King Abdullah II of Jordan on Wednesday called on Israel to adopt the Arab Peace Initiative and to form “a just and lasting peace with the Palestinians.”
Speaking before the United Nations General Assembly in New York City, Abdullah called on the UN to take action in resolving what he called “the crisis at the heart of the region,” the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
“It is time for Israel to turn around, look to the future we share,” Abdullah said, pointing to the Arab League’s peace initiative as evidence of the Arab world’s desire for peace, “diplomatic relations, economic relations, trade, [and] investment” with Israel.
The Arab Peace Initiative, first proposed by the Arab League in 2002, offers normalization of relations with Israel in exchange for complete withdrawal from the West Bank and East Jerusalem and “just settlement” of the Palestinian refugee issue.
“For almost 65 years, the Palestinian people have been the exception to the UN promise,” Abdullah said.
“The shelter of international law and human rights: except … not yet. The dignity of living in freedom and security: except … not yet. The right to self-determination: except … not yet. Enough.”
“The Arab Summer cannot bear its full fruit, until the Palestinian-Israeli conflict ends, and ends with a just peace – and a Palestinian state living side by side with a secure Israel at peace with the entire region.”
Abdullah said he foresees a rare window of opportunity to make headway in the stalled peace negotiations after the US presidential elections.
Abdullah also criticized what he described as Israel’s attempts to eradicate the Muslim and Christian aspects of Jerusalem.
“The international community must make it clear to Israel that any attempt to erase the Arab, Muslim and Christian identities of Jerusalem is intolerable,” the monarch said.