Jordan Shares Much of the Blame for Its Rocky Relations with Israel

Last week, Benjamin Netanyahu canceled what was supposed to be a historic visit to the United Arab Emirates. The prime minister officially changed his plans because Jordan delayed granting permission to use its airspace for his flight, but there has also been speculation that other factors were at play. Nevertheless, the poor state of relations between Jerusalem and Amman is undeniable. While it has a variety of causes, Herb Keinon argues that Jordan’s King Abdullah bears a great deal of responsibility:

[I]t is Abdullah who has reportedly refused to take calls from the prime minister for four years now; it is Abdullah who insisted on the return of Naharayim and Tzofar, [two border villages leased to Israel in the 1994 peace treaty]; and it is Abdullah who has refused U.S. requests to extradite Ahlam Tamimi, one of the masterminds of the Sbarro restaurant suicide bombing in Jerusalem in 2001 that killed fifteen, including two American citizens, and wounded 122.

Most of all, it is Abdullah who has done next to nothing during his more than two decades on the throne to promote people-to-people ties with Israel. Sure, he wants Israeli security, intelligence, and water assistance, but he does nothing when Jordanian labor unions call for a boycott of Israel, and paint a picture of an Israeli flag on the floor of their headquarters in Amman to be used as a mat. The 1994 Israeli-Jordanian peace treaty never filtered down to the people of Jordan, and Abdullah bears much of the responsibility for that.

Read more at Jerusalem Post

More about: Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel diplomacy, Jordan, King Abdullah, Palestinian terror, United Arab Emirates

What Is the Biden Administration Thinking?

In the aftermath of the rescue of four Israeli hostages on Friday, John Podhoretz observes some “clarifying moments.” The third strikes me as the most important:

Clarifying Moment #3 came with the news that the Biden administration is still calling for negotiations leading to a ceasefire after, by my count, the seventh rejection of the same by Hamas since Bibi Netanyahu’s secret offer a couple of weeks ago. Secretary of State Blinken, a man who cannot say no, including when someone suggests it would be smart for him to play high-school guitar while Ukraine burns, will be back in the region for the eighth time to urge Hamas to accept the deal. Why is this clarifying? Because it now suggests, here and for all time, that the Biden team is stupid.

Supposedly the carrot the [White House] is dangling in the region is a tripartite security deal with Saudi Arabia and Israel. Which would, of course, be a good thing. But like the stupid people they are now proving to be, they seem not to understand the very thing that led the Saudis to view Israel as a potential ally more than a decade ago: the idea that Israel means business and does what it must to survive and built itself a tech sector the Saudis want to learn from. Allowing Hamas to survive, which is implicitly part of the big American deal, will not lead to normalization. The Saudis do not want an Iranian vassal state in Palestine. Their entire foreign-policy purpose is to counter Iran. I know that. You know that. Everybody in the world knows that. Even Tony Blinken’s guitar is gently weeping at his dangling a carrot to Israel and Saudi Arabia that neither wants, needs, nor will accept.

Read more at Commentary

More about: Antony Blinken, Gaza War 2023, Joseph Biden, Saudi Arabia, U.S.-Israel relationship