NEW YORK (AFP) – Israel’s long-term future is in danger if Mideast peace cannot be achieved, Jordan’s King Abdullah warned in an interview with The Wall Street Journal that appeared online.
“I think the long-term future of Israel is in jeopardy unless we solve our problems,” the monarch, who was to leave for Washington Saturday for US President Barack Obama’s Nuclear Security Summit, told the paper.
Asked about the message he would deliver on getting the strained Mideast peace process moving, the monarch said: “I think wasting too much time is something that we all have to be very concerned about because there is tremendous tension (in the region).
“Over the Israeli-Lebanese border; if you spoke (to some Lebanese) today they feel there is going to be a war any second. (It) looks like there is an attempt by certain groups to promote a third intifada, which would be disastrous. Jerusalem as you are well aware is a tinderbox that could go off at any time, and then there is the overriding concern about military action between Israel and Iran,” King Abdullah said.
“So with all these things in the background, the status quo is not acceptable; what will happen is that we will continue to go around in circles until the conflict erupts, and there will be suffering by peoples because there will be a war.”
King Abdullah said the United States had had other priorities for many months, particularly economic ones.
“The economic challenges have also not helped in prioritizing the peace process,” he noted. “Having said that, I know very well that Obama and his administration are extremely committed to the two-state solution and moving the process forward. But they’ve had other things to deal with.”
The problem “is what happens over the next couple of months,” the Jordanian leader told the Journal.
The job of Jordan and the other leading countries “is to keep common sense and keep hope alive until America can bring its full weight on the Israelis and the Palestinians to get their act together and move the process forward.”
However events in the region over the past year “have made me extremely skeptical,” and actions “on the ground have made me extremely concerned about how straightforward Israeli policy is,” he said.
Resolving the Israeli-Palestinian dispute “does not mean that this evil will evaporate, but definitely, it will take a big chunk out of the challenges that we have in this region,” the monarch said.