Daily Israel Report

Jordan’s FM Rejects Recognizing Israel as Jewish State

Jordan’s Foreign Minister against recognizing Israel as a Jewish state, says Jordan is not an alternative home for Palestinian Arabs.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 2/3/2014, 4:45 AM

Jordan's Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh
Jordan's Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh
Reuters

Jordan’s Foreign Minister said Sunday that he was against recognizing Israel as a Jewish state, the Jordanian website Ammon News reports.

The minister, Nasser Judeh, also rejected the idea of Jordan being an alternative home for Palestinian Arabs.

Speaking during a parliament session which dealt with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s peace plan, Judeh reiterated that Jordan will not be an "alternative home for anybody."

Judeh described American efforts to push peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA) as a "serious attempt" to reach tangible results.

"Jordan is integrally involved in and has big role in the Palestinian-Israeli talks," he added, according to Ammon News.

Judeh stressed that Jordan is not absent from the peace negotiations and will not accept any solution that contradicts with the country’s interests and national security.

"Jordan will not negotiate on behalf of Palestinians regarding their envisioned state’s borders with Israel," Judeh added.

He reiterated Jordan’s stance which calls for the establishment of an independent Palestinian state along the pre-1967 borders with eastern Jerusalem as its capital. This, he said, is a top Jordanian national interest.

One of Jordanian King Abdullah II's closest advisors recently demanded a Jordanian presence in talks between Israel and the PA, explaining that “Jordan should join the negotiating table immediately - since it is bound to be the one paying the price of the Israeli and American positions."

King Abdullah and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu recently met in Amman, where they discussed the ongoing negotiations.

PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas also recently met with the Jordanian King and the two “exchanged views” about unifying Kerry's initiative.

One of the key points of contention in the talks has been the Jordan Valley.  The PA insists on full control of the area, along with all other land that was under Jordanian control from 1948 to 1967. Israeli experts have warned that the area is strategically critical.

Recent reports indicated that Kerry was pushing the sides to agree to a deal that involves a slow transition from IDF patrols over the region to PA forces, with an international presence. IDF drones would also be deployed over the area, as a means of gathering information about potential terrorist activity. Israel has reportedly rejected this idea, explaining that drones are not a suitable replacement for the presence of Israeli troops in the region.