I trust your Easter Weekend was a good one!
Here in Israel the major headline is the fact that the Jordanian King Abdullah II has warned that Israel's long-term future would remain in jeopardy unless a permanent solution to the Middle East conflict was achieved. He made these statements in an interview with an American daily.
His view is accepted among many in Israel and the Middle East. As he points out, in Israel there are some groups allegedly wanting to spark off a third Intifada centered around Israel's desire to expand it's settlements in Arab parts of Jerusalem. And if you go north to southern Lebanon – people believe that war is imminent – and we've even see their government ask the UN body to restrain potential Israeli actions, and lest we forget, whether or not Mr. Obama is resolved to a nuclear Iran – Israel is not.
In recent months, Jordan has not been shy in pointing out that relations were poor with Israel, but now the King of the Kingdom has flatly pointed out that they are at an all time low – indeed the lowest – since the two neighbors made peace. King Abdullah holds no punches as he sharply criticized Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu for his policy of building homes for Jews in the eastern part of Jerusalem.
He is echoing the words of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that there is “tremendous tension” and is warning that the status quo is unacceptable.
All this is coming ahead of Abdulla's visit to the US, where he said he will implore the Obama administration to force a timetable and some guidelines on Israel for negotiations with the Palestinians.
In Israel's response, it's Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman responded that King Abdullah is trying to flee from reality. Regarding the Kings demand to halt construction in Jerusalem, Lieberman said that, “This is completely unacceptable. There will be no situation in which we will agree to freeze construction.
Many of the commentators believe Abdullah has the good of the people at heart for the Middle East, and that he wants to see changes towards peace – not facts towards war and suffering.
It is a delicate situation, so lets all pray for theses leaders of the countries here in this troubled area.
Middle East Correspondent