WASHINGTON (Nov. 7)
On the eve of his scheduled conference with President Johnson at the White House tomorrow, Jordan’s King Hussein told the National Press Club here today, that a new Israeli-Arab relationship could not be established until Israel returned all occupied land, restored Arab refugees to their original homes, and agreed to a Jerusalem arrangement acceptable to the Arabs.
Hussein suggested that the Israeli position was softening. He said that “despite the fact that the Israelis have taken the official position that they would do nothing until the Arabs sat down with them around a conference table, I am now hopeful that, just as we have modified our position toward accepting a political settlement, they will modify their view on insisting on direct negotiations.”
Stating that he spoke with the authority of all Arabs, Hussein threatened that, unless Israel makes terms acceptable to the Arabs now, the struggle will continue “until either the Arab world is subjugated by a Zionist empire or until Arabs might eventually destroy the State of Israel.” He said that, if Jew and Arab are to co-exist, “the alien quality of Israel must cease” and Europe-origin Israelis must leave the area.” He claimed it was “under the Arabs that the Jews produced their greatest literature,” and called for “assimilation” of Jews as “free citizens” in an Arab society. He warned that the Arab resistance movement was already beginning on the west bank of the Jordan River “as in occupied Europe during the war.”
Speaking of a settlement, Hussein likened Israel to a thief who robs a bank and then asks to open a lawful account with the loot. He said the Arab position is for the thief (Israel) “to give back the money first and then we will talk about opening an account.”
Hinting that Jordan would turn to Russia for arms unless the United States provided equipment, Hussein said Jordan required military equipment whether or not a peaceful settlement developed. He apologized for the Arab accusation that U.S. military planes aided Israel to win the Six-Day War. He said “we regret that mistake. We have admitted it to be a mistake.” He stressed that he was speaking not only for Jordan but for all Arab peoples represented at the recent Arab Summit conference at Khartoum.