Monday, May 11, 2009

Jordan's 'Abdullah--The Times: Israel has the opportunity to make peace

In a piece that fills much of the front page of The Times, 'Abdullah argues for a series of bilateral negotiations that would culminate in a comprehensive peace. Israel would not be only be making peace with Arab enemies, but it would be gaining acceptance by the Muslim world (one-third of humanity by his inflated count). The alternative, as he sees it, is another war as soon as a year or eighteen months from now.

The monarch claims that he has been giving shape to the bargain on offer in hand with President Obama. Whether or not 'Abdullah is exaggerating his own role, he certainly speaks accurately in noting the widespread hopes associated now with U.S. diplomacy. Obama will have to tamp down expectations, but he will need to also show evidence of progress during the upcoming meeting with Prime Minister Netanyau.

Meanwhile, on Sunday Netanyahu declared that he would not relinquish control of the Golan Heights. This is no surprise, but it is consistent with his earlier pledges, for instance in 1997, that the Golan belongs to Israel "forever". This is not simply posturing before Netanyahu meets Obama next week, but a position from which Netanyahu has wavered a bit but never deserted.

King Abdullah of Jordan's ultimatum: peace now or it’s war next year - Times Online

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