King Abdullah II of Jordan used some harsh words against Israel yesterday:
“Jordan and Palestine’s future (prospects) are stronger than Israel today and that it is the Israeli who is afraid now. When I was in the United States, an Israeli intellectual talked to me and said that what is going on in the Arab world is in the best interest of Israel; but I answered him and said: on the contrary; your situation today is harder than ever before.
“We support the Palestinian people right to a Palestinian state; our political stance did not and will not change and that the alternative homeland issue must not be part of the discussion.”
Most of the headlines in Israeli and international media went with the “Jordan will never be Palestine” or “Israel in tough situation” headlines. I would have chosen something else, which for some reason is a part of the King’s speech that was not translated in most of the news sites I skimmed through, and gave me the chills:
“We have an army and we have fought Israel more than once. We are calm.”
Talk about “tough”. A few days ago I wrote about the lethal cocktail in the region that could lead to war. Turkey, Egypt and Israel have all acted irrationally over the past few weeks, and the U.S. and EU have been watching silently from afar, except for the usual flurry of diplomatic activity that ensues behind the scenes during these kinds of outbursts. Hopefully someone will understand soon that this situation is already out of control.
And now, even small and virtually powerless Jordan feels it is time to use war rhetoric.
UPDATE: MK Arieh Eldad (Yisrael Beitenu Ichud Leumi) said today: “In my meeting in Washington with members of Congress I found people willing to listen to the ‘Jordan is Palestine’ plan. Abdullah knows very well there is no other justification for Jordan’s existence, and he is terrified of the day when the masses in Amman will do to him what they did to Mubarak and Qadaffi. He’s better off declaring today that Jordan is the national Palestinian state or requesting diplomatic asylum in London as long as still has control.”