Is Jordan’s King doing enough to stop Israel?

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Is Jordan’s King doing enough to stop Israel?
By Ray Hanania

As a Palestinian but more as an Arab, I have to ask the question out loud. Is Jordan’s King Abdullah doing enough for the rights of Palestinians and the freedom of the Holy City of Jerusalem?

Though he seems a genuine and caring person, Jordan’s King Abdullah has mastered the Western art of political diplomacy, speaking a lot while saying little. He has taken after his father, the late King Hussein, who incredulously signed a “peace accord” with Israel that gave Israel everything and Jordanians nothing.

Today, Palestinians and Jordanians live together as near equals. King Abdullah of Jordan treats them both with respect, rarely distinguishing between the two, although the Palestinian population continues to increase so much so that it’s impossible to get a truly accurate breakdown of Jordan’s population demographics.

That’s where the irony comes in. If Jordan has such a close relationship to the Palestinians, and with such a large Palestinian population, why is Jordan so accommodating to Israel?

In a recent interview, Jordan’s King Abdullah told a French magazine that he remains cautiously optimistic about peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

How can you be cautiously optimistic when Israel refuses to freeze the building of settlements as a fundamental basis to restart peace talks? How can you compliment Israel’s extremist Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu when he personal directed the expansion of Jewish-only settlements to surround and isolate the Holy City of Jerusalem?

This failure of Arab leaders to confront Israel has undermined any chances of peace. Delaying the peace process costs Palestinians land, and undermines the “two-state solution” which is the only acceptable compromise to end the conflict.

Israel’s actions are eroding the chances for peace and King Abdullah won’t say it.

This failure of leaders in Egypt, Syria and Jordan to stand up to Israel is not only the cause of the continued conflict, but it directly feeds the instability that is fueling the growth of extremism in the Arab World.

Israel continues to thumb its nose at peace because it faces no pressure to make peace. Egypt and Syria are in domestic turmoil as a result of the Arab Spring, and Jordan is incapable of standing up to Israel because of a worthless peace treaty it signed with Israel that has not brought peace.

The Israelis remain committed to one goal, stealing ALL of the land of historic Palestine from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea. And the one country that can do something about it, is not doing enough.

Israel continues to build settlements through the West Bank to 1) encircle Jerusalem just in case peace is imposed on them before they can grab all of the Palestinian land, and 2) create a presence in the West Bank so that it would be impossible for anything to exist there except fanatic Jewish settlers.

Anyone can see that Israel doesn’t really want peace. It wants the “illusion” of peace. It talks “peace” but its policies speak “war” and “conflict.”

You can’t say you are willing to compromise in order to achieve peace while you are slowly gobbling up all of the West Bank land. What’s the compromise? There is none.

Jordan is critical to preventing Israel’s policy of ethnic cleansing of Christians and Muslims from Jerusalem. I’m not saying Jordan should declare war on Israel. Jordan is incapable of fighting a war.

But Jordan still can deny what Israel covets, acceptance. Deny Israel acceptance until it accepts the rights of Arabs and the creation of a Palestinian State.

The only option is for Jordan, and Egypt, too, to immediately suspend their diplomatic ties with Israel and put Israel’s non-peace government on notice.

The Arabs must find their courage, and not be intimidated by Israel’s military threats and weapons of mass destruction – Israel is the only nation in the Middle East violating international laws and manufacturing and arming nuclear weapons.

King Abdullah is in the perfect position to demand that Israel fulfill its obligations to peace, otherwise the peace accords are a shameful collar around the dignity of the Arab people.

Israel must freeze its settlement expansion unconditionally as a genuine gesture of peace, not just as a condition to resume peace talks but also as a condition to resume relations with Egypt and Jordan.

To do anything less would be an insult to the honor of the Arab people.

(Ray Hanania is an award winning columnist. Reach him at

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Ray Hanania

Ray Hanania

Ray Hanania is an award winning political and humor columnist who analyzes American and Middle East politics, and life in general. He is an author of several books.

"I write about three topics, the Middle East, politics and life in general. I often take my life experiences and offer them in an entertaining way to readers, and I take on the toughest topics like the Israel-Palestine conflict and don't pull any punches about what I feel is fair. But, my priority is always about writing the good story."

Hanania covered Chicago Politics and Chicago City Hall from 1976 through 1992. Hanania began writing in 1975 when he published The Middle Eastern Voice newspaper in Chicago (1975-1977). He later published “The National Arab American Times” newspaper which was distributed through 12,500 Middle East food stores in 48 American States (2004-2007).

Hanania writes weekly columns on Middle East and American Arab issues for the Arab News in Saudi Arabia at, and at, and at He has also published weekly columns in the Jerusalem Post newspaper,, Newsday Newspaper in New York, the Orlando Sentinel Newspapers, and the Arlington Heights Daily Herald.

Palestinian, American Arab and Christian, Hanania’s parents originate from Jerusalem and Bethlehem.

Hanania is the recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, he was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media. In 2009, Hanania received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. He is the recipient of the MT Mehdi Courage in Journalism Award. He was honored for his writing skills with two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild. In 1990, Hanania was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times editors for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.

His writings have also been honored by two national Awards from ADC for his writing, and from the National Arab American Journalists Association.

The managing editor of Suburban Chicagoland Online News website, Hanania's columns also appear in the Southwest News Newspaper Group of 8 newspapers.

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Ray Hanania