Menu JTA Search

Hussein: No Separate Peace Between Israel, Jordan; Israel Must Take Peace Initiative

King Hussein of Jordan, today ruled out the possibility of a separate peace between Israel and either his country or Egypt but said he favored eventual border adjustments because the 1967 borders were “cease-fire lines only with all the injustices and lack of logic which this implies. The King spoke during an hour-long television interview broadcast to 19 European and North African countries. He said however that the border adjustments can be effected only after Israel withdraws completely from the territories it occupied during the June, 1967 war. He claimed that any diplomatic initiative for peace must now come from Israel “because we Arabs have done whatever we can by accepting the Security Council resolution and the Rogers plan.” As Hussein replied to questions from ten French Middle East experts, Paris police battled about 100 French leftists who were trying to storm the Jordanian Embassy here in protest against alleged Jordanian cruelty to Palestinian guerrillas. Ten policemen were injured and 15 demonstrators were arrested. In the course of his interview, Hussein had some highly complimentary words for Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Dayan but ruled out a meeting with him or any other Israeli leader as being “pointless for the time being.” His sharpest words were reserved for advocates of a separate Palestinian state in Jordan.

Hussein called the Palestinians “normal citizens of Jordan with whom a dialogue can and must be found.” He said however that only after a final settlement with Israel is reached will the Palestinians be offered the option of remaining citizens of Jordan or “opting for an autonomous Palestinian province within the framework of the Hashemite Kingdom.” Hussein said that for the Arabs, a solution of the Mideast conflict was relatively simple. “We either recuperate our lost territories by peaceful means or we shall have to revert to military measures which, unfortunately, could endanger not only the peace of the region but that of the entire world.” Hussein rejected as “unacceptable” any plan to internationalize part of Jerusalem. He said, however, that Jordan might agree to the internationalization of the united city, Jewish and Arab alike, which could then become the capital of peace. His references to Dayan were made when he was asked to comment on a recent statement by the Defense Minister that “Hussein is the most honest of all Arab leaders.” Hussein said, “It was very kind of him to say this of me and I am deeply touched. I also consider him not only a brave soldier and capable politician but also a great patriot of his country.”

NEXT STORY