NEW YORK (Aug. 4)
The announcement by Jordan’s King Hussein that he intends to sever ties with the West Bank underlines Israel’s contention that it has “no partner for negotiations” in the Middle East, a close aide of Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir said here Wednesday.
Avi Pazner, Shamir’s media adviser, said that Israel is “still studying” the king’s move, but whatever Hussein’s intentions are, “it is clear now that he cannot deliver peace.”
Pazner, who spoke at a briefing sponsored by Dor Hemshech, the young leadership group of the World Zionist Organization, said that in the aftermath of Hussein’s move, Israel “must make sure that the PLO will not be pushed” to become Israel’s partner for negotiations.
Pazner reiterated Israel’s strong opposition to the PLO, vowing that Israel will never enter into talks with “this terrorist organization, which is bent on our destruction.”
Pazner said, however, that Israel must now restore “normal conditions and calmness in Judea and Samaria,” where the Palestinians have been rioting and demonstrating since Dec. 9.
He suggested that only then will Israel be able “to find a partner for negotiations” among the local Palestinian residents who are not affiliated with the PLO.
“In the end I think that Jordan will become once again a partner for negotiations with Israel,” Pazner said.
According to Pazner, Hussein’s decision to divorce himself from the West Bank could be seen as a political maneuver, an attempt to influence the course of events by his unexpected move.
“Hussein may have felt that his regime is in danger,” Pazner suggested, “or maybe he is trying to show that without him peace is not possible.”
Pazner, claiming the situation in the territories is improving, said “We managed to somehow control the degree of violence and unrest.”
Speaking about the media’s coverage of Israel, Pazner said he thought they had been treating Israel better lately, because of a realization on the part of the media that Israel is not to blame for everything in the territories.
The media, Pazner said, understands better “that at stake was not only Israel’s presence in Judea and Samaria” but its presence in the Middle East itself, as evidenced by the burning of Israel’s forests and the terrorist attacks in Tel Aviv and other Israeli cities.