Jordan's King Abdullah
Jordan's King AbdullahFlash 90

The National Council of Young Israel (NCYI) on Tuesday called on King Abdullah II of Jordan to distance himself from terrorism after a Jordanian Member of Parliament praised the terrorist who murdered two Israelis on Sunday.

During a session of Parliament, MP Khalil Atiyeh saluted 18-year-old Omar Abu Laila, who fatally stabbed 19-year-old Sgt. Gal Keidan and shot and killed Rabbi Ahiad Ettinger, a father of 12. In addition, MP Atiyeh referred to Amir Weissbrod, Israel’s ambassador to Jordan, as “a descendant of monkeys and pigs” during a debate in which Jordanian lawmakers urged the expulsion of Ambassador Weissbrod in light of the tension that exists relative to the Temple Mount.

“It is disgraceful and distasteful that as Israel and the greater Jewish community mourn the tragic loss of Sgt. Gal Keidan and Rabbi Ahiad Ettinger, a Jordanian lawmaker stood up and hailed the terrorist who murdered them in cold blood solely because they were Jewish,” said NCYI President Farley Weiss.

“Glorifying terrorism is indefensible, and Mr. Atiyeh’s twisted tribute to a terrorist on the floor of the Jordanian Parliament is despicable. We call upon King Abdullah to publicly condemn Mr. Atiyeh’s heinous remarks about the recent terrorist attack and to promptly denounce the lawmaker’s anti-Semitic comments about the Israeli ambassador. King Abdullah must take immediate steps to distance himself from the anti-Semitism and terrorist propaganda being spewed in the Jordanian Parliament and honor the memories of the two individuals who were brutally murdered this weekend by censuring Mr. Atiyeh,” he added.

Jordan is one of only two Arab countries, along with Egypt, to have a peace deal with Israel. However, the country’s parliament, which is made up mostly of Islamists, remains anti-Israel and its members have more than once called to annul the peace treaty.

In 2017, the Jordanian parliament approved a proposal to establish a committee to reevaluate all formal ties with Israel, including the peace agreement.

Monday’s incident is not the first time that Jordanian parliamentarians have saluted terrorists who murdered Israelis.

In the summer of 2017, Jordanian lawmakers voiced support for three terrorists who murdered two Israeli Border Police officers near the Temple Mount, praising them as “martyrs”.