In his address at the 12th Annual Herzliya Conference on Tuesday, Prince El Hassan bin Talal of Jordan expressed pessimism regarding the prospects of peace between Israel and the Palestinian Authority.
The Prince, who emphasized the importance of regional cooperation in his remarks, said that today, conditions are not ripe for negotiations between Israel and the PA and the Arab world because there is no common vision.
He said that the PA’s perspective today is that isolating Israel is the way to reach achievements. He added that as long as more Israelis believe that it is impossible to achieve peace, more and more Arabs will conclude that peace with Israel is not worthwhile. He warned that this could lead to a rise in the power of extremists.
The Prince reminded of President Barack Obama’s goals to reduce the proliferation of nuclear weapons and prevent terrorists from getting their hands on weapons of mass destruction and said, “No one has an interest in a multi-nuclear Middle East. I do not need to tell the citizens of Israel about nightmares and sleepless nights, but I can remind them that across the border there are people like themselves with dreams and nightmares, and only through negotiations with those with who we are in conflict can we reach a dialogue.”
Addressing the Arab Spring, Prince Hassan quoted former U.S. Secretary of State, Henry Kissinger, who said that “Israel has no foreign policy, only domestic policy,” and said that this is also true for the Arabs. Unfortunately, the Prince said, at this time the Arabs are looking inward and the Arab Spring does not deal with any future regional cooperation.
Prince Hassan concluded by saying that if the shared desire to move forward together is not found soon, no advancement will be made. He then quoted, in Hebrew, the famous verse from the book of Kohelet (Ecclesiastes): “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven. A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up.”
Meanwhile on Wednesday, a spokesman for the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine terror group condemned the presence of Arab delegations at the Herzliya Conference.
“This is a new level in political normalization and this conference specifically has cultural dimensions which are embodied in the humiliating participation of some Arab and Palestinian political figures in this conference,” the spokesman, Marwan Abdul Al, complained.