Jordanian King Abdullah expressed alarm over Israel’s prevailing political opinions in an interview with the Washington Post today, saying that the Israeli public is not interested in a return to 1967 borders, with its leadership no longer working toward a two state solution or peace.
The Jordanian king noted a marked shift toward the right in Israel in recent years, quoting statistics stating that 85 percent of Israelis are not interested in a return to 1967 borders.
Abdullah told the Post that he believes this to be testimony that the Israeli public is “beginning to believe the rhetoric of their leaders,” with popular opinion gravitating toward the right and what he called the “hard right”.
“I’m not convinced that they (Israel) are interested in a two-state solution,” Abdullah said, adding “they’re not interested in peace with the Arabs, because unless they do the two-state solution, that can’t happen.”
Abdullah lamented the current Palestinian-Israeli stalemate, saying that he is the most pessimistic he has ever been in 11 years. “2011 will be, I think, a very bad year for peace,” he said, adding that “invariably when there’s a status quo, usually what shakes everybody up is some sort of military confrontation, at which point we all come running and screaming to pick up the pieces. Nobody wins in a war.”
When asked about Netanyahu’s recent trip to United States following U.S. President Barack Obama’s Middle East policy speech, Abdullah said he did not believe the visit was successful.
“[Netanyahu] basically came to say, ‘It’s my way or the highway,'” the Jordanian monarch said.
Abdullah touched briefly on the contested upcoming UN vote on a unilateral recognition of Palestinian statehood in September, saying that he would support any new innovation or peace initiative from Washington or elsewhere, but was not hopeful that any major powers would take steps to shake the current Palestinian-Israeli status quo.
Despite his overall pessimism regarding Middle East peace, Abdullah called on regional and international powers to take action now, saying that the more time goes by without a solution, the more complicated the situation will be for Israel.
“An isolated Israel and an insecure Israel [is not] a healthy thing for any of us,” Abdullah told the Post, saying “let’s solve it now where we’ve all got our heads above the water as opposed to the quagmire we might find ourselves in four, five years from now.”