Thursday, May 14, 2009
A Visit To Jordan Could Lead To A Path To Middle East Peace
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is in Jordan to meet with King Abdullah on his second unannounced trip this week to visit a neighboring state.
His sojourns to Jordan - and on Monday to Egypt - are prequels to his meeting Monday in Washington with President Obama, who has a new plan for peace in the Middle East. That plan involves, not just the Israelis and the Palestinians, but the other Middle East countries as well.
In a British newspaper interview earlier this week, King Abdullah outlined the president's plan. So it is fortuitous that Netanyahu is meeting with him today.
Clearly, however, even with the support of Egpyt, Jordan and, presumably, the other Arab states, some major differences remain in the outlooks of the main two parties - the Israelis and the Palestinians. The Palestinians need to recognize the legitimacy of the state of Israel and agree to respect its borders. And Netanyahu has to change his stance and stop fighting the concept of a Palestinian state.
The brilliancy of the Obama strategy as we understand it is that the remaining Arab nations would recognize Israel as well. This would put extreme pressure on the Palestinians to make peace with the Jewish state.
Simultaneously, the Obama administration is trying to get the Arab world to unite with it in its opposition to Iran. Israel is not the only neighbor of Iran to fear its creating nuclear weapons. The leaders of the Arab nations have reason to fear as well. They know full well that there are extremist Muslim groups that don't recognize their right to govern either. The last thing they need is for Iran to provide those terrorist organizations with portable nuclear devices that could be used against their respective governments.
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