LONDON (May. 13)
King Hussein of Jordan again assailed United States policy in the Middle East, this time on a British Broadcasting Corporation Radio interview program in which the Jordanian monarch said the U.S. was providing “material help” to Israel to build Jewish settlements on the West Bank.
Hussein’s criticism of the Reagan Administration’s policy toward Israel was the second strong rebuke issued by him within the past two months. Last March, in an interview in The New York Times, Hussein charged that the U.S. has lost its credibility as a mediator in the Arab-Israeli dispute because of its pro-Israel stance.
In the Times interview, Hussein said Israel is on the West Bank and other occupied territories “by virtue of American military assistance and economic aid that translates into aid for Israeli settlements. Israel is there by virtue of American moral and political support to the point where the United States is succombing to Israeli dictates.
“This being the case, there is no way anyone should imagine it would be possible for the Arabs to sit and talk with Israel as long as things are as they are,” he said last March. “You obviously have made your choice and your choice is Israel. Therefore, there is no hope of achieving anything.”
THE KING’S LATEST CRITICISM
Hussein’s criticism today of U.S. policy was in response to a question of whether he believed U.S. support for United Nations Security Council Resolution 242 has eroded. “Yes, sadly this appears to me to be the case at the moment,” he replied. “After all, these settlements are created through American material help. Israeli military might, in any event, is the result of continued American support.”
Hussein was speaking on a BBC Radio phone program in which he replied to questions from listeners in Jerusalem, several European countries and Singapore. Asked by one caller whether the moderate Arab states should re-evaluate their relationship with the U.S., Hussein said.
“That really depends on what may happen in the future.” He suggested that because Americans were “basically a just, decent people,” they would change their attitude toward the Middle East conflict, suggesting that this would result in a move away from the strong U.S. support of Israel.