Jordan’s King Abdullah warned Israel would find itself in “a sea of hatred” if it did not accept a Palestinian state, while also condemning Muslim terrorists from the United Nations rostrum Tuesday.
Speaking at the UN General Assembly in New York, Abdullah spoke of the importance of peace between Israel and Palestinians, blaming the ongoing conflict for continued unrest in the region.
“No injustice has spread more bitter fruit than the denial of a Palestinian state. I say: Peace is a conscious decision,” the king said. “Israel has to embrace peace or eventually be engulfed in a sea of hatred in a region of turmoil.”
Mentioning only the Christian and Muslim connection to Jerusalem holy sites, Abdullah accused Israel of attempting to alter the identity of the city.
“As the Custodian of Islamic holy sites in Jerusalem, I will continue my efforts to protect these places, and stand up against all violations of their sanctity, including attempts for temporal and spatial division of Al-Aqsa Mosque/Al Haram Al Sharif,” he said.
Israeli officials have repeatedly rejected accusations by Palestinian and Jordanian officials that it intends to allow Jewish prayer on the Temple Mount or alter the status quo governing the holy site.
Tensions over the compound, considered the holiest place in Judaism and the third holiest in Islam, have often led to flare-ups of violence.
Abdullah began his speech with a long and impassioned plea for the world to differentiate between Islam and terrorism, which he claimed had no connection to the religion.
He decried Islamic terrorists who “want to wipe out our achievements and those of our ancestors; to erase human civilization, and drag us back to the dark ages.”
Abdullah clearly distanced himself and mainstream Islam from the terrorist organizations. “Let me state clearly that these radical outlaw groups do not exist on the fringes of Islam, they are altogether outside of it. Thus we refer to them as khawarej, outlaws of Islam.”
He criticized both those who fail to recognize the war on Islamic terror for what it is, and those who simply stigmatize all Muslims without differentiation.
“How can we be effective in this fight when we haven’t clearly defined who the enemy is?” the king stated. “Who are we fighting with and who are we fighting against?”