Abdullah II said Friday as he urged the US to fully back Palestinian statehood. "Israel now has to make its choice," the king said in a speech in Washington.

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The Jewish state can "integrate into the region ... or to remain fortress Israel, isolated, holding itself and the entire region hostage to continued confrontation."

Referring to the 2002 Arab Peace Initiative, which defined Arab conditions for the creation of a Palestinian state, the king said Israel has been presented with a plan that offers it "a place in its neighborhood."

Washington's commitment to Palestinian statehood must be "unambiguous in deeds as well as words," the king added.

For example, he urged the United States to pressure Israel to stop "illegal settlement building" and moves to "force out" Jerusalem's Arab, Muslim and Christian population.

"Israel must know that attempting to delay this (two-state solution) will be disastrous for its own future" as well as for the Palestinians, he added.

"Every country, and perhaps the world, sees the United States as the key to peace in the Middle East ... tackling the issue head on is imperative.

"We do not have time to engage in another open-ended process ... every missed opportunity has alienated people," he added.

US President Barack Obama has invited Arab and Israeli leaders to Washington next month and called for "good faith" gestures from all sides, including Israel, as he signaled he intends to make the peace process a priority.

"Now is the time for the United States to lead (and make sure) no more time is wasted," said Abdullah. "A moment of truth is here for all who claim to seek peace and justice. Through its own focus and through its own resolve the United States will set the standard."

"I cannot emphasize enough how important US partnership is to help Israel accept the opening the Arab world has offered," he said.

Helping US with 'heavy lifting'

The king on Wednesday said it was time for Arab and Muslim countries to help the United States do "the heavy lifting" needed to forge an elusive peace between Israel and the Palestinians after more than five decades of enmity.

"I hope that you will see in 2009 a group of Arab and Muslim countries doing as much as we can to help the United States and allies in the peace process and also deal with a lot of regional challenges that we have," the king told Democratic US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, one day after delivering the same message at the White House.

With talks between the US-backed Palestinian Authority and the Islamist Hamas movement set to resume shortly in Egypt, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Thursday expressed doubt rival Palestinian factions will clinch a deal on a unity government, but wanted to keep options open if they do.

"There doesn't seem to be (a deal) in store, but we don't want to bind our hands in the event that such an agreement is reached," Clinton told the House appropriations committee.

The chief US diplomat promised Washington would not deal with any unity government that failed to meet international principles for peace such as halting violence against Israel and recognizing Israel's right to exist.


In recent weeks, Obama has made clear to Israel he believes that the path to peace lies in already agreed frameworks made in the stalled roadmap plan for Israeli-Palestinian peace and the Annapolis agreement.

In an address to Turkey's parliament, Obama said "the United States strongly supports the goal of two states, Israel and Palestine, living side by side in peace and security."

Reuters contributed to this report

Comment: First, Israel is already here, integration into the region? Second, Israel does not have to do anything the Arab countries want, if we had agreed to their demands we would not exist-so cut out the nonsense rhetoric. Third, creating an Arab coalition to persuade Israel to adopt a 2-state solution is code for we want to ramp up the pressure to force you to do something we want, to do something that you know is detrimental to your survival but we don't care. Fourth, Jordan really wants a 2-state solution to take the pressure off of themselves-their population is 60% "Palestinian" already-this is the same country who kicked out the "Palestinians years ago-remember Prince what your father did? Of course, we anticipated this-perhaps we should start demonstrating how a 2-state solution would impact Jordan negatively-hmmm-?

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