(JTA) — Israel’s ambassador to Jordan suggested that King Abdullah’s recent allegation that Israel kills Arab children en masse stems from pressure by Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Egypt.
Ambassador Daniel Nevo offered the commentary in an interview that aired Friday on Army Radio. Abdullah leveled the accusation at Israel earlier this week during his meeting with Jordanian lawmakers.
“If, as we are fighting radical Islamist groups as a coalition, they are slaughtering children in Gaza and Jerusalem every five minutes, then it’s impossible,” said Abdullah II of Jordan, who usually employs less inflammatory language when speaking about Israel.
Nevo would not comment directly on the king’s statement but spoke generally about the monarch’s predicament as one of Israel’s closest allies in the region.
“The king is being attacked by countries like Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and even Egypt on how the Israelis allegedly are disrespecting him,” Nevo told Army Radio when asked to comment on Abdullah’s use of harsh language. “They don’t see the whole picture.” He added: “The violence at the Temple Mount puts Abdullah II in an embarrassing situation each time anew.”
The 20-year anniversary of peace with Israel, which will occur next week, will not be noted or celebrated in Jordan, according to Army Radio. “People on the Jordanian street, they don’t watch Israeli television. They watch Al Jazeera. So how do you expect him to celebrate the anniversary?” Nevo asked.
Nevo noted that on the economic front the two countries are strengthening relations. He pointed to the signing last month of a deal to make Israel Jordan’s primary supplier of gas, as well as a deal signed several months before that for the joint operation of a desalinization plant in Aqaba.