Daily Israel Report

Israel and US to Lose in UN Showdown, Warns King Abdullah

Jordan’s King Abdullah warns that Israel is isolating itself and American influence is waning in the wake of the current UN showdown.
By Tzvi Ben Gedalyahu
First Publish: 9/20/2011, 10:53 AM

Mahmoud Abbas, King Abdullah II
Mahmoud Abbas, King Abdullah II
Flash 90

Jordan’s King Abdullah II warned on Tuesday that that Israel is isolating itself and American influence is waning in the wake of the showdown in the United Nations over the Arab world’s motion to gain unilateral recognition of the Palestinian Authority.

"I think my best way to describe my view toward Israel is my increasing frustration because they're sticking their head in the sand and pretending that there's not a problem,” the king told The Wall Street Journal.

“I think all three parties have climbed up the tree and don't know how to get down,” he added. “If we can't get the Israelis and Palestinians together in this next couple of days, then what signal is that for the future process, in other words, we're normally back to the drawing board,” according to the monarch.

He focused criticism on Israel, which he said “has got to decide whether it continues to want to be a fortress mentality or whether they want to treat us as equals and be part of the neighborhood.”

As for the United States’ expected veto of a motion for the Palestinian Authority in the United Nations Security Council, King Abdullah said, “Well if the U.S. vetoes it's going to have … you know … the Middle East will have a very negative view towards the United States that's part of the problem and again the aspirations of people are being spoken in much louder voices. And so again I think Israel is becoming more and more isolated.”

Concerning Jordanian-Israeli relations, he commented, “I think Israel is at a very critical juncture today where denying that they have nothing to do with what's going on in the area denying that the Palestinian issue does not involve them in the region is going to make it much more difficult for them to engage with us in the future.”

The interview did not mention Israeli nationalists' suggestions that Jordan become the official state for the Palestinian Authority, a proposal he has bitterly rejected.

 He also said the Arab Spring uprisings are ”a good thing” but that “there's going to be a lot of blood, sweat and tears and the hope that all of us that are working together is to make sure that there is a lot less blood and ideally a lot less sweat and tears.”

The uprisings have not swept through Jordan, but several protests for more governmental representation for Bedouin and Palestinians have forced the king to promise reforms are on the way.

“Each country is going on its own pace,” he said. “I think that we're way ahead of the curve because we have a plan, and the job of the leaders is to make sure that government and parliament stick to those benchmarks so that we have a new Jordan as quickly as possible.”