Jordan's King Abdullah II, widely regarded as the most moderate of Arab leaders, indicated in an interview with The Wall Street Journal published on Tuesday that he regrets his father's decision to make peace with Israel.
"Our relationship with Israel is at an all-bottom low. It hasn't been as bad as it is today and as tense as it is today," said Abdullah.
He noted that Jordanians do not see any real tangible benefit from the peace with Israel:
"There is no real economic relationship between Jordan and Israel. So economically we were better off in trade and in movement before my father signed the peace treaty."
What Abdullah didn't mention was that according to the peace treaty between the two nations, Israel provides Jordan with a large portion of its annual water needs, and that many Israelis do business in Jordan, even if their Jordanian counterparts choose not to reciprocate.
Abdullah went on to say that recent tension over Jewish building in Jerusalem is highly relevant to Jordan, since it is still recognized as the custodian of Muslim and many Christian holy sites there. However, Abdullah again left the picture incomplete, failing to note that when his country illegally occupied Jerusalem from 1948-1967, it summarily denied Jews and often Christians access to their holy sites.
Abdullah concluded by warning Israel that its future would be at stake if it did not make peace on Arab terms in the very near future. Such saber-rattling from a leader considered Israel's best friend in the Arab world is further evidence of the increasing radicalization of the region, even its more "moderate" elements.
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