Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu took part Monday morning in a Knesset meeting, organized by MK Meirav Michaeli (Labor) marking the 25th anniversary of Israel’s peace treaty with the Kingdom of Jordan.
During the gathering, Netanyahu argued that there is a direct link between a resolution to the Israel-Palestinian conflict, and the larger conflict between Israel and the Arab world.
“There are two paths to advance peace,” said Netanyahu. “If we solve the debate with the Palestinians, we can break through to the Arab world.”
Peace could be achieved in the opposite order, however, Netanyahu added.
“If we are able to achieve normalization with the Arab world, then the conflict with the Palestinians will be solved. I think that we need to do both.”
Netanyahu also discussed Israel’s relations with Jordan, following a string of critical comments by Jordanian leaders, including King Abdullah, and the termination of Israel’s lease over border enclaves.
“We are helping the Jordanian king, both overtly and covertly,” said Netanyahu. “There are complaints and comments from both sides, and they also claim that we’re undermining the foundations of the Al Aqsa Mosque [on the Temple Mount], and that can set off the Middle East.”
“The agitation in Jordan, which isn’t really related to us, and the Islam-ization there and in Egypt are very powerful forces.”
Despite the signing of peace treaties with Egypt and Jordan, Israel “never really achieved reconciliation with Jordan or Egypt, because of the Palestinian issue.”
Turning to the failure to achieve a final status agreement with the Palestinian Authority, Netanyahu said the Palestinian Arab population was too internally divided, as well as hostile towards Israel.
"Why isn't there peace with the Palestinians? I look at Abu Mazen (Mahmoud Abbas) and ask: 'What about you?' They aren't ready to accept us. Half of the [Palestinian] people back Hamas and want to annihilate us, and the other half don't want to fight with the first half, while itself suffering from internal conflicts."