A diplomatic row between Israel and Jordan escalated Tuesday when Israeli Science and Technology Minister Ofir Akunis cancelled a scheduled visit to the Hashemite kingdom for a ceremony highlighting regional scientific cooperation.
The cabinet minister called off a visit marking the launch of the “SESAME” particle accelerator—a project Israel co-founded with a state investment of $11.2 million—following a terror attack carried out by a Jordanian national in Jerusalem Saturday. The Jordanian government criticized Israel for killing the terrorist.
Regarding the cancellation of his trip to Jordan, Akunis told Army Radio, “A country can’t take blow after blow and show restraint. Now and then a country needs to make a diplomatic protest….Peace with Jordan is very important but standing up for the truth is more important than anything.”
The minister said Israel would continue its participation in the scientific project, saying “science can be a bridge to build ties,” but that the Jewish state will not collaborate with Iran, which is also involved in SESAME, as long as the Islamic Republic continues its anti-Israel policies.