Ignores Arab terror &
New York — King Abdullah II of Jordan yesterday addressed a joint session of Congress in which he essentially blamed Israel for the absence of peace in the Middle East and failed to mention, let alone condemn, Arab anti-Semitism and terror and incitement against Israel. Prior to leaving for Washington, D.C., Abdullah blamed Israel even more starkly, stating that “The main responsibility (for achieving peace) lies with Israel, which must choose either to remain a prisoner of the mentality of ‘Israel the fortress’ or to live in peace and stability with its neighbors” (Washington Post, March 7).
Statements by Abdullah in his speech to Congress:
- “The wellspring of regional division, the source of resentment and frustration far beyond, is the denial of justice and peace in Palestine … This is the core issue. And this core issue is not only producing severe consequences for our region, it is producing severe consequences for our world.”
- “Sixty years of Palestinian dispossession, 40 years under occupation, a stop- and-go peace process — all this has left a bitter legacy of disappointment and despair on all sides”
- “Palestinians and Israelis are not the only victims …We saw the violence ricochet into destruction in Lebanon last summer. And people around the world have been the victims of terrorists and extremists who use the grievance of this conflict to legitimize and encourage acts of violence. We must work together to restore peace, hope and opportunity to the Palestinian people, and in so doing we will begin a process of bringing peace” to the region.”
- “[Muslims] want to know how it is that ordinary Palestinians are still without rights and without a country. They ask whether the West really means what it says about equality and respect and universal justice.”
- “Nothing can achieve that [legacy of justice] more effectively, nothing can assert America’s moral vision more clearly, nothing can reach and teach the world’s youth more directly, than your leadership in a peace process that delivers results not next year, not in five years, but this year.”
- “The commitment we made in the [Saudi] Arab Peace Initiative is real.” [ This so-called peace initiative demands Israel’s return to the indefensible pre-1967 borders, its acceptance of Palestinian Arab refugees and their millions of descendants and the relinquishing of half of Jerusalem including the Temple Mount and other Jewish holy places].
Some reactions to Abdullah’s speech:
- House Majority leader, Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD): “Disappointed” (New York Sun, March 8).
- Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Rep. Tom Lantos (D-CA): “profoundly disappointing … a missed opportunity” (New York Sun, March 8); [The speech was filed with] “platitudes … [it] is sort of unrealistic at a time when the dominant element in the Palestinian area does not recognize the existence of Israel” (New York Times, March 8).
- Rep. Steve Israel (D-NY): “I was troubled to hear the suggestion that the fact that Sunni and Shia are murdering each other is somehow the fault of the Israelis. This implication is a dangerous one and completely unacceptable” (New York Sun, March 8).
- New York Sun editorial: ” If one were to distill 110% wrongheadedness and then distill it again a second, third, and fourth time, one couldn’t come up with a speech as purely wrongheaded as the one that the Hashemite king, Abdullah II, delivered yesterday to a joint meeting of Congress. The king’s aim amounted to blaming Israel for all the world’s problems … Balderdash is the kindest way to describe [his speech]. It doesn’t track with the actions of the violent terrorists, and it doesn’t track with their statements. If the terrorists are upset about Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians, why are they setting off bombs in Indonesia and Spain and Saudi Arabia and Iraq, which are hardly in the vanguard of support for Israel?” (New York Sun, March 8).
ZOA National President Morton A. Klein said, “King Abdullah’s speech to Congress, despite the use of some nice-sounding phrases about America and one reference to Israel having a place in the region was actually an exercise in playing to Arab and Muslim hostility against both Israel and the United States. Abdullah basically blamed the Israelis for all the ills of the Middle East by falsely claiming that the Israeli-Palestinian Arab conflict is the source of all regional and world problems. Really? What has this conflict got to do with Syria’s desire to dominate Lebanon? What has this got to do with the Sunni and Shiite warfare in Iraq? What has this to do with Islamists murdering tens of thousands in Algeria over the last 15 years? What has this to do with the genocide committee by Arab Muslims against non-Muslims in Sudan? What did this have to do with the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq war and the 1990 Iraqi invasion of Kuwait? One doesn’t need to read between the lines too carefully to see that he is blaming Israel for Palestinian Arab statelessness rather than decades of Arab/Muslim hostility to the very existence of Israel as a Jewish state. In fact, Palestinian Arab statelessness is the direct consequence of Palestinian Arabs rejecting statehood three times in the last century (1937, 1947, 2000) in favor of continuing to wage war on Israel and deny its legitimacy in an attempt to destroy it.
“It is nonsense and dishonest for Abdullah to speak of 60 years of Palestinian dispossession and 40 years of statelessness. Palestinian Arabs fled to make way for Arab armies promising to erase the new state of Israel in 1948. Those who didn’t flee became Israeli citizens with full rights. In contrast, Jews who lived in areas seized by Jordan and other Arab armies were completely driven out and their homes and communities were simply destroyed. In Jordan, it is illegal for Jews to reside there, yet Abdullah has the gall of speaking about the denial of justice by Israel. Additionally, why is Abdullah speaking of only 40 years of Palestinian Arab statelessness? Because his own kingdom seized most of the territories earmarked by the UN for a Palestinian state in 1947. From 1948 to 1967, Jordan controlled all of Judea, Samaria and eastern Jerusalem. Did Jordan create a Palestinian Arab state?
“He is also demanding greater US involvement in the Arab war against Israel as if the U.S. is not strongly involved already and as if American involvement is the issue rather than the fact that the Palestinian Authority (PA) refuses to end terrorism, jail and arrest terrorists and end the incitement to hatred and murder in the PA-controlled media, mosques, schools and youth camps that feeds terrorism. Clearly, Abdullah’s interest in even greater U.S. involvement clearly means to him more pressure on Israel to make still more territorial concessions to Palestinian Arabs.
“Once again, instead of honesty and taking responsibility for Arab attitudes and conduct, Abdullah seeks to deflect the responsibility for the absence of peace throughout the Middle East on Israel and the United States. Some American ally. Some Israeli peace partner. Some moderate.
“King Abdullah has insulted the intelligence and knowledge of the U.S. Congress by preaching falsehoods and distortions about the causes and resolutions of the problems in the in the Middle East and the world. These problems can only be solved by facing the truth and reality of the increase of radical Islamic radical jihadist movements whose goals are the Islamization of the West and the destruction of Israel and the reality that the Palestinian Authority Has not fulfilled a single aspect of its agreements with Israel for 13 years. Unfortunately, the so-called moderate king ignored every truth and fed Congress lies.
“We agree with the New York Sun whose editorial stated that the U.S. Congress “will not be gulled by a foreign potentate offering up Israel as a scapegoat for troubles that originate with the failings of the Arab and Islamic world and their nondemocratic leaders, Abdullah among them.”