Israel’s National Security Advisor Tzachi Hanegbi said on Monday that he spoke to Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi, following the uproar over Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich's speech in Paris, in which he declared that "there is no such thing as a Palestinian people".
“I assured him of the commitment the Government of Israel has to uphold the peace treaty between our two countries which has strengthened the stability and the security of our region for nearly 30 years and that we are committed to the entire territorial integrity of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan,” said Hanegbi.
“Additionally, I relayed to FM Safadi the important contributions made by King Abdullah in ensuring the successes of both the meetings in Aqaba and Sharm El Sheikh, which included participation of Jordan, Egypt, the United States, the PA and Israel,” he added.
Hanegbi’s conversation with Safadi came after the Jordanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that it had summoned the Israeli Ambassador in Jordan for a reprimand following Smotrich’s speech.
Speaking at a tribute event in memory of Likud activist Jacques Kupfer, who died of cancer two years ago, Smotrich said, "Jacques' truth must be told with all our might and without confusion, he said there is no such thing as Palestinians - because there is no such thing as a Palestinian people. We need to tell the truth without bowing to the lies and distortions of history, and without succumbing to the hypocrisy of BDS and the pro-Palestinian organizations."
Smotrich claimed in his remarks that he himself is Palestinian. "My grandfather, who was the 13th generation in Jerusalem, is the real Palestinian. My grandmother, who was born in Metula more than 100 years ago to a family of pioneers, is Palestinian."
A Jordanian official claimed that the summoning of the Ambassador for the reprimand was made following "the racist and extreme statements of the Israeli Finance Minister and his use of the map of Israel that includes Jordan and the Palestinian territories."
Earlier, the Jordanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs strongly condemned Smotrich, calling his speech “reckless incitement and a violation of international norms and the Jordanian Peace Treaty.”
The statement condemned “the racist and extremist inciting statements made by the extremist Israeli minister against the brotherly Palestinian people, their right to exist, and their historical rights in their independent and sovereign state on the Palestinian national soil.”
Israel’s Foreign Ministry later issued a clarification which said, “Israel is committed to the 1994 peace agreement with Jordan. There has been no change in the position of the State of Israel, which recognizes the territorial integrity of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.”