Israel faces all-out war within 18 months if it does not come to terms with the Arab world and allow the establishment of a new Palestinian state with its capital in Jerusalem, according to Jordan’s King Abdullah II.
The Hashemite monarch also declared on America's Meet the Press television program Sunday that threats from Iran and Al Qaeda will fade away once Jerusalem is divided.
His position basically echoed the Palestinian Authority (PA) stand that its demands are a condition for peace and are not a matter for negotiation, despite diplomatic and media language about Israel and the PA each making concessions.
The king responded to virtually every question concerning the Middle East by pointing to Jerusalem. “In Arab and Muslim minds, the most emotional aspect is the Palestinian cause and that of Jerusalem. And from there leads all the other problems,” he argued.
When program host David Gregory asked if it’s not a “fantasy’ to think that the problem of Al Qaeda will disappear so easily, the Jordanian monarch answered, ”What -- what is Al Qaeda’s platform is -- is the plight of the Palestinians in Jerusalem under occupation.”
Gregory challenged him that the terrorist organization may not believe what it says, but King Abdullah II was unmoved. “You can’t really take them that seriously when the core issue, the major grievance in the Arab and Muslim world is solved,” he explained.
He followed the same track concerning Iran and “any crisis you want to talk about…. All roads lead back to Jerusalem.”
Any crisis you want to talk about…. All roads lead back to Jerusalem.
The king, who visited U.S. President Barack Obama during his visit to the United States, was equally emphatic and simplistic concerning the Iranian nuclear threat, which worries the Arab world as well as Israel.
Asked by Gregory what is the best way for the U.S. to persuade Iran to retreat from its nuclear program, King Abdullah II responded, "Solving the Israeli-Palestinian problem.” Gregory asked, “That’s it?” and the king explained, "That allows us to then solve the Israeli-Arab-Muslim problem.”
He continued, “Let me go back to saying I think that the challenge we have here in America is connecting the dots. If you have an issue of the threat that Iran poses to Israel, which is what Netanyahu was saying, the best way of solving that problem is solving the core issue, which is the Palestinian problem and that of Jerusalem.
“There’s more of an incentive for the Iranians to continue down that path when there’s an argument that they want to use in front of their people that Palestinians are under occupation.
The Jordanian monarch held out the chance for Israel to make peace with 57 countries that do not recognize Israel today. “Look, Israel, if you solve the Palestinian problem, if you allow us to solve the problems of Jerusalem, we all want to have peace with you.”
He warned that if Israel does not deal with the Arab demands over Jerusalem within the next 18 months, “there will be another conflict between Israel and another protagonist. He charged that outside interference, meaning the U.S., is a requirement to force a peace agreement.
“America is providing a new image of what and how things should be done. And I think that the world has a belief in the president, a lot of faith in what he has to say. Obviously the pressure on the president is to deliver,” he added.
So Israel has to decide, does it want to make a relationship with 57 nations or does it want to stay Fortress Israel?
On the subject of human rights and allegations that Jordan served as a proxy jailer for the U.S. and used brutal methods of interrogation, the king denied all charges. “I went straight back to my director of intelligence at the time and I said, ‘Is there any foundation to this?” King Abdullah II answered. “And he said, categorically, no. So I’d like to think that my people were telling me the truth.”