Several weeks ago, media reports surfaced which quoted sources as saying that meetings were held between Netanyahu and Abdullah in Jordan. Netanyahu’s office would neither confirm nor deny the veracity of the report.
Addressing the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, Abdullah said that a viable two-state solution “could be too late already.” He added that, “I don’t know. Part of me is worried that is already past us.”
Proffering an alternative trajectory towards co-existence between Israel and the Palestinians, Abdullah responded to his interviewer with one single word: “Israstine.” This was a direct reference to a term that was made popular by late Libyan strongman Muammar Qaddafi to describe a joint Arab-Jewish state.
Abdullah also opined that if two independent states were not created side by side, then Israel would only be left with two options: either “apartheid or democracy.” He added that if Israel desires to retain its Jewish character and remain a state with a Jewish majority, “the only way” is to establish a neighboring Palestinian state.
“The practical question is, can Israel exert permanent control over Palestinians who are disenfranchised ad infinitum, or does it eventually become a South Africa, which couldn’t survive as a pariah state?” Abdullah queried.
While Abdullah maintained a reticent posture on joint Jordanian-Israeli operations, the interviewer quoted several sources in Amman and Tel Aviv that indicated that Israeli drones are “monitoring the Jordan-Syria border on Jordan’s behalf, and that military and intelligence officials from the two countries are in constant contact, planning for post–Bashar Assad chaos.”
Abdullah was adamant about his country’s persistence in their peace treaty with Israel. Concerning a possible new power sharing arrangement in his kingdom, Abdullah said, “I don’t want a government to come in and say, ‘We repudiate the peace treaty with Israel.’ ”
Israel signed a peace treaty with Jordan in 1994 when the late Yitzhak Rabin was Prime Minister of Israel and Abdullah’s father the late Hussein I was king.