Abdullah, Netanyahu Getting Along Better

YERUSHALAYIM -

Jordanian King Abdullah declared his relationship with Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is “very strong” and that their discussions “have really improved.”

Abdullah, who had a tense relationship with Netanyahu during his last four years as prime minister, told the American magazine The Atlantic that things have changed for the better.

At the beginning of March, there were unconfirmed reports that Netanyahu and Abdullah met in Jordan.

However, the Jordanian monarch was not optimistic about peace efforts, saying, “it could be too late already for the two-state solution. I don’t know. Part of me is worried that is already past us.”

In response to the interviewer’s question about alternative solutions, Abdullah dismissed it with one word: “Israstine,” referring to a word popularized by the late Libyan leader Muammar Gadhafi to describe a joint Arab-Jewish state.

“The practical question is, can Israel exert permanent control over Palestinians who are disenfranchised ad infinitum?” Abdullah asked.

The king refused to discuss joint Jordanian-Israeli operations, but according to The Atlantic, several sources in Amman and Tel Aviv said Israeli drones are “monitoring the Jordan-Syria border on Jordan’s behalf, and that military and intelligence officials from the two countries are in constant contact, planning for the … chaos” they anticipate when the Syrian regime finally collapses.

Abdullah reaffirmed his commitment to maintaining Jordan’s peace treaty with Israel. In reference to possible reconfigurations of political forces in his kingdom, Abdullah, he drew a red line: “I don’t want a government to come in and say, ‘We repudiate the peace treaty with Israel.’”

Israel signed a peace treaty with Jordan in 1994 when the late Yitzchak Rabin was Prime Minister of Israel and Abdullah’s father, the late Hussein I, was king.